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overcharged, then referred to debt collector!

armaghpipers
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎24-05-2023

overcharged, then referred to debt collector!

Because Plusnet doubled its monthly charges to my small educational charity, I switched to another provider on 4 April. Plusnet had acknowledged this as the switch date in an email on 11 March: "...on this date, your services will be taken over by your new provider and you won't need to contact us to cancel your service with us". However, they then sent a final bill for service up to 12 April, i.e. seeking to charge me for eight extra days. The overcharge was not huge - maybe around £14 - but I refuse to pay for a service that they did not provide; in fact, since the bill was to the charity, it would be illegal for me to give charity funds to a business for no reason.

I have spent several very long phone calls to Plusnet trying to get them to issue a correct final bill - every time I am told that it will be sorted imminently, but I have yet to receive a correct bill.

Yesterday morning I was contacted by a debt collection agency, Arvato, to which Plusnet had obviously passed my data; it demanded that I pay it the amount of the incorrect bill, plus an extra 25% which presumably Avarto proposed to keep for itself. I have told Arvato three times, in writing and when they phoned me, that this is a disputed bill: neverthless they keep contacting me about it. They are ignoring the Financial Conduct Authority rule (Consumer Credit Sourcebook, rule 7.14.1) that debt collectors "must suspend any steps it takes ... in the recovery of a debt from a customer where the customer disputes the debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds." My third response included the Plusnet email of 11 March, which they could see did not tally with the bill, but they ignored my instruction not to contact me again (unless to apologise and state that no further action would be taken).

So, a company - Plusnet - that suddenly decides that it can double its charges to a long-standing customer then tries to help itself to a little extra money when the customer switches; then, when the customer objects, they give the data to a firm of debt collectors that, although regulated by the FCA, chooses to ignore FCA rules.

Utterly disgraceful behaviour by both companies.

4 REPLIES 4
Baldrick1
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Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: overcharged, then referred to debt collector!

Reading between the lines, one might guess that what happened was that Plusnet followed their normal practice of billing you for a full month, presumably at the full contract price, causing the increase. The 12 days presumably covered the period from when you left up until the end of the month. This is normal practice and is done to make sure that you are not left with no Internet access if the switch over is delayed. This is refunded when the account is closed, a few weeks later.

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armaghpipers
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎24-05-2023

Re: overcharged, then referred to debt collector!

Not so. Plusnet did try to bill me for the whole month, weeks after acknowledging that the service would end four days into the month - i.e. they thought I would lend them sixty-odd quid for a few weeks. I found that an unattractive proposition and phoned to ask for a corrected, four-day bill. This was promised but did not come. A month later I received another bill, for twelve days of service. I called again, several times, asking for a corrected bill; again and again this was promised, but did not come, and now I find that they have given my data to debt collectors without ever correcting the bill. This is not normal practice.
RichardB
Seasoned Champion
Posts: 1,042
Thanks: 390
Fixes: 39
Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: overcharged, then referred to debt collector!

Hi armaghpipers,
Have you rasied a compliant with Plusnet?
https://www.plus.net/help/legal/complaints-code-of-practice/
Regards
Richard
armaghpipers
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎24-05-2023

Re: overcharged, then referred to debt collector!

After further phone calls Plusnet has called off the debt collectors and written off the alleged debt. This has been a very stressful experience but nothing resembling an apology has been provided. I would strongly recommend steering clear of this company.