TalkTalk and Tiscali pay £2.5 million in refunds
TalkTalk and Tiscali have paid out £2.5 million in refunds to customers after an investigation by Ofcom.
The watchdog was examining claims that customers were being over-billed for cancelled services after TalkTalk bought Tiscali.
Ofcom said it couldn’t fine the pair, because they fixed the problem by refunding customers. It paid out 62,000 customers.
“Under the law as it currently stands, Ofcom must allow a company a period of time to come into compliance with the regulations by a set deadline,” the watchdog said. “If the company takes action to comply with the rules by the deadline, Ofcom cannot impose a financial penalty.”
“TalkTalk and Tiscali UK have taken significant steps to fix the problem and to comply with the regulations by the deadline set, in direct response to Ofcom’s action,” it said. “On this basis, Ofcom is not in a position at present to impose a financial penalty on the companies under our current legal powers.”
Ofcom said it was working with the Government on changing the law, to allow the watchdog to fine companies even if they fix the problem. If the proposals currently under consideration are approved, they new rules could come into play by 25 May.
However, the watchdog noted that customers are still complaining about TalkTalk and Tiscali. “In light of these and information obtained from the companies, Ofcom will continue its investigation into their compliance with the regulations,” it added.
“If the investigation reveals that TalkTalk or Tiscali UK have continued to breach the regulations, they could still face further enforcement action including a financial penalty,” it added.