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dfenceman
Expert
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Message 1 of 25

BT changing charges during a contract

Hi,

 

Has anyone experienced BT trying to increase charges during their contract period please ?

Best regards,
dfenceman
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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

the charges were changed/increased on 4/1/14 for everyone and you had the right to cancel



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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 3 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

You will have been sent either a letter or an email about October/November 2013 telling you of the increases and the right to cancel your contract without penalty if you applied to cancel within tens days of receipt of the email/letter.

 

This is in compliance with the new guidelines for ISP's and Mobile phone Companies who change contracts mid way through.

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dfenceman
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Message 4 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

Hi Guys,

 

Many thanks for the replies.  I find that incredible.  My customers would have shown me the door very quickly if I tried increasing prices during the term of a fixed price contract.

 

Having got some pricing wrong last Feb/Mar BT offered me 18 months fixed price if I agreed a new contract last April. 

 

I did get an email last Oct/Nov time but just considered this a standard email sent to everyone that was not on a specific deal and therefore did not apply to me.  I don't recall any mention of right to cancel but then why would I have wanted to, I had a fixed price agreement.

 

So, in your opinion, do you consider them to be within their rights to charge increased prices mid-term ?

 

 

Best regards,
dfenceman
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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 5 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

Personally I do not think that a contract should be changed part way through. In my opinion a contract is for both parties to agree the terms and price at the beginning. This should allow the customer to budget for the term of the contract and allow the company to know that they have a certain amount of monies coming in for the period of the contract. 

 

It is up to the company to make sure that the price agreed will cover any future increase of their future costs so that they are not loosing over the contract term. If they have to change it mid term, they have in my opinion badly managed or miss-sold the product. 

 

If I chose to change the contract and gave the option to BT to opt out I am willing to bet that I would be told where to go.

 

BT however are allowed to do this as part of the Ofcom guidelines

 

See link

 

 http://media.ofcom.org.uk/2013/10/23/protection-for-consumers-against-mid-contract-price-rises/

dfenceman
Expert
2,223 Views
Message 6 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

Hi gg30340,

 

Many thanks for the link and I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion. 

 

I will need to read it more thoroughly but at first sight I feel fairly sure that BT have failed to comply with these guidelines,  particularly :-

 

Guidelines on transparency

Ofcom has also found that some consumers were caught unawares by mid-contract price rises and were not sufficiently warned this could happen when they signed up to their deal. In some circumstances, consumers may also have not been made adequately aware of their right to exit their contract, or of the amount of time they had to exercise this right.

To address this problem, the Guidance explains how providers should communicate any contract modifications, pricing or otherwise, to consumers.

These measures include ensuring that letters or emails about contract changes should be clearly marked as such, either on the front of the envelope or in the subject header.  Notifications of price increases must also be clear and easy to understand and make customers aware of the nature and likely impact of the contract change.

Where relevant, information about the customer’s right to exit the contract should be made clear upfront – for example, on the front page of a letter or in the main email message, rather than via a link. The period within which consumers can cancel their contract (Ofcom’s guidance sets out that providers should allow consumers 30 days) should also be made clear.

 

Would you know by any chance if these guidelines have been tested in court ?

How can guidelines be in contradiction of contract law.

 

To quote Arnie "I'll be back"

Best regards,
dfenceman
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Distinguished Guru
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Message 7 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

If you're going to talk about contract law, you need to read the Terms and Conditions that apply to BT'c sontracts http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/dynamicmodules/pagecontentfooter/pageContentF...

 

Paragraph 51 says "Sometimes, we will need to change the charges or the terms and conditions of a service covered by this agreement. We will publish details of all changes online at www.bt.com.".  The following paragraphs set out how they will inform customers, and what your rights to cancel are.

Distinguished Guru
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Message 8 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

New rules would only take effect 3 months from the 23rd Oct and according to the following would not apply to existing contracts.

 

 

Implementation

1.28 Ofcom will adopt the approach set out in the guidance three months after the date of publication of this statement. It will apply in relation to any new contracts entered into on or after that adoption date.

1.29 We consider that three months should be sufficient for CPs to make any adjustments they identify as necessary in light of our guidance whilst ensuring that protection for consumers entering into new contracts takes effect as early as reasonably possible.

1.30 For existing contracts, GC9.6 will continue to apply as it does now. Any question regarding whether a price increase meets the material detriment requirement will be considered on a case by case basis.

1.31 In all cases, we will monitor compliance with GC9.6 and consider taking enforcement action where necessary.

toekneem

(EASBF)

Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 9 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

So that means BT were complying with the new guidelines even although they did not need to.

Distinguished Guru
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Message 10 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract


@gg30340 wrote:

So that means BT were complying with the new guidelines even although they did not need to.


I wouldn't go that farSmiley Wink

toekneem

(EASBF)