Tuesday 13 November 2018

Reprieve for Tesco after overcharging for roaming abroad

Roaming charges were wrong for a seven-month period. Photo: Stock Image
Roaming charges were wrong for a seven-month period. Photo: Stock Image

Adrian Weckler - Technology Editor

Tesco Mobile overcharged customers for seven months when they roamed abroad, the Irish telecoms watchdog has found.

The operator, which is the fourth-largest in Ireland with over 300,000 customers, didn't properly implement the EU's anti-roaming charge law.

In particular, it overcharged for data roaming with both 'pay as you go' and bill pay customers between June 15 of last year and January 24 of this year. However, Tesco Mobile will face no punitive action for overcharging, after promising ComReg that it would reimburse its customers.

"ComReg has formed the opinion that Tesco Mobile was non-compliant with its obligations under Articles 6a and 6e of the Roaming Regulations," ComReg said in a statement.

"Tesco Mobile took immediate measures to remedy the non-compliance, to identify affected customers and to initiate refunds. Tesco Mobile was fully engaged and cooperative with ComReg throughout the investigation.

"ComReg has taken account of Tesco Mobile's response and its remedial measures and, subject to the completion of all commitments received, will be taking no further action in respect of this matter."

A spokesman for Tesco Mobile Ireland said: “A small number of Tesco Mobile Ireland customers were incorrectly charged when they exceeded their fair usage limits while roaming. Tesco Mobile has since corrected this issue and we're in the process of refunding customers in scope with the average refund at approximately €8 per customer. We apologise for this mistake”

The episode comes as Meteor, recently rebranded as Eir Mobile, also landed in hot water with the telecoms regulator over data charges.

ComReg has notified the mobile wing of the country's largest telecoms player that it is in trouble because of "the manner in which tariffs and charges associated with out of bundle data usage were presented to customers by Meteor".

The charge relates to Meteor (Eir) customers not getting "clear, comprehensive and easily accessible"... "details of prices and tariffs, the means by which up-to-date information on all applicable tariffs and maintenance charges may be obtained, payment methods offered and any differences in costs due to payment method".

Irish Independent

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