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‘System errors’ blamed for incorrect phone bills

13 Jan 2023 / courts Print

‘System errors’ blamed for incorrect phone bills

A court has heard that Three Ireland wrongly charged more than 1,600 phone users for outside-EU data roaming.

The firm also billed a customer for almost €30,000 after two days in Monaco, an investigation by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) found.

The probe was set up after eight customer complaints.

Guilty plea

The mobile operator pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court yesterday (12 January) to eight charges of breaking article 15 of the EU roaming regulations.

Judge Anthony Halpin refused to accept a charity donation instead of the Probation Offenders Act and insisted on a conviction. The offences carry a maximum fine of €5,000 per charge.

Judge Halpin noted that many customers had been upset, despite mitigation factors, including refunds and genuine remorse.

He recorded convictions against the phone giant and imposed fines totalling €2,400.

System errors caused the charges, with a failure to cap after a €50 spend. There was also a failure to send notifications as customers reached 80% and 100% of the €50 limit.

Three Ireland identified 1,640 customers affected. The value of the charges to affected customers was about €632,000, or an average of €385 each.


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