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Standard User hippyharry
(regular) Mon 24-Apr-17 16:34:44
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Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[link to this post]
 
So here is my issue.

I was with BT and signed up to them in September 2016 with line rental and fibre broadband (52mb). Everything was fine and I was informed via email on the 2nd February that prices were being increased.

The main line was this:
You don't need to do anything but if you want to change something or leave, and you're within your minimum contract term, you'll need to contact us within 30 days of receiving this email to avoid paying a charge for leaving early. You'll need to give us 30 days' notice to leave (or 14 days if you're switching to a new provider). We won't charge you for any increase in price during that time.

We hope you'll be happy with the improvements we're making. Thanks for choosing BT.


So, I called them on the 16th February and informed them that I would like to leave BT but that I am still considering my options. They said that was fine and made a note on their system.

I put in an order for Plusnet on 20th April to move my service and BT have now informed me that I need to pay approximately £133 to break out of my contract. I spoke to someone at BT on Friday and explained that I told them on the 16th February that I was planning to leave...

BT's response is that I had to have left within 30 days of calling up and therefore I'm liable for these charges.

What is everyones opinion on this? I genuinely believed since that I acknowledged the price increase, told them I wasn't happy and planned to leave, and then finally put in a request to move providers on 20th April (60 odd days later), I then believed I was still ok to leave without penalty.

Can anyone advise?

Thanks!
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 24-Apr-17 16:53:27
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: hippyharry] [link to this post]
 
Would need to see a transcript of the call to understand what they actually said. I would say that the wording of the BT information is that you have to start the process of moving within 30 days - only you and BT have any info as to what was discussed on the call that might have given a waiver. You can always ask for the call recording to check what was agreed.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 24-Apr-17 17:54:02
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
30 days to start the process of moving is my understanding, so not surprised about the amounts mentioned by BT.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.


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Standard User Kr1s69
(knowledge is power) Mon 24-Apr-17 18:35:46
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: hippyharry] [link to this post]
 
Id agree with BT on this one, you said you were leaving due to the price increase, then didn't.

60 days later is far to long to initiate the switch away.

Ive left BT twice during these 30 day windows and had no issues with further charges as I've always ensured the migration is requested before the 30 days expires.

Kris

Sky Fibre
Ashington (Northumberland) Exchange
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Mon 24-Apr-17 23:32:54
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: hippyharry] [link to this post]
 
It is quite firmly 30 days and that is very clear.

Best thing you can do is negotiate a good deal with BT retentions or raise a complaint and see if they remove the contract term.
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 25-Apr-17 00:43:10
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: hippyharry] [link to this post]
 
The email just says that you have to contact them within 30 days. Given that you spoke to them I think you could argue that it would be reasonable to expect them to tell you when any more had to be completed. After all, why did they bother to make a note on their system if you had not satisfied the criteria to avoid paying a cancellation charge. Good Luck!

Michael Chare
Standard User hippyharry
(regular) Tue 25-Apr-17 10:32:14
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for everyones comments.

Definitely seems to be more people here agreeing with BT. I definitely didn't recall hearing anything on the call back in mid february that i needed to then switch within those 30 days, but hey ho.

I've cancelled my plusnet order for now. Will move in September now
Standard User pernickitypedant
(newbie) Tue 02-May-17 21:01:31
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: hippyharry] [link to this post]
 
There's no harm in raising a complaint and making clear that you didn't feel it was correctly explained. While I agree that industry standard for price rises is 30 days from notification to complete the switch, they could have explained it a lot more clearly in the email.

They record every call made to their contact centres (and keep the recording for at least a year), so I would ask them to listen to that call again and judge whether you were properly informed of the requirement to actually complete the switch within 30 days as opposed to just the requirement to inform them of your intention to switch within 30 days.

When a family member had a price-rise related issue with BT (they never got a price rise email but BT claimed it had sent it) the complaints team or a manager agreed to let the family member leave. Ultimately the family member didn't leave, as BT offered a discount rather than letting the increase go ahead, but it shows what can be done in this kind of situation.

If it gets through complaints, manager etc. and you're still not getting very far, you might like to mention how it'll cost them ~£300 if you take it to ADR, even if they win. They might still be told to let you out of the contract or give you compensation, no matter the judgement on the fundamental correctness of the notification. They stand to lose a lot less than £300 in cancellation fees smile

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Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 03-May-17 08:01:11
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: pernickitypedant] [link to this post]
 
While I agree that industry standard for price rises is 30 days from notification to complete the switch


I was corrected on this a few days ago. You must start the switch process within 30 days, it doesn't have to be completed. Notifying intention to switch is not starting the process but placing an order with another ISP, even if it hasn't completed, is what is needed within the 30 days.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 03-May-17 11:41:53
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Re: Leaving BT (Price Increase)


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Just a couple of points of detail to add there Ian smile.

What you say is correct. However when leaving because of a price rise, the user cannot do anything until they have received personal notification of the rise. These don't all go out on the same day, and just knowing there will be a rise doesn't seem to count as far as ISPs are concerned. (Though I think it ought to).

The other is that unlike a normal migration it does seem to be advisable to tell the ISP you will be migrating before ordering from the new one. They can then set a note or marker on the account to say this is the reason. Without that we have seen some people get the letter saying they have early leaving charges due, or even an invoice. It gets sorted out in the end of course, but who wants the hassle?

As always, of course, (I know you know but some readers may not), customers ringing for this purpose must never use the words "cancel" or "cease". Personally I wouldn't even say "leave". I would only say I intend to migrate because of the rise. (Or negotiate a better deal via the Retentions Team of course).

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