Special Phone Book Entries drops threat of back billing following error

A long running issue over a late billing error made by Openreach for Special Phone Book Entries (SPBEs) has been resolved with BT Phone Book withdrawing the threat of six years worth of back billing charges for special entry listings that it had failed to bill.

This issue was a re-run of a similar episode in 2012 when Openreach included a high volume of back dated charges for SPBEs going back several years.

The FCS said at the time that the total bill was estimated to be over £1m with some larger CPs reporting individual charges in excess of £100,000.

Following negotiations over several months the back billing was reduced to 12 months.

BT was also accused of not notifying CPs of price increases for SPBEs which came into force on 1st April 2013.

"A working group of FCS members presented this history to the new team at BTPB and the end result has been what they asked for - all back billing to be dropped," stated Catherine Gerosa, Head of Regulatory Affairs, FCS.

"The FCS has also offered to work with BT and Openreach to ensure that the circumstances that lead to these failures do not arise again."