EE, which was founded in 2010 via the merging of Orange and T-Mobile, says VAT of 20% was incorrectly applied when pay monthly mobile customers who travelled outside of Europe between October 2012 and October 2014 used the internet on their handset via data roaming bundles. Causing thousands of EE customers to recive refunds totalling more than £1m. The company wrongly charged these customers VAT on the data they used, passing the money straight on to the taxman. The company told the BBC the money “was never EE’s” and that the overcharge, blamed on a system-configuration error, went directly to Revenue & Customs.
Refunds will range from about £2 to £80 per customer.
“Due to a configuration error in our billing system, made following a system change, a small number of customers were wrongly charged VAT on the Data Roaming bundle outside of Europe. This was a mistake, and we are now refunding these charges and contacting affected customers to apologise for the error” spokesman David Nieberg said. He added: “We’ve claimed that money back from HMRC, and then it goes back to the customers.”
EE has about 28 million customers, making it the largest mobile provider in the UK. Customers affected by the error are being contacted via text message and told the amount they are owed. EE would not be offering a cash refund, it said, but would instead give customers credit on their accounts. The mistake had been discovered after a customer complained, the company said.
Current Customers – EE says current customers received text messages last week alerting them that they were due a refund and that the money was also credited to their accounts last week. If you think you’re affected, check your statement to see if this refund was applied. If it hasn’t been, get in touch with EE/T-Mobile.
Former Customers – YOU NEED TO CLAIM. Former EE or T-Mobile customers will not be refunded automatically. If you think you may be affected by the blunder, call customer services now to claim a refund. The number’s 07953 966 250 for former EE customers and 0845 412 5000 for former T-Mobile users