Saturday 16 February 2019

Phone firm 'still wrongly billing customers'

Communications watchdog ComReg is seeking a High Court order restraining the German-based company from continuing the charges. Stock Image: Getty Images/EyeEm
Communications watchdog ComReg is seeking a High Court order restraining the German-based company from continuing the charges. Stock Image: Getty Images/EyeEm

Tim Healy

Landline operator Yourtel is continuing to bill customers for a service they never received despite previous convictions for breaching telecoms laws, a court heard.

Communications watchdog ComReg is seeking a High Court order restraining the German-based company from continuing the charges.

ComReg claimed Yourtel has refused to co-operate and thwarted efforts to investigate its activities.

In December 2017, Yourtel, with a registered Irish address at Kill Avenue, Dún Laoghaire, was fined €66,000 on 89 counts of charging mainly elderly people for services they never received.

In June 2017, it was first convicted and fined €2,500. In February last year, it was fined another €3,000 for two more offences.

Yourtel, through unsolicited calls, offered discounted services to phone subscribers whose calls were supposed to be charged by the company while Eircom continued to bill for the line rental. In these cases, however, Yourtel was providing no service whatsoever but sent out bills and even used a debt collection agency.

Mr Justice Robert Haughton admitted ComReg's action against Yourtel yesterday to the Commercial Court.

He refused an application on behalf of Yourtel for an adjournment to allow its solicitor take instructions and said directions on how it would proceed would be given in three weeks.

Between 2013 and 2018, the regulator received complaints from more than 2,400 people.

Irish Independent

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