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Ofcom to TalkTalk, Tiscali: Stop over-billing

Or get fined

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Telecoms regulator Ofcom has told TalkTalk and Tiscali UK to stop charging customers for services they have not received, or face a fine.

Which seems fair. Ofcom said it had received over 1,000 complaints this year from punters who've been billed for services they had already cancelled.

The regulator has sent both firms a legally-binding notification to either obey the rules or pay a fine. Ofcom can, in theory, fine a company 10 per cent of its turnover.

The two telcos have until 2 December to sort out their systems. They must refund customers wrongly billed, stop setting the bailiffs on people still supposedly owing money due to dodgy billing and inform credit agencies in order restore credit ratings of customers wrongly accused of not paying bills.

Two examples were given by Ofcom. Customer A switched her landline from TalkTalk to another telco in January 2010 but continued to get bills from TalkTalk – despite spending over an hour on the phone to call centres.

Customer B cancelled her account with Tiscali in February 2006 but was billed for another £609. Eventually the debt was sent to bailiffs to reclaim.

Customer C cancelled a broadband deal with Tiscali but was still being billed two years later. ®

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