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Standard User Rastus
(committed) Sun 16-Feb-14 12:15:25
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BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


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I'm not sure if this subject has been commented on before, but it's something that peeves me slightly every time it happens. What I'm referring to is BTs behaviour when they increase their prices for telephone service.

As everyone will be aware, BT line rental is payable in advance for whatever length of time your payment interval runs for (in my case 3 months), so as expected, BT take their line rental charge for the coming 3 months on the quarterly date by Direct Debit. IMO that should be the end of it - line rental paid and nothing owing for that portion of the bill.

But no, BT like to have their cake and eat it. When they increase their prices in the middle of a quarterly period they then refund the pre-paid line rental on a pro-rata basis and charge it again at the higher rate on the next telephone bill.

I realise that not everyones billing date will fall on the date of any price increase, but IMO this dubious behaviour seems unfair and I'm wondering if it's possibly unlawful. What do others think?
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 16-Feb-14 13:17:23
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: Rastus] [link to this post]
 
It's fine with me. BT has always done this. Prices go up on a certain date for which you have paid in advance at the old price in the earlier bill prior to the price change. So in the next bill, they adjust the 'paid-in-advance' amount from the date of the price change to the end of that billing period at the new price.

It has nowt to do with the DD date which can be at any time. In my case I pay a fixed agreed Monthly DD whilst on Quarterly billing..

You can always leave if you don't like the new price, of which they inform you in advance.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC

Edited by XRaySpeX (Sun 16-Feb-14 13:22:28)

Standard User trolleybus
(committed) Sun 16-Feb-14 14:05:58
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by XRaySpeX:
It's fine with me. BT has always done this. Prices go up on a certain date for which you have paid in advance at the old price in the earlier bill prior to the price change. So in the next bill, they adjust the 'paid-in-advance' amount from the date of the price change to the end of that billing period at the new price.

It has nowt to do with the DD date which can be at any time. In my case I pay a fixed agreed Monthly DD whilst on Quarterly billing..

You can always leave if you don't like the new price, of which they inform you in advance.


Too simplistic an answer; you have paid up front for a service at the price prevailing at the time. There are numerous examples that can be given where a price increase doesn't change what you have paid. Off the top of my head I can think of vehicle excise duty, car insurance, rail season tickets and fuel oil into your storage tank for central heating. It seems only BT renegade on up front payments.


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Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 16-Feb-14 20:27:59
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
Tough! I was asked what I think. We can't all be deep-thinkers like you.

Anyway all those are not rental agreements; more like spot-buys..

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Mon 17-Feb-14 08:47:33
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
Do you actually pay the full quarterly bill each quarter? Most people on quarterly billing have a DD plan so they aren't actually paying the bill in advance they are paying a monthly DD and the amount is worked out in advance and then adjusted for price fluctuations/usage.

But, I think there is a worse way BT run this sort of thing. If you pay a year in advance on Line Rental Saver then when the price goes up they then charge you the extra each month. Now that does seem unfair to me - but assuming the Ts&Cs cover it then LRS is still giving you a cheaper price per month and therefore still better value than normal monthly/quarterly billing.
Standard User johnjburness
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 17-Feb-14 09:13:24
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian72:
Do you actually pay the full quarterly bill each quarter? Most people on quarterly billing have a DD plan so they aren't actually paying the bill in advance they are paying a monthly DD and the amount is worked out in advance and then adjusted for price fluctuations/usage.

But, I think there is a worse way BT run this sort of thing. If you pay a year in advance on Line Rental Saver then when the price goes up they then charge you the extra each month. Now that does seem unfair to me - but assuming the Ts&Cs cover it then LRS is still giving you a cheaper price per month and therefore still better value than normal monthly/quarterly billing.


From the current BT Web-Site:-
The cheapest way to get BT line rental

With Line Rental Saver you pay your home telephone line rental for the whole year in one card payment of £141 giving you the best price for your landline phone.


Surely, if BT tried to increase the price, during the year, & expect you to make additional payments - doesn't that make the "Advertising" invalid?

Regards,
John
Standard User tehidyman
(regular) Mon 17-Feb-14 09:19:35
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian72:
But, I think there is a worse way BT run this sort of thing. If you pay a year in advance on Line Rental Saver then when the price goes up they then charge you the extra each month. Now that does seem unfair to me - but assuming the Ts&Cs cover it then LRS is still giving you a cheaper price per month and therefore still better value than normal monthly/quarterly billing.

I have been on LRS for a few years on quarterly DD and then variable monthly DD and have never seen any extra rental cost during the year.
Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Mon 17-Feb-14 09:37:44
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: tehidyman] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the replies. Looks like I misread the bill (not surprising as they aren't the easiest).

I had a line rental charge in December of £15.45 and a LRS rebate of £13.45. I assumed the £2 was to do with line rental charge increases. Turns out that my LRS was actually due to finish part way through Jan and the latest bill (after signing back up to LRS again) has refunded that £2 difference.

So, I withdraw my comment on LRS and it does seem they don't increase it when the charges increase. Apologies for any confusion.
Standard User trolleybus
(committed) Mon 17-Feb-14 10:37:52
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian72:
Do you actually pay the full quarterly bill each quarter? Most people on quarterly billing have a DD plan so they aren't actually paying the bill in advance they are paying a monthly DD and the amount is worked out in advance and then adjusted for price fluctuations/usage.

snip the second paragraph - not applicable


When with BT, I did indeed pay on presentation of the bill, and my MIL still continues to do so, but reluctantly moved to DD and online billing because the saving was considerable. However recent steep price increases from BT meant a change of supplier so I am out of the games they play. Had a voice service from BT for 48 years but loyalty discounts are not on their agenda.
Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Mon 17-Feb-14 11:09:07
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Re: BT Re-charging of pre-paid telephone charges


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
So, most people are billed 3 months up front but pay monthly - so nothing stopping BT adjusting bills for actual charges/usage during that 3 months. Don't necessarily agree with it but can't see they are doing anything illegal.
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