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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

Talking to a customer on the phone today who is 6 months into a 12 month Home Highway contract.

He has been talking to BT about installing ADSL & they have been b*****ing about for months telling him he can/can't have it (his exchange is enabled but his line is Amber/Amber for ADSL/RADSL).

He was told today that if he changed to a BT ADSL contract, they would not insist on collecting the balance of the 12 month HH contract.

Do we all
a) Whoop with joy 'cause anyone can now swap to any ADSL supplier without penalty?
b) Report BT to OFTEL (or whoever it is this week) for anti-competitive practices?
or c) tell him not to count his chickens because this is another example of the guy in the BT call-centre on the other side of the world not knowing what he was talking about?

He has been messed about. Are BT allowed to offer a sweetener by way of compensation for this?

His current dial-up ISP is not BT & doesn't offer broadband, so he has to switch to someone, but in the light of the problems getting straight answers out of BT, I have suggested other ISPs should be considered.

However, if the only way to get out of the HH contract without penalty is to go with BT Broadband or Openworld, then they seem to hold all the cards.

Anyone any further info. on the situation?

Simon
8 REPLIES
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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

This is all perfectly legit.

Remember, BT Broadband is a internal product, and is run just like a feature supplied by BT.

Yes, this could be seen as anti-competative, however, that would mean that hundreds of businesses a month are being duped in the same way.

Upgrades have allways been the only way to get yourself out of one contract and into another.

However, while this isn't strictly a +Net promoting post, you could try the following.

Try phoning BT Openwoe, and ask them if this can be done without the forfeit. If you can get a yes off them, and in writting, then you have ground to visit Oftel.
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

I've found where this story comes from. Looks as if they are doing this for some HH transfers. See:
BT Openworld HH offer

Looks like you only get a free transfer if you go for one of the business packages. For most people it will work out cheaper to pay the residual in the HH contract & then sign up for a cheaper package - probably with a non-BT provider.

One for the Plus.net marketing people to consider maybe.

Simon
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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

ISDN and Highway FAQs

This response appears to make it clear that BT Openworld will buy out ANY minimum term ISDN/Highway contracts, Business or Home. The wording would appear to indicate that BTO is taking a financial hit, which I guess is offset somewhat by the minimum 12 month term.

Not certain how this works for other ISP's, but as I understand it this particular playing field is required to be level. Wink

[Moderators note (by Thomas): I've added some display text to the link, so the text is showing rather than the URL. This is because the URL's length was messing up the forum layout a bit.]
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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

May or may not be relevant, but when my exchange finally got ADSL activated I had to move the phone line that held my home highway (was in my mothers name as I share a house (and costs *sigh*) with them), into my name. When I did this BT sales advised me that I should downgrade the HH to POTS then and there, as I would be tied into a THREE month contract for the HH otherwise.

MY point being, seems BT are firing out different minimum contract terms for HH.
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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

The 3 month deal is standard.

When you first open an account with BT (AKA, but it in your name), you pay 3 months line rental up front. You can remove the HH in this time, but you won't get a refund for unused line rental (as you would out of contract).

If moving to POTS in this way, you are still tied to this 3 month contract (possibly 12, I am not 100% sure).
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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

yup, POTS is a 12 month min term for new accounts
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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

Then yes, these differances in contract lengths are standard.

Because the HH is allready installed, BT don't need to issue a contract to discorage a owner from calling them out to change packages.

It's not the new account that causes the 12 month contract, and should it have allready had POTS when putting it into your name, then you would have only been tied to 3.

It is the fact that the line was converted.
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Switching from Home Highway - contract runout

Hehe, I already know all this, I was just commenting for the benefit of the original poster =)