Talk Talk, Tiscali hit with £3 million in fines

UK telecomms regulator Ofcom said that it has fined Talk Talk and Tiscali UK £3 million for billing 10s of thousands of people incorrectly.

Ofcom said it had received complains from over 1,000 people and opened its investigation in July 2010. It said that both firms sent bills to people for services they hadn’t received, including people that had already closed their account.

It sent the companies a notification in November 2010 and gave them a month to sort out the complaints. But while the companies did attempt to comply with the order, they carried on mis-billing people between December and March this year.

Ofcom said it fined the companies this much because of the seriousness of the breach, and to act as a deterrent to other companies in the future.

Talk Talk and Tiscali UK have already paid over £2.5 million in refunds and in “good will payments” to 65,000 people affected by the SNAFU.  So all in all, the episode has cost the companies dear.  

The SNAFU is said to have originated from an inability to merge different billing systems when Talk Talk bought Tiscali UK.