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Hackers rack up £12,000 phone bill and providers passed it on to me

Pennine and Focus Group blame each other after hundreds of premium rate overseas calls were billed to my company

I run a small company and incur monthly phone bills of about £140. Recently, however, I was charged £3,075 for more than 200 calls to overseas premium rate numbers over a four-day period. My provider, Focus Group, was unaware of the charges until I contacted it. It placed a bar on all international calls and premium rate numbers, but advised me that a further £8,282 had been racked up in the previous 11 days.

Pennine supplies my actual telephone systems, and it and Focus are blaming each other. Pennine says Focus should have noticed the large call rates, which were occurring at night and were out of character, while Focus says Pennine should have offered a more secure system.

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