Your Questions Answered
CALL is the Collective Action on Land Lines. CALL is seeking compensation from BT on behalf of 2.3 million residential landline ('home phone') customers who were overcharged between October 2015 and April 2018. We are also seeking additional compensation for some of these customers that we believe are still being overcharged today. In total, we think the entire claim could be worth nearly £600 million.
Please note that different dates apply if you are a Landline-Only Customer but used your landline for business purposes ( see 'What if I used my landline for my business?' below).
If you are not sure what type of account or service you have or had, we suggest that you call BT 0800 800 150
Please see the exceptions to this.
Note, you could still be eligible to be part of the CALL claim even if you are no longer a BT customer, as long as you were a BT customer:
If you were a Landline-Only Customer or an Unbundled Customers, during the relevant periods, and none of the exceptions listed above apply to you, then in legal terms you are known as a 'Class Member'. We are seeking compensation for Class Members.
Summary of Class Members
|Who?||Which telecoms service did I take?||When?||Exceptions|
|BT residential customers||1. Landline-Only Customers
Customers who had a BT landline service but did not receive a broadband service (from BT or any other provider)
Oct 2015 - Apr 2018
(Oct 2015 - today for certain business customers)
- Certain BT business customers (see 'What If I used my landline for my business?' above);
- BT Basic or BT Home Phone Saver customers;
- Customers in the Hull area;
- Officers, directors or employees of BT;
- Officers, directors or employees of any entities in which BT has a controlling interest;
- All members of BT’s legal team;
- All experts instructed on behalf of BT;
- All members of Justin Le Patourel’s legal team;
- All experts instructed on behalf of Justin Le Patourel;
- All employees of Case Pilots and Media Zoo engaged in advising and assisting Mr Le Patourel and any other professional adviser who may be engaged by Mr Le Patourel for the purposes of these proceedings; and
- All members of the Tribunal panel assigned to these proceedings.
|2. Unbundled Customers
Customers who had a BT landline service and also a broadband service (from BT or any other provider), but who did not 'bundle' these services together into a single, discounted package.
Any time between
Oct 2015 - today
If at any time from October 2015 to today you used a BT landline service aimed at residential users for business purposes, you are still included in our claim.
However, if you used a BT landline service aimed at business users, unfortunately you are excluded from our claim. Typically, these services require customers to submit a company registration number when signing up.
If you are not sure what type of service you have or had, we suggest that you call BT on 0800 800 150.
CALL is using a legal process called a ‘collective action’. This is a fairly new feature of UK law. It allows a large number of individuals to group together to seek compensation for their losses.
Collective actions can be brought against companies that breach competition law and harm consumers. This might be because they conspire with their competitors, or because they abuse their market power to set excessively high prices for their products.
The group of affected customers is called the 'Class', and all individuals within the group are 'Class Members'.
Class Members do not need to do anything in order to be included in the claim. However, if the claim is successful, Class Members will need to provide certain information in order to receive their compensation. We will update the CALL website and make it publicly known if and how we require this information from Class Members.
If you would like further information about the legal process, your eligibility, or how to claim if the case is successful, please click here to register with us and we will keep you up to date with what is happening. However, you do not need to register in order to be eligible for compensation.
If you are not sure if you are eligible, please contact us at email@example.com with any queries. If you are visiting this website on behalf of someone (for example a family member, or someone who is not online) who you think may be entitled to compensation, you can register for updates on their behalf.
We note that unfortunately scammers sometimes try to use cases like this to encourage people to send them money or information for fraudulent purposes. Please watch out for this risk and refer to 'What can I do if I suspect I have been contacted by a scammer?' below.
There is nothing for Class Members to pay. Harbour - one of the world’s leading litigation funders - has agreed to fund the CALL claim in full. As a result, there is nothing for BT customers to pay even if CALL lose the case. The total amount secured by Harbour at the moment is £25,654,695.36. Harbour has also secured ATE insurance to an amount totalling £16.5million.
We are encouraging BT to settle this claim as soon as possible. However, if they refuse, it could be several years before we can secure compensation for BT customers. In the meantime, we will provide regular updates via this website and by email to those who have registered their interest.
If you are suffering hardship or have financial concerns, either as a result of your landline or otherwise, further resources and information are available on the websites of organisations such as Citizens Advice, Age UK, Independent Age and Carers' UK, which also have helplines that you can call.
If you are concerned about the price that you currently pay to BT for your BT landline you may be eligible to switch to a lower tariff, such as BT's basic package - see here.
We intend the CALL claim to proceed on an 'opt-out' basis. 'Opt-out' means that every 'Class Member' is automatically included in the claim unless they choose to opt out.
If you believe you are a Class Member (see 'What is a Class Member?' above), and do not want to join us, you will have the opportunity to opt out at a later date. Please register with us and we will let you know when that time comes.
It is important to consider that if you opt out of the claim you will not be included in any future potential compensation that is secured by CALL.
A deadline for you to opt out will be set by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the designated court for these types of actions). When the opt-out process is available, we will update this website with the relevant date from the Competition Appeal Tribunal, ensuring that Class Members have plenty of notice.
CALL believes that BT's behavior was and continues to be illegal under the Competition Act 1998. This is on the basis that BT abused its market power and charged its most loyal customers excessive prices.
In 2017, Ofcom, the UK's telecoms regulator, found that BT had overcharged residential customers who purchased a BT landline service and either did not also take a broadband service (Landline-Only Customers) or did take broadband, but did not 'bundle' this with their landline in a single, discounted package (Unbundled Customes). This overcharging had gone on since at least since 2009. Ofcom's review can be accessed here.
Ofcom believed BT was able to overcharge in this way because it had a position of power in the telecoms market. In addition, BT knew that few of its Landline-Only Customers and Unbundled Customers, many of whom are older and/or vulnerable, were likely to switch away.
As a result, Ofcom said BT should reduce its charges for its Landline-Only Customers. In April 2018, BT reduced these charges by £7 per month (£84 per year). Ofcom is currently running a consultation regarding its intention to continue to limit the prices BT can charge its Landline-Only Customers for their landlines.
Importantly however, BT did not offer to compensate either:
In a collective action, the Class Members' interests are represented by an individual 'Class Representative', who files a claim with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the designated court for these types of actions). Before allowing a Class Representative to go ahead, the Competition Appeal Tribunal will assess the suitability of the Class Representative to ensure that he/she will act in the best interests of the Class Members and has the relevant skills, experience and financial capability.
CALL is led by Justin Le Patourel, a former Ofcom employee, and the 'Class Representative' in these proceedings. During his career, Justin has worked to help consumers get good deals from their telecoms providers and make it easier for them to switch away when they're unhappy, or want to take advantage of a better deal elsewhere.
Justin's legal team is led by Mishcon de Reya. Mishcon de Reya is one of the UK’s leading law firms with significant experience of bringing group actions and complex competition law litigation.
The claim is against BT Group plc and British Telecommunications plc.
If you are interested in the claim on behalf of someone else who may be a Class Member (such as a family member), we encourage you to register to receive updates on progress of the claim on their behalf. During the registration process you will be able to indicate that you are registering on behalf of an affected BT customer.
Any personal information that you provide to us will only be used to communicate with you and will not be shared with anyone outside of the CALL team.
Please note that any third party individual (ie not a Class Member) with an interest in the claim is entitled to certain rights relating to the CPO Hearing listed for 24-25 June 2021 (See CPO Application and Hearing Notice). These rights include:
Please do not send any documents to us at this stage. We will only ask you for documents if the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the designated court for these types of actions) tells us to do this. Your personal and financial information - including your BT bill and account number - can be valuable to fraudsters so please keep them safe and do not share them with anyone claiming to be part of the CALL claim at this time. We will update the CALL website and make it publicly known if and how we require any documents from you.
Our aim is to make life easier for people who may be eligible for compensation by asking BT to provide us with its customer records once the claim has been successful. However, to be on the safe side, you should keep any bills received from BT since 2015 or take copies of them. Please also keep hold of any letters received from BT - particularly a letter sent to some customers in 2018 entitled "We need to check your eligibility".
If you are no longer a BT Customer you can still take part in the claim if you were:
A 'Landline-Only Customer' who had a BT landline service between October 2015 and April 2018, but did not receive a broadband service (from BT or any other provider).
An 'Unbundled Customer' who had a BT landline service and also a broadband service (from BT or any other provider), any time between October 2015 and today, but who did not 'bundle' these services together into a single, discounted package.
Please see the exceptions to this.
No. We will continue to hold BT to account, and if we have any concerns about BT's treatment of its customers as a result of the CALL claim, we will immediately draw these to the attention of Ofcom, the UK's telecoms regulator, as well as the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the designated court for these types of actions).
If you believe you are a victim of a scam or attempted scam, please do report this. The information you provide could form part of a bigger picture and help to protect others in a similar position to you. For information on who can help with various types of scam, please see: Citizens Advice UK or in Scotland: Citizens Advice Scotland.
The quickest way to report scams or attempted scams is through Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. You can make reports via their website, or by phoning them on 0300 123 2040.
Harbour - one of the world’s leading litigation funders - has agreed to fund the CALL claim in full. As a result, there is nothing for BT customers to pay even if CALL lose the case. The total amount secured by Harbour at the moment is £25,654,695.36. Harbour has also secured ATE funding to an amount totalling £16.5million.
If the claim is successful, we will seek permission from the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the designated court for these types of actions) for Harbour to be remunerated out of any unclaimed compensation, to reflect the investment it has made to help bring the case to court. Importantly, this means Harbour's remuneration will not have any impact on the amount of compensation that each affected customer is entitled to.
Harbour will seek to recover the legal costs of the claim directly from BT.
After-the-Event insurance (“ATE”) is an insurance policy to protect against the risk of Class Members having to pay BT’s legal costs
The Proposed Class Representative, Justin Le Patourel, considers that the estates of deceased Class Members who fall within the above class definition (please see "What is a Class Member?" above) are included within the claim against BT. When the claim against BT was filed on 15 January 2021, an Expert Economic Report was filed alongside the Claim Form. This expert economic report specifically included the estates of deceased Class Members within the calculation of the damages owed by BT. It is therefore considered by Justin Le Patourel that the estates of Class Members who fall within the class definition but who are no longer alive are included within the claim against BT.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal is currently considering the issue of the estates of deceased class members within another claim, Walter Merricks v Mastercard. The issue is therefore currently before the tribunal and judgment on this issue is awaited. However, it is the intention of Justin Le Patourel that the estates of deceased Class Members are included within the claim against BT and the class definition and expert report were drafted accordingly.
On that basis, personal representatives of the estates of deceased Class Members should therefore note that they are entitled to certain rights relating to the CPO Hearing listed for 24-25 June 2021 (See CPO Application and Hearing Notice) These rights include: