back to article BT sued by representatives of the dead over unbundled landline market abuse claims

BT is to be sued by the dead as part of a lawsuit alleging that millions of customers were unfairly overcharged as a result of the one-time state monopoly abusing its market dominance. The lawsuit is a collective proceedings order authorising a claim brought on behalf of 2.3 million Britons who used to have a BT voice-only …

  1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I REALLY should have sold my BT shares when they were 450p

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    Won't anyone think of the children zombies?!

  3. Cybersaber

    Lawyers paid more than the claimants

    That's not _inherently_ a bad thing, but the problem is the first part - lawyers (or their UK equivalent.) Get them involved and they'll find out a way to screw over everyone to benefit themselves.

    Take a hypothetical example:

    Bad company overcharges everyone by $5

    The remedy to make them whole? Let's call it $7 to account for inflation, annoyance, what-have-you.

    There are 1,000 members of the class

    That means the award to the class should be $7000

    Now lawyers are expensive. Time to research documents, line up witnesses, perform testing/reports/etc. It call costs money, and that cost might be far in excess of the damages actually done to the class - but without that being done, the class couldn't win its case and gets $0.

    So if there was a judgement for $1,000,000 with $7000 going to the class, it _could_ be that the class was fairly compensated, and all that extra cost was the cost of extracting that money they were owed from Bad Company.

    That's not actually what happens in practice - usually the lawyers get what money they can and make sure they are paid, and whatever pennies are left over get divided amongst the class members, so they all get checks (or cheques in the UK) for a few pennies each.

    Rail not against the fact that there is an unequal split, but rather that the lawyers put themselves first.

    1. Captain Hogwash
      Coat

      Re: Bad company overcharges everyone by $5

      I've always found their album prices to be in line with everyone else's.

  4. Adam Jarvis

    Interesting, in that I took this matter to the Ombudsman and lost.

    I complained to Ofcom through the Ombudsman, because BT's own systems stated I was entitled to the discounted line £11.99 rental, when I checked online through their systems, yet I had Broadband from a separate supplier and had done for the whole period. The discrepancy showed that BT were originally going to apply this to all BT landline only customers, then did a last minute deal with Ofcom, to just apply it to those didn't take Broadband from another supplier (which made no sense because VM doesn't even use the same wires into the house).

    One of the issues as part of the complaint, was the Ombudsman refused to include Ofcom's actions in the complaint.

    The Ombudsman ruled that the amount I was personally out of pocket was 'insignificant' (because the line rental charged remained at £18.99, I left soon after) and on that basis ruled against me, even though replicated across the board (affecting large numbers of customers at once), the amount was very significant, in the millions. It seemed like a stitch up by the regulator at the time or certainly the individual that dealt with both my original complaint, and after escalation, when I disagreed with the decision.

    I left BT Retail soon after, moved all business and residential lines to competitors, and BT Retail haven't had a penny from me since.

    Complaints to Ofcom/Ombudsman achieve very little, it's an absolute merry-go-round of time wasting where each individual customer has to complain about exactly the same issue affecting millions of customers at once. The Ombudsman make more per case, (circa £200 or more) than the person making the complaint, even if the case is unsucessful.

    The system needs a complete overhaul, and not before time. Ofcom/Ombudsman are about as useful as a chocolate teapot, and that's me being polite.

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