BT Group PLC slips as it faces class action lawsuit over landline overcharging

If successful, the telecommunications giant could make payments of £ 600 million to 2.3 million customers

BT Group PLC (LON: BT.A) has announced that it will “vigorously defend itself against a class action lawsuit” claiming that most senior customers have not been compensated for fixed line congestion over an eight year period.

The lawsuit, filed by law firm Mishcon de Reya in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), is valued at £ 600 million and, if successful, could result in £ 500 individual payments to 2.3 million BT customers.

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Telecommunications regulator Ofcom found in a 2017 review that the company FTSE 100 had been overloading customers for their landline-only packages since 2009, prompting BT to cut the price of its landlines by around £ 7 a month.

However, since then, activists have stated that the company has not compensated the 2.3 million customers for their previous overload. In a statement accompanying BT’s action, Ofcom stated that “no discovery of excessive pricing or violation of competition law in general” had been made.

“We totally disagree with the lawsuit brought against us. We take our responsibility towards older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against all claims that suggest otherwise. ” a company spokesman said On Sunday.

“We assure our customers, including the elderly and vulnerable, that we will not let this claim disrupt BT’s relationship with them, especially at this critical time when our employees have worked so hard to connect them with loved ones to keep. We will continue to offer a variety of packages to help our customers with the pandemic, ”added BT.

The company’s shares fell 2.2% to 137.7 pence on Monday morning.

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