By Ian Walker
London-based law firm Charles Lyndon has started proceedings against Vodafone Group, EE, O2 and Three seeking 3 billion pounds ($3.78 billion) over claims the companies overcharged customers at the end of minimum service contracts.
The law firm said that the four companies didn't immediately terminate customers handset and airtime services contracts at the end of their minimum contractual terms.
"Essentially, it is claimed that customers' charges weren't reduced appropriately once their handsets had been paid for in full, causing those customers to suffer loss," Charles Lyndon said.
The claim is on behalf of between 2.3 million and 4.8 million contract customers.
A spokesperson for Vodafone said Friday that the claim has just been brought to the company's attention and that it doesn't yet have sufficient detail for its legal team to assess.
An O2 spokesperson said that its legal team hasn't had any contact over the claim, adding that the company launched split contracts a decade ago which automatically and fully reduce customers' bills once they have paid off their handset.
EE said that it strongly disagreed with the claim. "EE offers a range of tariffs and a robust process for dealing with end of contract notifications. The U.K. mobile market is highly competitive space with some of the lowest pricing across Europe," a spokesperson said.
Three declined to comment on the claim.
O2, part of Virgin Media O2, is a 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefonica. EE is part of BT Group, while Three is owned by CK Hutchison Holdings.
Write to Ian Walker at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires