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Why were you on a contract if you never signed up to BTTV? 3 years seems an awful long time to be held to a contract! Most contracts are 12 months, or 18 months at best.
Your box belongs to you and will always work on the Freeview channels. You will be able to record the Freeview channels and use the catch up apps. This was always the case as you can buy these boxes retail and simply use as a Freeview pvr.
I am thinking of changing provider from BT and contacted BT to ask if my YouView box would continue to work. I was rang back by one of their "dedicated team" dealing with potential leavers. I was told first that the box would not work at all; then, when I specifically pressed about Freeview channels, that it would work on these but no other features would work. I pressed again about on-demand players like BBC iPlayer and was told these would not work; this was confirmed by the agent's supervisor. This information is directly contradicted by posts on this forum, like the preceding one on this thread, including a post by BTCare's Community Manager SeanD. I wish I had found these before my conversation. It seems that BT is deliberately misleading potential leavers.
You have been lied to over the phone. The information provided on this thread is correct. The only functions you would lose would be anything related to any BTTV subscription services you had. Your box becomes a retail box which will give you access to Freeview, the ability to record those channels, and access to the iplayer etc.
Yes, thanks MadRob. I took my complaint further (as advised elsewhere) by emailing the CEO of BT, and got an email and then a phone call from an "executive-level complaints handler". This person was much more professional. He gave me the correct information in an email (ie that the YouView box was my property and would continue to function after leaving BT as a provider, as you say). He attributed the giving of wrong information to defective training and/or incorrect training materials, and said he would follow up on this. I am sceptical whether any rapid change will result, having seen similar complaints on this and other forums dating back years.