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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

I would like to place on record the appalling way that Plus net are treating a disabled friend of mine:-

1) My friend had to move home suddenly and gave notice to plus net in accordance with their terms on 19th June to end the contract on 19th July (even though he moved out on 21st June)

2) He was without internet connection for about a month after that due to computer failure and so did not receive a letter from Plus net saying that he must pay back £46 from a previous house move in the last 12 months until the end of July.

3) When we found out I checked his account only to discover that they had taken a further direct debit payment in July and not cancelled the account on 19th July - so I wrote to them asking what the outstanding payment was less the subscription they had deducted after the cancellation date

4) They maintain that the contract must continue until this payment is made which means that they are expecting my friend to go on paying for a service he has asked them to cancel from July until this September ie they will not even start a notice period until the £46 is paid!!

5) I have made them aware that my friend is severly disabled and not able to deal with things and asked them to reconsider this, but every reply just pushes the amount up!

6) Whatever the terms of their contract I dont see how it can be fair for them to go on charging for a service which has been canelled with notice - we have no dispute about the amount owed but I dont see why my friend should have to find extra money out of his disabled living allowance to pay for something he did not want and has not used.

I have now written to the managing director of Plus net and hope that a more reasonable response will be forthcoming. This might have been dealt with quicker by phone but we all know that plus net no longer want to speak to their members!!

Any supporting comments to plus net would be welcomed

[Moderator's note by Tom (tomspcs) : I have edited the thread title to lower case with some caps. It is not permitted to have a all caps post or thread title as it is hard to read and often percieved as rude. Thank you.]
33 REPLIES
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

The situation you describe sounds like standard practice; the notice period can only begin once all outstanding payments have been made.

On the flip side, I can see that the case perhaps warrants individual assessment, and hopefully PN will have the sense to waive certain portions of their contract in this case as a gesture of goodwill.

I suppose it could be very easy to make an argument either way. (I'm not going to though Wink ) Hopefully somebody with authority to make the decision will pick this up and sort it. Unfortunately it seems that thus far, the rules have been followed in a rather blinkered way by somebody without the authority to make the decision. (And for some reason they haven't escalated it.)

Good Luck!

Come on PN: Show us the start of a return to the personal service we all loved in the past!
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

To be honest, disabled or not, any other member would be treated the same.

You can't really blame Plusnet for the computer not working when they sent out an email or the member in question did not pay the house move fee when he origionally moved.

I hate it when people try to get around rules by using the disabled card.

Plusnet will probably see this post and take pity, as they usually do. But if your friend is 'severly disabled and not able to deal with things' surely contractual signups should be monitered?

I'm not trying to be harsh, because believe me, if it was me I'd be pissed. I'm just trying to realise it.
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It is possible for contract terms to be deemed "unfair&

I am not a lawyer, though I am used to dealing with some legal matters - for example employment contracts. I do know that it is possible for a court to determine that the terms of a contract are "unfair" - I wonder if this one has been tested. An analogy in the wider world might be a tenant who leaves a property after giving notice but still owes the landlord some rent arrears. I doubt if it would be seen as reasonable to expect the tenant to carry on paying rent for the old property AND to find the arrears on top of this.

The only outgoing costs that plus net have is the money they pay to BT - everyone in law has a duty to mitigate their losses and they should have mitigated their loss by ending the contract on the line - it is not my friends fault that they did not implement the notice period.

I do not think that someone owing money is an excuse for unreasonably increasing the debt - charge interest on what is owed by all means but to carry on charging another £21.99 a month becuase £46 is owed is farcical.

Plus net argue that they dont make exceptions for disabled people - my argument is that they should not need to make exceptions if they treat people fairly and reasonably in the first place. I would be just as irate if this had happened to me!
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

Him/her been disabled has nothing to do with this :?
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

Misread the OP, thought the disability had something to do with it - bad me Shockedops:
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I agree

My argument is that their policy is unfair to anyone!!

However I think there is a general duty of care on behalf of all companies to treat disabled peopel with some sympathy. This persons disability affects their ability to deal with things "normally" on a day to day basis, which is why I try to help him.

I think my argument stands - IF this is in their contract then I believe it is basically an unfair term - also it is so significant it should be clearly spelt out in the area that deals with termination.

However I would like to believe that company's which I use would not cause unecessary distress for those who are forced to live on benefits through ill health, by pursing unecessary claims. Plus net could, and should, take reasonable steps to mitigate any losses.
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

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charging another £21.99 a month becuase £46 is owed is farcical.



Not really, as you stated in another post. If the £46 deffered house move charge is payed then he/she can leave.

However, the charged was not paid and was agreed that PlusNet would cover that cost.

Its as simple as that.
Read the contract Terms and Conditions Which are linked from the move ADSL page.

Does the user still offically have a connection, working or not (when I say not working I don't mean LLU constant disconections) If so then you are abliged to pay the fee until you pay the £46 deffered ADSL move fee.


Also, what is the reason for cancellation?
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

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To be honest, disabled or not, any other member would be treated the same.

You can't really blame Plusnet for the computer not working when they sent out an email or the member in question did not pay the house move fee when he origionally moved.

I hate it when people try to get around rules by using the disabled card.

Plusnet will probably see this post and take pity, as they usually do. But if your friend is 'severly disabled and not able to deal with things' surely contractual signups should be monitered?

I'm not trying to be harsh, because believe me, if it was me I'd be <a href="http://portal.plus.net/central/forums/faq.php#1">[censored]</a>. I'm just trying to realise it.


Being disabled myself I strongly resent the suggestion that it is some kind of excuse - we live in a civilised country which has at long last started to realise that many people have special needs and that commercial company's should be as responsive to those needs as possible.

I only quote my friends disability becuase, as I have pointed out to Plus Net, it exacerbated by any kind of distress. I am trying to help him maintain control of his life with dignity but occasionally this means that things do not get dealt with.

Neither he, nor I play any "cards" -when my disability has some relevance then I mention it, when it does not I dont.
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

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Quote
charging another £21.99 a month becuase £46 is owed is farcical.



Not really, as you stated in another post. If the £46 deffered house move charge is payed then he/she can leave.

However, the charged was not paid and was agreed that PlusNet would cover that cost.

Its as simple as that.
Read the contract Terms and Conditions Which are linked from the move ADSL page.

Does the user still offically have a connection, working or not (when I say not working I don't mean LLU constant disconections) If so then you are abliged to pay the fee until you pay the £46 deffered ADSL move fee.


Also, what is the reason for cancellation?


The reason for the disconnection was an enforced house move which severly affected my friends health and depleted his financial position. I concluded that he had to find the cheapest possible combination of internet and call charges - however the reason is irrelevant since we accepted that he would have to pay for another month as we only had two days notice of the move date.

He has had no access to the connection since the day he moved 20th June and the connection with Pn should have ceased on 19th July -we have no way of knowing if they have left it connected to the old telephone line or not - this is my point THEY COULD HAVE MITIGATED LOSSES BY DISCONNECTING IT - never mind what terms and conditions say this is just plain common sense. If you are claiming someone owes you money then you still have a duty in law to keep those losses to a minimum!

As soon as I became aware this amount was due I contacted plus net and offered to pay them what was owed less the payment of subscription for the period after the end of the notice period. I have continually offered this and asked them to look at this case individually as someone suggested earlier.
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

I just had a quick look at how one cancel a account using PN ticket system and I can see one fundemental flaw with it. PN system require one of it operators to respond to the ticket because of the deferred fees etc. This at PN current CS response time could be several days. Unfortunately sometimes in life things happen quite quickly and one my not have the time or means to check that the requested action, cancellation or whatever, has taken place.

So my suggestion to PN is to have a fully automated system so the the user is informed of all outstanding charges and can authorise payment in one ticket. Instead of the current system which probably need a response from PN CS and another from the user.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

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I would like to place on record ...

2) He was without internet connection for about a month after that due to computer failure and so did not receive a letter from Plus net saying that he must pay back £46 from a previous house move in the last 12 months until the end of July.


Is e-mail really considered the same as a real letter these days.

Any notification as far as I am concerned when it involves a notification to fail to pay, that could result in a legal proceeding/dispute, must be a real letter.

IMHO, you have been failed to be correctly informed.

SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

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I only quote my friends disability becuase, as I have pointed out to Plus Net, it exacerbated by any kind of distress.


But in this case Plusnet aren't really inducing stress. The stress has been self applied because contracts were not read correctly by the customers.

As I said in a previous post, if this is a disability that can mean their state of mind is not current enough to understand (ie mentally disabled) or read a contract (ie Blind) then they should be monitored when agreeing to these kind of contracts.

Otherwise, its their fault undue stress is on them because its their fault that the ADSL move wasn't paid and contracts were not read.
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

QUOTE "Not really, as you stated in another post. If the £46 deffered house move charge is payed then he/she can leave.
However, the charged was not paid and was agreed that PlusNet would cover that cost."

This only became due after he gave notice to terminate, at the time of the earlier move we had not envisaged another one so soon - This is perfectly FAIR and we have never disputed it BUT by the time we became aware of it a further months subscription had been taken even though they knew my friend had moved and could not access the line any more - THAT is all I am arguing about!! ie that they should offset the extra months subscription against this!

They are owed money - and then they take action to increase the debt - this is a crazy way to do business
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Shamful treatment of disabled person - PLEASE READ

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They are owed money - and then they take action to increase the debt - this is a crazy way to do business


Seems to work for credit card companied who include intrest as a part of the service and a late payment fee. For the courts where you apply an intrest charge for someone who is a late-payer and for every one of those "Let Us Help You With Your Debts" reconcilliation services where they will help me with my debts by telling me to pay a little to lots of them and charge me a great whacking fee to do so.