Meteor refunds wrongly charged users

9 Jun 2006

Ireland’s third-largest mobile operator Meteor has sent text messages to customers informing them they may have been overcharged. Spokespeople for the company downplayed the impact of the billing glitch saying it only affected a small number of customers.

In recent days an unspecified number of Meteor customers received the following message: “Sorry u (sic) r 1 of a small no of customers wrongly chargd 4 calls. Error fxd and ur nxt bill will b credited wit what u r owed plus 10percent xtra as goodwill. Meteor.”

A spokesperson for Meteor told said that the problem affected “a tiny number of people”.

“We have conducted end-to-end testing of our billing system since we started operating in 2001 and it has proven to us that we are 99.998pc accurate in all of our billing information. In this case there may also have been undercharges.

“At this stage we are reviewing all the systems but can’t go into the numbers,” the spokesperson said.

“It takes a while to contact people but the amount of people affected is tiny. A good proportion of these would have been overcharged by less than a cent.”

Meteor was acquired by Eircom last year for €420m. After being held up by lengthy court cases over its GSM licence, Meteor entered the Irish mobile market in 2001 and has since ratcheted up a 14pc share of the Irish mobile market. In February, Eircom reported that its newly acquired Meteor mobile subsidiary had some 565,000 subscribers, up 66pc year on year.

By John Kennedy