EE has been slapped with a £1 million fine due to “serious failings” with its handling of customer complaints.
UK regulator Ofcom has ruled that the mobile operator ignored key regulations between 22 July 2011 and 8 April 2014.
It failed to inform customers complaining about EE’s services that they could take any unresolved problems – a ‘deadlock’ – to an alternate dispute regulation (ADR) within two months of the grievance first being reported.
According to the rules, EE should have sent written notifications to customers referencing their right to take their complaint to the independent body.
It also should have made it clear in its customer complaints code that customers could request a deadlock letter to access the ADR scheme.
What’s more, EE simply refused to issue deadlock letters to some customers who requested them, in certain cases claiming that deadlock letters were not provided by the firm.
However, EE says it has now turned a corner.
"While this is in no way excuses it, it is important to note that we identified issues in our complaints handling and began our programme to tackle these problems head-on in 2013, before Ofcom started their investigation," said an EE spokesperson.
"We have made considerable improvements since then. Ofcom's current figures highlight that complaints into Ofcom about EE have fallen by 50% in the past year."
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The company has 20 days to pay up.