MSE News

Millions of BT landline customers could be in line for up to £500 if a new class action case is successful

BT is facing a £600 million class action case amid claims some 2.3 million customers have been overcharged for their landline since October 2015. The bid has been approved by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and the case will now proceed to a full trial, though BT continues to deny the claims.

The case, which is being brought by Justin Le Patourel – founder of action group 'Collective Action on Land Lines' (CALL) – centres around an old investigation by telecoms regulator Ofcom. In 2016, BT agreed to reduce its landline prices by £7 a month following Ofcom concerns that some customers, often elderly or vulnerable, were getting poor value for money.

Despite BT decreasing prices, Mr Le Patourel believes the company owes compensation to customers for past alleged overpayments.

Mishcon de Reya, the law firm working on Mr Le Patourel's behalf, argues that customers could be in line for payments of up to £500 each if the case is successful. 

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Millions of BT customers are covered by the class action

The class action covers the following BT customers:

  • 'Voice-only' customers who had a BT landline service between October 2015 and April 2018, but did not receive a broadband service from BT or any other provider. 

  • 'Split-purchase' customers who had BT landline services alongside a broadband service from any provider at any time between October 2015 and 8 December 2023, but did not 'bundle' the services together into a single, discounted package.

All affected customers will be automatically represented and do not need to take any steps to join the action. Previously there was an option to 'opt-out' of the claim but the deadline for this has now passed.

What does BT say?

A BT spokesperson said: "We do not accept that our pricing was anti-competitive back then, and as such are committed to robustly defending our position at trial.”

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