Billing and payments are sometimes incorrectly made when you sign up to a company. This can happen with subscriptions, gas and electric bills, and it can happen with your mobile phone contract. The latter is precisely what happened to a middle-aged married couple’s daughter last week. They were incorrectly billed by the network O2 in a huge, damaging way. The couple had their bank account cleared up when the mobile network made an error and charges them 100x more than what they actually owed. The error occurred due to the misplacement of a decimal point on the bill.
Jonathan Mortimer, a 53 year old man, had agreed to terminate his 18-year-old daughter’s O2 contract. He had cancelled it at an O2 store on the Worcester High Street on February 4th 2016 and was told that there would be a £17.64 fee for terminating the contract. Mortimer accepted this, but later that day when he checked his bank account he noticed something alarming: Jonathan Mortimer had been charged £1764. The decimal point had been moved clearing his account out.
The O2 store on Worcester High Street tried to make amends for their error. They refunded all the money that was incorrectly taken from their bank into the joint account he shares with his 52-year-old wife Sara Mortimer. But this wasn’t the end of the family’s woes. Just three days later the exact same thing happened again and they were charged £1764 once again. The company are now disputing that this has happened and the Mortimer family have made several complaints to O2.
Their financial situation became so dire that they actually had to borrow money from their 18-year-old daughter in order to pay the mortgage and buy food for the home.
Sara complained that O2 had no appreciation for how much damage they were actually doing by taking so much money from their account. She said: “We were left with nothing and I don’t think O2 have any idea of how much money that is to us… When we asked for our money back the complaints department actually told us to write to them. They never denied it but said it was the bank’s responsibility. Nobody at O2 has taken ownership of this.”
O2 said: “Unfortunately, when the payment was processed the amount was incorrectly entered onto the system resulting in £1,764 being requested instead £17.64. We have spoken to Mr and Mrs Mortimer and apologised for this situation. We explained that we would refund the amount but it would need to be back on to the card that made the payment. We understand the monies have been credited back to their bank account. We will arrange to cover any bank charges incurred to the Mortimers and have sent a payment of £50 as a gesture of goodwill for any inconvenience caused.”