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BT charges

gingle
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎19-02-2009

BT charges

When I joined Plusnet I had to reactivate the phone in our house. No problem, and BT said there would be no charge for this.
I explained quite clearly to them that we didn't actually want phone services, in fact we don't want a land line at all, we just needed broadband. Again fine, they would reactivate and let us move over to Plusnet's phone plan.
They then sent us a bill for the entire quarter, which was wrong as we'd only been with them a few weeks until the phone got transferred over. Fine, I called and they agreed to send an amended bill.
Which they did. Which now includes a £70 cancellation fee for leaving BT!
This has really angered me. When I explained initially that we just needed the line to get Broadband with a third party supplier I was ensured there would be no charge for this. When I explained that we'd be moving the phone also I was told there would be no charge. They are now saying it's impossible for me to not have been informed, so I'm either a liar or an idiot.
I only now have 13 days to pay this charge or the matter will be given to debt collectors. Nice.
Furthermore, is it true that Plusnet is owned by BT? They're getting my money anyway? Including phone line rental which I basically don't even need or use.
Anyone else had this issue? Surely they must know there are people who don't want a phone line but need broadband? (I told them) And not being upfront - in fact downright lying - about cancellation fees, is reprehensible.
And they're getting my money anyway!
Seething.
24 REPLIES 24
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎07-04-2007

Re: BT charges

Didn't BT post a contract to you to sign?
gingle
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎19-02-2009

Re: BT charges

Nope. Just a welcome letter yadder yadder yadder.
I assume this might be because the Landlord (it's all still in his name which makes it even more awkward) already had the line and was previously a customer.
JonJon
Grafter
Posts: 92
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎24-05-2009

Re: BT charges

They don't bother with signed contracts anymore.. just record your phonecalls, so they get your "agreement" that way.
Though I don't know how that would stand up in court...
gingle
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎19-02-2009

Re: BT charges

So if they record the calls, they probably have record of them telling me I wouldn't be charged for moving my phone service.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎07-04-2007

Re: BT charges

You are not charged when you move the phone service. The cancellation charge is probably for the end of the minimum contract period.
dvorak
Moderator
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: BT charges

Probably, but unless you have a record of date and time when you spoke to them they aren't likely to be interested Sad
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Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: BT charges

Hi there,
Nearly every BT product is a 12 month contract these days, so I'd imagine it's contract termination fees they're charging (or attempting to). Might be worth trying to escalate this within the Retail contact centre, or lodging a formal complaint.
You're right we are part of the BT Group, as a subsidiary of Retail.
JonJon
Grafter
Posts: 92
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎24-05-2009

Re: BT charges

Quote from: Mand
You're right we are part of the BT Group, as a subsidiary of Retail.

@Mand - slightly off topic, but could you elaborate on what the relationship is?  I've just left "BT" (or waiting for their systems to work so they can give me my MAC code!) and signed up with PlusNet (as you seem to have a much better service reputation & price).  Though I'm slightly worried now!
gingle
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎19-02-2009

Re: BT charges

Quote from: Mand
Hi there,
Nearly every BT product is a 12 month contract these days, so I'd imagine it's contract termination fees they're charging (or attempting to). Might be worth trying to escalate this within the Retail contact centre, or lodging a formal complaint.

Yes, this is exactly what the customer service chap said to me when I just called to complain. But when I originally re-activated the line I was never informed of this. In fact I made it specifically clear that I didn't want the phone service and would be moving over to someone else. They knew exactly what I was doing and I specifically enquired about the cost / charge. They have just be devious with their information and diplomatic with the truth, as it was obvious my references to not being 'charged' should have included a contract breaking fee.
It was never my intention to go with or stay with BT and I explained that. Yet they now want a charge for not staying for 12 months. It's dishonest practice in my opinion.
If they had made me aware of this cancellation fee (which they claim was impossible for them not to have done), why was I not aware of it till the bill came through? I must have the worst memory ever.  Or I am now lying (I'm not) Or I'm an idiot. Well, the jury's out on that.
I now have to pay this anyway to stop my landlord getting a debt collector on his ass. I will be writing to complain. I know this isn't the place really to be bringing this up, but where can I find the details for the retail contact centre?
HPsauce
Rising Star
Posts: 6,788
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: BT charges

There is of course no such thing as "naked broadband" in the UK, it is always provided on top of a working phone service. The phone service line rental charge of course pays for a significant part of the provision of the line so "nb" would inevitably be much more expensive.
I also think you may be being naive in thinking that BT would provide phone service without any activation fee and then allow you to move immediately to another provider without any penalty or minimum contract. However, if that's what the agent told you so be it, but proving it either way might be difficult. On the "balance of probabilities" you would probably lose a court case.  Sad
But it's worth trying; BT may have the call recorded, or they may not and they also may or may not have sent you a written contract.
Sadly, if you had approached PN in the first place they may have been able to do this all for you on "reasonable terms".
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: BT charges

Quote from: JonJon
@Mand - slightly off topic, but could you elaborate on what the relationship is?  I've just left "BT" (or waiting for their systems to work so they can give me my MAC code!) and signed up with PlusNet (as you seem to have a much better service reputation & price).  Though I'm slightly worried now!

We're owned by Retail, but operate independently. Nothing to worry about certainly. Smiley
Anon
Pro
Posts: 634
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Registered: ‎16-04-2007

Re: BT charges

Quote from: Mand
Quote from: JonJon
@Mand - slightly off topic, but could you elaborate on what the relationship is?  I've just left "BT" (or waiting for their systems to work so they can give me my MAC code!) and signed up with PlusNet (as you seem to have a much better service reputation & price).  Though I'm slightly worried now!

We're owned by Retail, but operate independently. Nothing to worry about certainly. Smiley

Not sure which is the one to worry about most...the BT connection or the Sheffield Wednesday logo in your  avatar Cheesy
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gingle
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎19-02-2009

Re: BT charges

Quote from: HPsauce
There is of course no such thing as "naked broadband" in the UK, it is always provided on top of a working phone service. The phone service line rental charge of course pays for a significant part of the provision of the line so "nb" would inevitably be much more expensive.
I also think you may be being naive in thinking that BT would provide phone service without any activation fee and then allow you to move immediately to another provider without any penalty or minimum contract. However, if that's what the agent told you so be it, but proving it either way might be difficult. On the "balance of probabilities" you would probably lose a court case.  Sad
But it's worth trying; BT may have the call recorded, or they may not and they also may or may not have sent you a written contract.
Sadly, if you had approached PN in the first place they may have been able to do this all for you on "reasonable terms".

I did expect there to be a charge, and was told there wasn't one. Initially I knew that Plusnet could have done this all for me - for a charge, which is fair enough as this info is right there on the site. But when I spoke to BT I was told they could do it and there wouldn't be a charge. Which there isn't technically. I'm angry because their info was dishonest, as the charge only comes afterwards when it's clear you've cancelled your account with them. Oh, so that's a seperate thing to transferring your phone line to a third party? (owned by them!)
If I'm naive, it's for believing that they wouldn''t employ devious sales tactics which are then no doubt held water tight by some T and Cs which you're not made aware of until after you've committed.
As you say no broadband through a phone line can exist without a phone service, and I'm now paying £10 a month for a phone service I only need for broadband. BT must have 100,000s of customers they have fleeced this way. I bet these £70 cancellation fees keep them in biscuits and cakes all year.
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎03-11-2007

Re: BT charges

t an c's and contarcts are major bug bear of mine with over the phone services like elcy, water, phone , broadband.
when i changed to unlimited i first rang and found out about the 18 months but acctepted it knowing at some point PN would do somthing for old customers but when the change to 12 months happended i did mine by a PM to james and had no written prove of the 12 month change.
so in theroy PN could of held me to the 18 months as i had agred to it on the phone and know dobut that was recorded.
so to cover my self i got james to add a ticket to my account confirming the contract length so i had in black and white
i think companys that do bussiness over the phone should be made to pass all the t an c's and contracts on to the customer in black and white and should be delvered to the customer before any cooling off period ends