Meteor hit with fine after secretly taking away discounts

The first prosecution of its kind in Dublin District Court...

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Image: Philip Toscano / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Meteor Mobile has been convicted of removing discounts from its customers' contracts without telling them.

The mobile phone provider pleaded guilty of breaching statutory regulations in the Dublin District Court yesterday and was handed a €25,000 fine.

Judge John O'Neill described Meteor's initial excuse of technical problems as "gobbledygook".

The Eir-owned company had ended its 50% discount deal but the package continued to be sold to over 100 people by Meteor agents and shop operators after it was discontinued.

The deal was later taken away from these new customers without notification or the option of ending their contract without penalty.

Customers' bills doubled, leading to complaints to telecoms industry watchdog Comreg.

Monday's prosecution was the first of its kind, as Meteor were found guilty of 123 counts of breaching the Universal Services and User Rights regulations.

Following Comreg's intervention, 29 people who complained were refunded, while 111 customers who have remained with Meteor have been given the deal back for the duration of their contracts.