Three, the fastest-growing operator in the U.K., has been handed a £250,000 (approx. $401,800) fine for the improper handling of customer complaints. According to communications regulator Ofcom, the carrier failed to log all of its complaint calls properly, and closed others before they were resolved.
“Ofcom today fined Three £250,000 for failing to comply with Ofcom’s rules on handling customer complaints,” the regulator confirmed in a statement on Wednesday morning. “The investigation found that Three did not handle some customer complaints in a fair and timely manner.”
“This was because some complaints were closed without the company establishing that they were fully resolved,” it added. “In some other cases, Three did not log calls from customers as complaints when it should have done.”
As a result, Ofcom says that numerous complaints raised by Three customers were never dealt with using the company’s formal complaints process, and customers were never made aware of their right to escalate a complaint to alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which passes complaints that cannot be resolved by carriers onto an independent body for impartial judgement.
Ofcom insists, however, that Three was cooperative during its investigation, and has since taken sufficient steps to ensure that it is now compliant with complaints handling obligations — which is obviously good news for its ever increasing user base. However, the carrier will still have to pay its £250,000 financial penalty within 30 days.