News

Thousands of Irish mobile phone customers overcharged due to “technical error"

Thousands of Irish mobile phone customers overcharged due to “technical error"

Thousands of customers of mobile phone company Three Ireland were double charged today.

The mobile phone provider has promised to refund 8,000 customers after they had direct debits processed twice.

The company has apologised and promised to refund the money within days.

Three, which took over rival operator 02 in 2015, has some two million customers in this country.

The company said: “Due to a technical error, duplicate direct debit payments were requested from a small number of customers.

“Three is working with its bank to resolve this issue as soon as possible. All impacted customers have been contacted and duplicate direct debits will be refunded accordingly.”

The telecoms provider thanked affected for their patience and apologised for any inconvenience caused.

“We will provide a further update within 24 hours,” the company said.

It is understood a file sent to one of the banks was processed twice in error, resulting in customers being charged on the double.

Frustrated customers contacted Three Ireland to complain that they were charged on the double.

One customer said told Independent.ie: “Three have direct debited a good number of their customers, including me, twice today. Some ‘technical hitch’, apparently.

“They are saying it's a small number of customers, but judging by my Facebook and the fact that I was also hit, it can't be that small!”

The cock-up comes after new figures showed the telecoms sector prompted the most complaints to Ireland's consumer protection agency last year.

The Competition and Consumer Protection ­Commission (CCPC) said it had 6,017 “consumer contacts” relating to telecoms companies in 2015.

Eircom/Eir was the company that prompted the most issues, followed by Vodafone, Three, UPC/Virgin Media and Meteor - in that order.