EE to refund customers £1 million after overcharging VAT

Customers of UK mobile operator EE are to receive a share of around £1 million after they were wrongly charged VAT. Those who happened to be outside the EU and used data on their plans between October 2012 and October 2014 were affected by a "billing system error." It's reported that 0.5 percent of EE customers were overcharged.

EE has informed the BBC that the money received was sent directly to Revenue & Customs, and that refunds will be between £2 to £80 per affected customer. Spokesman David Nieberg explained the error:

"Due to a configuration error in our billing system, made following a system change, a small number of customers were wrongly charged VAT on the Data Roaming bundle outside of Europe. This was a mistake, and we are now refunding these charges and contacting affected customers to apologise for the error."

The money has been claimed back from HMRC. Meanwhile, those who were overcharged will receive an SMS stating the amount that will be returned. Refunds will be in the form of account credit, not cash.

Source: BBC

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Hope customers do ask for accumulated interest. If they were late in paying a certain bill amount for 24 months, they would have had bailiffs at their door by now. The least EE could do is pay this money back and offer compensation equivalent to interest on this amount.
  • Maybe the interest is applied on the total refund amount, though I wouldn't have high hopes about that.
  • Sure its not. Tried to argue that aswell with EEs usless customer service. After changing from Prepaid on Monthy contract I wasnt able anymore to do so called "Premium Calls" I have been abroad and my phone didnt even get coverage at all. With a Sim Locked phone not really nice. They wanted a £160 deposite which has not been released till 7 Month after. Didnt get any interest on that
  • I'm sure some attorneys will steal some of the payout.
  • Good to take responsibility.
  • I would leave the phone company after being affected like that.
  • Huh? No VAT when roaming?
  • Lets hope I will get a message :) Or does this only account for direct customers rather than Orange/T-Mobile Customers
  • Bit silly that they're offering account credit, not sure I understand the legality of that.
  • Exactly, they aren't exactly paying back customers any money at all when in fact you have to spend it back on them, all they are doing there is discounting a few contract fees, I mean £80 could be about 3 months contract depending how much you pay, which I'm sure they could afford to do regardless of this over charge! This is why I'm glad I'm with O2, instead of over charging their customers they give them free stuff with Priority Moments, and once I upgraded I got a free Xbox 360, just can't argue with that, I'm not too sure how happy I am with a take over by Three or merger, as long as they keep operations and customer service the same, I won't have a problem with it....
  • It must be a telco thing to take advantage of customers whereever they can. Funny they call it billing system error but the error is always in their favor.