Mobile operator Orange has apologised to hundreds of thousands of customers after accidentally charging them for photo messages it sent them promoting its multimedia messaging services.
More than 210,000 Orange users were billed for the 'Halloween' or 'Clocks Go Back' adverts since 26 October this year.
The mistake was first discovered after a customer called up to query the charge. Pay-as-you-go and pay-monthly phone owners were charged 40p per message.
Those affected by the incident have been texted an apology by Orange, saying: "Sorry from Orange. We accidentally charged you for receiving marketing photo messages. You'll receive a full refund."
Around 170,000 18 to 29 year-olds received the Halloween adverts, and 40,000 30 to 35 year-olds received adverts at the end of October telling them that the clocks were due to go back.
A spokeswoman for Orange said in a statement: "Customers were charged for the messages due to a technical fault on the outbound MMS line."
Orange has already refunded pay-as-you-go customers, and other users will have the money credited to their next monthly bill.
The mobile operator claims that it has now put in place additional testing to ensure that the problem does not happen in future marketing campaigns.
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