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Cessation charges

Barley
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 20-11-2014

Cessation charges

I have recently migrated to BT and I note there is a £30 cancellation charge active on my account.  Not sure why this should be the case as BT did not need a MAC code and my BB and phone were migrated together on the same day.  There seems to have been a number of queries about this on the forum but I am still unclear as to in what circumstances the charge arises.  Can anyone clarify?
When I signed up for my last contract it was on the understanding that there would be no increase in charges for the 24 months of the contract.  I was told by CS that if PN did increase the charge then I could get out of the contract without penalty - no time limit was mentioned.  PN maintain that they emailed me about the increase in charges in August, and I had only 30 days to cancel, but I didn't get the email, and have not consistently received emails regarding Service Notices on my account.
I have asked PN for a copy of the price increase email - not unreasonable in my view as it forms the new contract in line with Ofcom requirements - but PN have simply been repeating the info in the service notice.  PN maintain that an email would have been sent, but they have not provided evidence that an email was actually sent - or indeed any certainty as to which email address the notice was sent to.  Ofcom state that a service notice is not adequate notification of a price increase during a contract.
On checking my account I see there is a £66 cancellation fee, but there is no indication as to how this has been worked out or if there will be further charges levied.
I would be interested to hear if other users don't always receive emails relating to service notices on their account.
This is not the first time I have been misled by CS - I was told when I set up the previous contract that the price wouldn't increase.  Then the next month the price went up by £5 a month.  When I queried it I was told that a discount had run out - but this was not mentioned at all by the CS rep.  I raised a ticket but PN seemed quite happy to mislead its customers in this way.
I have raised a complaint ticket regarding the cancellation/cessation fees but am not getting anywhere with them.
BTW if anyone reading has signed up for a contract on the understanding that there wont be a price increase, this is one of the comments I received from PN:
Quote
I am sorry that you are not happy with the increase in price.
The fact is no one likes a price increase but they are unfortunately a fact of life as with most services gas and electric for example the prices do increase on an annual basis.
 
So it appears that when PN CS tell you that if you sign up for a contract on the understanding that there will be no price increases, PN have no intention of keeping to that commitment.
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Cessation charges

I am not going to get into the detail of your complaint but one thing surprised me
Quote
Not sure why this should be the case as BT did not need a MAC code and my BB and phone were migrated together on the same day

If you didn't use a MAC and the transfer wasn't done via a recognised migration process the system will certainly generate the charge
If BT didn't use a MAC - and they should have done - then it may well have been done via a cease and resupply which will catch the charge
I also note that you state that the phone and broadband went live at the same time. This certainly points to a cease and resupply in my opinion
MattyC
Champion
Posts: 3,192
Thanks: 161
Fixes: 46
Registered: 10-04-2014

Re: Cessation charges

Quote from: Barley
I have raised a complaint ticket regarding the cancellation/cessation fees but am not getting anywhere with them.

Sorry you feel this way, it's actually myself whose dealing with your complaint. Just for the record though, that "fact of life" quote isn't from myself.
Quote
I have asked PN for a copy of the price increase email - not unreasonable in my view as it forms the new contract in line with Ofcom requirements - but PN have simply been repeating the info in the service notice.

The service notice - word for word - is exactly the same as what the email said. This is why you may have come across some repetitive information, though allow me to apologise if at any point I have come across as robotic. Because the email was sent out by an automated bot that sent out thousands of emails, I can't really get the same email sent to you from the same source. I can send you an email saying what the notice says if you like?
This is the first I've heard from you regarding the £30, so sorry it wasn't bought up in the complaint correspondence. The fact that both your services migrated over at the same time suggests that BT Retail operated a full takeover of your line. This entails the light cease of your phone and broadband, and reactivating it in their name. The outcome of this is that we are charged by our broadband wholesalers to cease the line.
This is different to an order with a MAC key. If this was used, BT Retail usually take around a week to migrate the broadband over, and then around two weeks for the phone. There is no line cessation involved in this process, and it usually is the preferred process by all parties as it's much cheaper.
I hope that this at least clears up the cessation charge. Although you have left us, I hope things are well with your new provider.
Matty
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
Barley
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 20-11-2014

Re: Cessation charges

Thanks Oldjim.
I have contacted BT to ask them why they didn't ask me to obtain a MAC code which I could easily have done.  It said somewhere in the stuff I was sent by BT that they would ask for a MAC code if they needed one and I took it that as it as I didn't hear from them they didn't need one (possibly as BT and PN are now part of the same company).
Regards
Barley

 
Barley
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 20-11-2014

Re: Cessation charges

Thanks Matty for your detailed response
I don't need the text of the Service Notice yet again, thank you - I am more than familiar with what it says as it has been repeated to my by CS reps on a number of occasions.
Still my basic point remains - PN are unable to prove that an email was actually sent to me, and that I was notified of the price increase in line with Ofcom's requirements.  You are expecting me to take it on trust that the email was sent, even though PN is unable to say for sure which email address it was sent to.  Certainly I did not receive an email to the 'postmaster' email address which PN asked me to set up years ago so I could receive important communications from PN  In the latest communication from PN CS the following statement is made:
Quote
The reason we cannot send you the exact email is because we do not hold a copy of every email we send to a customer, instead we add a service notice on the account once the email has been sent to confirm this has been done. I am sorry you believe we have not sent this to you, however this is not the case.

PN CS do not know the email has been sent.  All PN CS know is that their tech team will have told them that this has what the system has been set up to do.  Whether or not it actually happens in every case is a different matter.  As I pointed out in my communications with CS there are a number of service notices on my account, and I haven't received email notifications for them all.
If a contract has been varied it seems to me reasonable that PN should keep a copy of the relevant documentation so they are able to demonstrate to the customer beyond doubt that the appropriate notification has taken place.
I cannot understand why I would receive monthly notification for years, without any problems for the  amount of direct debit to be taken from my bank account (which also would have been an automated process), but not this notification of the increase in price.  It just doesn't make sense.
Regards
Barley
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,665
Thanks: 658
Fixes: 162
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Cessation charges

@ Barley
Quote
I cannot understand why I would receive monthly notification for years, without any problems for the  amount of direct debit to be taken from my bank account (which also would have been an automated process), but not this notification of the increase in price.  It just doesn't make sense.

The monthly emails are sent to a postmaster@ email address, along with your contact email address on your account. The price rise notification would have gone to the email address specified in your contact details, this was sent to you early in August.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Barley
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 20-11-2014

Re: Cessation charges

Thank you Chris but you haven't answered the point I raised, you are simply restating PN position.
I said I couldn't understand why I received the monthly emails re the DD's without fail and not the price increase email.  You replied that the price increase email would have been sent to the same email addresses.
So the point remains - why do I receive the monthly DD emails and not the price increase email when they are all sent by PN to the same email addresses?
Just to add for anyone who hasn't lost the will to live reading all this, PN have informed me that they can't send me a copy of the price change email as they don't retain them all.  This seems strange to me.  Ofcom say that in contract price changes should be notified by email but PN don't bother to keep emails to demonstrate that they have done so.  Ofcom specifically state that service notices on the account are not adequate notification.
And today I got another DD email from PN (yes to 'that' email address), for my BB, despite the fact that my BB went over to BT at the end of last month.  PN have informed me that they have not been notified of the change to BT and I need to ring PN to notify them.  Rang up PN but they are currently very busy - and there is a 15 minute wait time......and invite me to go online......so here I am again.
Oldjim - you may be interested to know that I have spoken to BT regarding the £30 cancellation charge.  BT have agreed to credit my BT account by £30 as long as I provide evidence that I have paid PN the £30.  I suppose the £30 will be debited when PN are 'notified' that my BB has gone over to BT.  Thanks for your help on this point.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,665
Thanks: 658
Fixes: 162
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Cessation charges

Quote
So the point remains - why do I receive the monthly DD emails and not the price increase email when they are all sent by PN to the same email addresses?

The price rise email was sent to the *contact* email address, not your postmaster address. So you need to make sure you check your contact email address and not just the postmaster@username.plus.com address.
Quote
PN have informed me that they can't send me a copy of the price change email as they don't retain them all.  This seems strange to me.  Ofcom say that in contract price changes should be notified by email but PN don't bother to keep emails to demonstrate that they have done so.  Ofcom specifically state that service notices on the account are not adequate notification.

The service notice is *identical* to the email, so we have provided exactly what you asked for. Although Ofcom say service notices are not adequate notification, we also sent this via email so we didn't just rely on a service notice.

[quote=https://www.plus.net/info2/legal/index.html]We will also let you know about a price increase or a change to the Terms and Conditions that we believe is likely to cause you material disadvantage at least one month before it happens. We will let you know about other price changes and changes to the Terms and Conditions via email to the contact email address on the account and by adding a service note to your account. Account Service Notes can be viewed at http://contactus.plus.net/
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,555
Thanks: 3,834
Fixes: 25
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Cessation charges

Should there be a record of the email being sent on the account's ticket history?
Call me cynical, but what has happened to this user looks like BT Retail slammed the line (albeit with the user's consent) thereby generating revenue for BTOR from PlusNET / the EU as a consequence of not following industry rules for migrating services from one supplier to another.
Cessation charges are BTOR originated, not by the ISP.  If you want to change ISP ALWAYS ask for a MAC and give it to the new supplier - insist they record it.  Unless the move is to Virgin Media, if you are then charged a cessation fee it will be the new supplier's fault.