UK carriers have been catching the headlines in recent months, with the telecommunications giant BT looking to expand into the mobile networks game by purchasing one of the four major players. After casting an eye over its former charge, O2, BT settled on talking exclusively to EE with regards to a £12.5billion takeover. Speaking of Europes largest LTE carrier, EE, they are in the news again today with the announcement that £1 Million ($1.51 Million) will be returned to (some) of its customers who were charged an incorrect rate of VAT while travelling out of the EU.
EE have said that the money was collected from customers who traveled outside the EU between October 2012 – October 2014, representing around 0.5% of EE's estimated 28 million-strong subscriber base. The affected customers were erroneously charged VAT on their Data Roaming bundles while on their travels, with the error only becoming apparent after a customer phoned to complain about the issue. The error came about due to a configuration error in EE's billing system, with the money proceeding directly to HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs). EE's spokesman, David Nieberg said that " This was a mistake, and we are now refunding these charges and contacting affected customers to apologise for the error". He also added that " We've (EE) claimed that money back from HMRC, and then it goes back to the customers".
If you are one of the affected customers, you can expect to receive the following text – "Between Oct 2012 and Oct 2014 there was a system error that resulted in some of our customers paying the incorrect rate of VAT on some services. We've calculated your bills and can confirm you're owed £xx.xx. This amount has been credited to your account and will appear on your next bill. We're sorry for any inconvenience caused". Chances are you weren't aware of the overcharge in the first place, so any refunds appearing on your bill will be a welcome surprise. It is unfortunate that the refund is only a credit to the account, but something is better than nothing, with refunds ranging from £2 – £80 per customer. It's always good to see a company come clean about its mistakes, even when it takes a customer complaint to bring about the appropriate action. If you were affected by the error, feel free to let us know at our Google Plus page.