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Eir were told they must refund all customers who were overcharged during the two separate periods investigated. Alamy Stock Photo

Eir fined €2.45 million by regulator for overcharging an estimated 76,000 customers

The refunds have an estimated price-tag of approximately €6.7 million according to the regulator.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY EIR have been fined €2.45 million by the electronic communications regulator ComReg for overcharging an estimated 76,000 customers.

Eir, previously known as Eircom, have been told it must also refund all customers who were found to be overcharged during the two separate periods investigated by the regulator and must make changes to it billing procedures.

The refunds have an estimated price-tag of approximately €6.7 million according to the regulator.

Eir has said that an estimated 76,000 customers may have been affected by the overcharging but that this estimate may decrease following a review.

ComReg investigations found Eir overcharged customers during two separate periods of time, from June 2018 to March 2019 and again for a year between September 2019 and 2020.

ComReg found that the company had been approached by customers who became aware they were being overcharged by Eircom at the time and had successfully sought a refund.

However, the regulator was “concerned that there were many more customers also overcharged by Eircom that had not identified the overcharge nor had they successfully disputed the overcharge with Eircom”.

The investigations found that while some customers were incorrectly charged due to an issue with a “broken bundle” connected to their accounts, other customers were incorrectly charged to cancel their contact with the company or charged even after their contract had ended.

Eir will now have to pay nearly €2.5 million, “implement a series of ‘Backward-looking Measures’ to identify those customers” who were overcharged, will refund all customers.

Additionally, “Forward-looking measures” will also be introduced to improve and upgrade their billing system and set up procedures so that Eir can proactively review credits and disputes that could any other unidentified billing issues.

According to ComReg, Eir has completed their backward-looking measures and is identifying customers who were overcharged and also began to develop the forward-looking measures which is expected to be implemented by the end of this year at the latest.

The regulator said: “ComReg will continue to monitor Eircom’s compliance with its obligations and to investigate as appropriate consumer complaints,”

In a statement to The Journal, Eir said: “Eir is engaging with ComReg regarding its concerns about the possibility of the historical and inadvertent overcharging of certain customers in respect of electronic communications services.

“Eir has 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.”

The company added that it “apologises unreservedly” to any customer who was identified to be overcharged as part of the review and is committed to improving its billing systems.

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