Watchdog hits Eir with €2.45m fine for overcharging customers


The regulator says tens of thousands of customers are owed compensation

This week, the Irish Commission For Communications Regulation (ComReg) has ordered mobile Eir’s owner Eircom to pay a fine of almost €2.5 million for overcharging its customers.

The news follows a series of investigations by the regulator, spanning the period between 2015 and 2021, which found that an estimated 76,000 customers had been overcharged.

The ruling called for Eir to issue refunds to all affected customers, with the regulator estimating that Eir had made around €6.7 million in revenue through overcharging during the six-year period. If all of these refunds are issued, each affected customer would be entitled to roughly €88.

Eircom said that the overcharging was a result of a “broken bundle” on customers’ accounts and said they would implement “backward-looking measures” to identify the affected customers. However, they emphasised that issuing the refunds could be a lengthy process.

“[We have] already commenced a review process of an agreed cohort to identify any unresolved instances of incorrect charging and will ensure any such customers are reimbursed as soon as possible,” said the company in a statement. “Eir apologises unreservedly to any customer who we identify as part of the review, as having been inadvertently charged incorrectly and has committed to actively processing any refunds that may be identified.”

As well as looking backwards, Eir said they would also implement a number of system updates over the rest of the year, including a new billing system, to ensure that these mistakes did not happen again.

These measures will include the company “proactively reviewing credits and disputes that could identify potential billing issues not already addressed”.

An independent auditor has been appointed to ensure that all agreed measures are completed by the end of the year.

This is not the first time that Eir has faced ComReg’s wrath in recent years. In 2018, the company was stung by a €3 million fine after a settling a case that alleged the company had given illegal preferential treatment to its own retail division when it came to granting access and repairing lines.

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