Justin Gutmann sends letter addressed to MPs and their constituents to shed light on the alleged unfair practices.

In a significant move towards consumer justice, Justin Gutmann, the proposed class representative, has initiated collective proceedings claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, targeting major mobile network operators – Vodafone, EE, Three, and O2. The claims assert that these operators have been systematically overcharging millions of loyal customers.

Gutmann's recent letter, addressed to MPs and their constituents, sheds light on the alleged unfair practices. It points out that customers, having completed their minimum contract term and fully paid for their handsets, continue to be charged for both airtime services and devices. This, in essence, amounts to a penalty for loyalty, and Gutmann is determined to seek justice on behalf of those affected, including numerous constituents.

The claims estimate that a staggering 28.2 million contracts have been subjected to overcharging, with sought damages exceeding an eye-catching £3.285 billion. This revelation raises concerns not only about the financial impact on individuals but also about the broader industry practices that may disproportionately affect loyal customers.

To ensure justice is accessible to all affected parties, Gutmann has structured the claims as collective proceedings. This innovative approach automatically includes all eligible participants at no cost, unless they choose to opt out. Participants will not be held liable for costs in the event that the claims are unsuccessful. However, if successful, eligible constituents may be called upon to claim their share of the compensation.

Despite previous warnings from Citizens Advice in 2018 regarding the unfairness of charging customers the same rate post-handset payment, the practice continues to persist. Gutmann's collective proceedings aim to put an end to what he describes as an "abusive and immoral practice" of charging loyalty penalties.

MPs and their constituents are encouraged to visit the website for further details and to make informed decisions about opting in or out.

This collective effort against mobile network operators and their overcharging practices, signifies a crucial step in consumer empowerment and accountability. As Gutmann takes on this battle, he underscores the importance of holding corporations accountable for practices that disproportionately impact their loyal customer base. The outcomes of these collective proceedings may well set a precedent for fair and ethical conduct within the mobile network industry.

To view the full letter click here. 

Published: Thursday, 11 January 2024

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