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  5. O2 gives out surprise refunds to overpaying customers

O2 gives out surprise refunds to overpaying customers

Are you in line for a refund?
refund letter

O2 has surprised some of its current and former customers by sending out refunds for overpayment, with some dating back up to 15 years ago.

O2 customers have reported receiving letters completely out of the blue detailing the refunds along with a cheque to cover the amount they are owed.

A number of people took to Twitter to say they have got a letter in the post from O2’s parent company Telefonica that says: "You've got a refund." Understandably some people were concerned that these unexpected letters offering cash refunds may be the work of fraudsters, but O2 has confirmed that the letters are genuine, and that people are receiving refunds, which in some cases date back over 10 years ago and come with added interest.

Twitter user and former O2 customer Glenn Pegden shared his refund letter online.

The letter says: “You’ve got a refund. Our system has reported a credit balance remaining on your O2 account back in 2005. So you’ve got £23.40 coming back to you, which includes 4% interest. Sorry it took so long to get this to you.”

Other consumers then also came forward to reveal their surprise refund letters, with some receiving upwards of £100 and others getting sums as low as £4.

So what brought about the surprise refunds? And are you due one?

It seems the issue, and O2’s repayments, are connected to Ofcom’s “Extraordinary Performance Failure” investigation which is probing into O2’s metering and billing system. The probe is focussed around problems with O2 bills during 2012 and 2019 and it’s thought that earlier discrepancies may have been spotted too.

Ofcom’s report says that O2 took “duplicate final direct debit payments from customers who terminated their contracts on a Saturday or Sunday and had an outstanding periodic bill to pay.” O2 has said that it identified a group of customers who have been affected by the problem and due refunds earlier on this year, but had to delay sending out the repayment notices because of the Coronavirus crisis.

In a statement the mobile phone provider said: “We identified a billing issue which meant some customers were charged twice on their final bill before leaving O2. We have been contacting those affected to apologise and send their refund. We have a responsibility to do all we can to reimburse any customer for what’s rightfully theirs, even if they’ve since left the network and it’s a low-value amount.”

O2 has told us that all the refund letters have now been sent, but remember, whatever network you’re on, it’s always worth checking your bills to make sure you’re not being charged for something you haven’t paid for and looking out for mistakes.

If you want more info on how to complain to networks and claim back any money you think you are owed, check out our useful guide

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