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No more deffered activation costs?

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No more deffered activation costs?

According to the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6354547.stm) as of tomorrow (14th Feb) it will be illegal for broadband suppliers to charge customers wishing to switch to a different supplier. They are also required to provide a mac key within 5 days. I wonder how this fits in with plus.nets deffered activation fees which you are required to pay if you leave within a year. It sounds like this could now be classed as "a barrier" to leaving and is illegal.

Good news for people like me who have been with plus.net for 2 weeks now but are still yet to be provided with a decent working internet connection.
35 REPLIES
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No more deffered activation costs?

LOL - you've misunderstood it!

All it means is that PN have to give you your MAC code, and treat any debts/monies owed to them seperately.

This ruling does not mean you get out of deferred charges etc (although PN have said that they'll waive fee's over 12mths old later this year)

Previously this formed part of the volountary code of conduct for ISP's. PN have always argued that retention of MAC keys until final payment is made is the cheapest way for them to ensure they don't end up with bad debts.

PN still retain the right to chase you through the courts or via a debt collection agency for any monies you owe.
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No more deffered activation costs?

I'm not sure I have misunderstood it. I quote:

Also net suppliers are no longer allowed to charge for issuing a Mac code or to levy any fee on the switching process.

"A charge is an impediment to switching," said a spokesman for Ofcom, "and no obstacles should be put in the way of customers once they are out of contract."


I could argue that charging someone the deffered activation fee when you request to leave would be applying a fee to the switching process.

Of course, I would be much happier if plus.net would pull their bloody finger out and fix the fault I have had open for over a week now but what can you do? I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have to wait 2 - 3 days after EVERY response I send back only to have another meaningless response such as "have you checked your dns servers are correct?" instead of actually investigating the fault!
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No more deffered activation costs?

OK, my bad, you haven't misread it.

You have however misunderstood what PN charge for!

The 30day notice period is not a cancellation charge, so nothing wrong with that - the regulations still make provision for ISP's to charge for the duration of the contract period. (In PN's case, 30days for residential and business contracts over 12mths old, for business contracts within the first 12mths the contract continues to the end of the first 12mths)

Any deferred fee's are also not cancellation charges, so nothing wrong with them either.

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I could argue that charging someone the deffered activation fee when you request to leave would be applying a fee to the switching process.


Yes, you *could* argue that, but its clearly not the case, so you'd be wasting your time.

When you signed up, the fee's were added to your account.

PN reduce the fee's over a period of time (currently 20% of original amount every full 12mths, soon to be 100% after 12mths) but the fee's are still on your account - an account which you are legally obliged to settle upon leaving the company.

Previously Plusnet withheld MAC codes until they had the money that they were owed by the departing customer.

Now they are obliged to give the MAC, and chase seperately for the money.

This ruling is a good thing for customers of less scrupulous ISP's, but a bad thing for customers of ISPs such as PN.

It means now that departing customers can stick two fingers up at the ISP and try to escape any monies they owe.

This in turn means that the ISP has to resort to other methods to collect the debt - methods which will no doubt cost money.

A proportion of this can of course be added to the debt itself, but only costs directly incurred in the recovery of the debt. The internal infrastructure which ISP's will have to put in place in preperation of chasing bad debts will inevitably have to be borne by the remainder of the customer base.


I cannot see how this could possibly be good for customers of PN - unless of course that customer is planning on trying to evade paying debts that they originally agreed to pay.

As usual, the dishonest few amongst us are making things harder for the rest of us.
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No more deffered activation costs?

Ok James you win, I'll give you that one Cheesy.

Since you seem to be in the know about plus.net's fees would you be able to tell me if plus.net have any kind of cooling off period i.e. if you're not happy with your internet you can cancel within 30 days without incurring charges or something like that?
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No more deffered activation costs?

I'm not sure TBH - obviously there is a 14day cooling off period as part of your statutary rights under the distance selling act. I suspect that after that its down to PN and their T's and C's.

/Goes to have a read of the PN Legal pages.


Edit: Not 14 days its 7 days. - I blame too much blood in my cafeine stream Shockedops:

/Goes for coffee.
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No more deffered activation costs?

OK - Here goes!

Its not 14 days as I incorrectly stated above - its 7 days.

The right to cancel under the distance selling regulations also expires if you actually use the service.

If you are over the 7 day period, you are liable for the standard fee's for cancellation.

Generally: 30days notice, plus any deferred fees.

If you paid your activation up front, and didn't take any hardware from PN, you'll only have the 30days notice to pay. (assuming you are on a residential product with 30days notice period)

If you migrated in, I think that you'll just be subject to the 30days notice.
mikewogden
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 31-07-2007

No more deffered activation costs?

I was under the impression that deferred activation fees have been or are about to be scrapped.
This was according to the last email newsletter.
My account still shows the full activation charge against my account and even doesn't show the yearly length of service reduction.

I'm amazed at the value of the deferred charge of £25 for the BT USB Modem, something PN probably bought in bulk for less than a tenner each. This defunct piece of hardware now gathers dust as it was quickly replaced by a router when the 8 meg upgrade problems started.

On a positive note it seems my long standing 8 meg upgrade evening disconnects have seem to have gone away. Its only taken a year since the upgrade was made.

Top speed achieved approx 2.5 Meg

Regards

Mike
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No more deffered activation costs?

As a new subscriber with my own connection issues (speed in evening regularly drops to < 50k/sec, unable to connect to most american based sites such as www.hotmail.com, www.ebay.com) I am pleased to hear that issues are resolved so quickly ;-)!
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No more deffered activation costs?

The term for deferred charges will be changed later this year.

Any deferred charges with an age of 12mths or more, will be removed.

Any new charges will only be deferred over a period of 12mths.

This is likely to happen towards the end of March.

As far as the value of each amount added to your account - you should have seen the amount you were deferring at the point of deferral. (I still keep my USB modems, as they are handy for eliminating hardware problems during fault resolution/detection.)
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No more deffered activation costs?

I hope the deferred charges can be abolished soon.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

No more deffered activation costs?

As James said, it is unlikely to happen before then end of March.

Chilly
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No more deffered activation costs?

If it happens at the end of March I'll eat my hat. More likely March next year.
sam
Grafter
Posts: 222
Registered: 09-06-2007

No more deffered activation costs?

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If it happens at the end of March I'll eat my hat. More likely March next year


The latest updates on this still give us mid to late March and I have no reason to believe that this date will not be kept.

mmmmmmm hats Wink
mikewogden
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: 31-07-2007

No more deffered activation costs?

I can see Plusnets cashflow taking a hit at the end of March as all their old customers leave in droves. Especially the BB+ customers who PN, by their recent actions, have made very clear they no longer want by making their Broadband connection totally unusable at Peak Times.

Thanks guys, time to find some pastures new for a supplier who does want to provide me with a service for my money.

Regards

Mike