Mobile network Three has been fined £250,000 for failing to properly investigate and resolve customer complaints.
The fine was levied by telecoms regulator Ofcom after an investigation found the network closed a number of complaints without checking customers’ issues were resolved.
Ofcom says this meant some grievances weren’t deal with “in a fair and timely manner.”
The investigation also found that Three failed to log calls from customers as complaints when it should have done, meaning they weren’t treated in line with its internal complaints process.
Three also failed to advise customers that they could escalate their complaints to alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a free process which allows an impartial third party to adjudicate on a complaint and remedy.
In a statement Ofcom says the network “fully cooperated” with its investigation.
It added that the harm to consumers as a result of “shortcomings in Three’s complaints handling processes” was mitigated due to the efforts of frontline customer service staff.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer and Content Group Director, said: “We treat any failure to follow these rules very seriously.
“The fine imposed on Three takes account of the shortcomings in its complaints handling, but reflects that the harm to consumers in this case was limited.
“The company fully co-operated with our investigation and has now taken steps to ensure it’s compliant with the rules on complaints handling.”
A Three spokesperson said: “Customer service and complaint resolution is really important to us. Ofcom’s own figures, collected over the past three years, reflect a huge shift: we have become the least complained about mobile operator in the UK in 2014.
“Ofcom identified issues with our complaints handling process back in Spring 2013. Since then we have worked closely and openly with Ofcom to address these as part of the broader effort to improve complaint resolution, contacting all the customers that might have been impacted.
“Delivering a great customer experience remains an absolute focus across the business.”