Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/03/be_broadband/

Be Broadband coughs to billing cock-up

Then apologises for email snafu

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Broadband, 3rd April 2006 15:36 GMT

Be Broadband, the outfit that's reluctant to say how many punters have signed up to its LLU service, has apologised for a billing gaffe.

An email sent out at the weekend told punters that "a technical hitch" was being blamed for the firm attempting to take multiple payments from customers.

"We are extremely sorry that this problem has affected you and are doing everything we can to rectify the situation as quickly as possible," it said. "Please be assured that you will be fully refunded for any additional monies taken from you."

Snag is, the ISP failed to hide the thousand or so email addys of those who received the email. So cue another memo a few minutes later which offered, "additional apologies for sending out the message below with the email addresses disclosed. It was not our intention to send the message that way".

Asked to comment, the ISP admitted that a "system error occurred whilst in our most recent quarterly bill run".

"As a result, when we requested payment from our customers' accounts, a number of customers may have received multiple requests. Although multiple payments were requested, no customers have been charged.

"Once the system error was spotted, we put measures in place to ensure the problem was rectified and we also emailed the affected customers immediately, highlighting the fault and offering our sincere apologies.

"Should any of our members find they have been overcharged we will immediately refund any monies taken. Be is committed to offering our members the best possible customer service and we apologise once again for the error."

Oh, and it assures us that the email didn't go to its entire customer base and that it has more than 1,000 punters.

Earlier last month, Be announced it would offer a refund after the service went titsup. An email to punters from MD Dana Pressman said the network was "affected by a serious problem" that resulted in "reduction of speed and packet loss that impacted the service for a large majority of our members". ®