Giffgaff overcharged its customers by around £2.9 million

UK mobile virtual network operator, Giffgaff, has been fined £1.4 million by Ofcom after it overcharged 2.6 million customers. The fine related to those customers who opted to buy bolt on packages – known as goodybags on Giffgaff – and were subsequently over charged.

“Getting bills right is a basic duty for every phone company. But Giffgaff made unacceptable mistakes, leaving millions of customers out of pocket," said Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s director of investigations and enforcement.

“This fine should serve as a warning to all communications providers: if they get bills wrong, we’ll step in to protect customers,” he added.  

The fine levied at Giffgaff includes a 30 per cent reduction as Giffgaff admitted the charges. The reduced penalty was also intended to reflect the fact that Giffgaff reported the matter to Ofcom promptly when it realised its mistakes.

The MVNO also took proactive steps to refund those customers who had been affected.

"We’ve taken major steps to refund the members affected; however, for those whose records we were not able to hold on to, and who we haven’t been able to get in touch with, we’ve made the decision to do something different. We have estimated the potential impact this issue would have had. We did this by looking at our existing data and used it to project the impact between the time when this issue began, arriving at a figure of £752,257. Clearly, this money doesn’t belong to us, so we will be donating this amount entirely to charity," Giffgaff’s chief executive, Ash Schofield,  said in an online statement. 

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