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dfenceman
Expert
457 Views
Message 21 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

Hi everyone,

 

Thanks for all your replies.  I was only expecting a "yes" or "no" answer but it seems to have triggered quite an unexpected and interesting debate but does not appear to have reached a conclusion yet.

 

There was no problem with my line rental.  My year's line rental ran out on 7th Feb and I paid this year's line rental at the advertised increased price of £141.  The issue is with my broadband and phone package that was a special agreement for 18 months from April 2013.  Free for the first 3 months and fixed for the remaining 15 months, i.e. until October 2014.

If you want I can post that but fear it may contravene this sites rules as it was personally addressed to me.

 

@ gg30340, Do you not think it strange that we should have received such differing emails ?

 

@ Keith_Beddoe, Providing a link to some T & C; cannot be considered as complying with :-

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.

 

As with a lot of things in life, and without any definitive answer, I suspect we will all have our own opinions.

It might be interesting to have one of the mods express an opinion please ?

 

Perhaps the salient question is "have you accepted, and perhaps paid, any increase ?" 

 

Shall we keep that question on here or start a new topic ?

 

Best regards,
dfenceman
Distinguished Guru
455 Views
Message 22 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

Regardless of anything that OFCOM says, the contract with BT comes under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.  One of the things that makes a contract unfair is:

 

(l) providing for the price of goods to be determined at the time of delivery or allowing a
seller of goods or supplier of services to increase their price without in both cases giving
the consumer the corresponding right to cancel the contract if the final price is too high

in relation to the price agreed when the contract was concluded


So BT have always had to give the customer an option to cancel.  The regulations just don't set out exactly what that right should be, or how it should be communicated.

Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
432 Views
Message 23 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

Hi dfenceman

 

The email I received was exactly the same as the one you have posted in message 12 plus it had the T&C part that I posted in message 15 as well.

 

As it turned out my contract was up around about the same time as the price rises were to take place so when I re-contracted I was advised about the price rises and it formed part of my negotiations before I renewed the contract.

 

I think you will find that there is nothing that can be done about the price rises part way through a contract because companies usually write into the T&C's that they can do that and that you can opt out. Offcom have acknowledged that it annoys customers hence the reason they have brought out guidelines, So unless it is grossly unfair, which would need to be determined in a court, I think we are stuck with it. 

dfenceman
Expert
421 Views
Message 24 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

Hi gg30340,

 

I've looked back and yes those T&C's are below the main email.  However they are not exactly clear and transparent.  I wonder how many people actually ever read them ?  Hands up, I never did, but then I did not believe the email applied to me.  It's only in my BT folder because I tend to save most things until I have a good clear out.   That infuriates her indoors as that does not just apply to the computer.

 

Very suspicious that BT sent that email just 4 days after Ofcom issued those guidelines.

 

Although the 3 months is now up I guess we will have to wait until BT try another increase to see if they comply with ofcom's guidelines.

 

I would still be interested to know if anyone else has paid or rejected the increases and what BT's reaction is/was please ?

Best regards,
dfenceman
Distinguished Guru
376 Views
Message 25 of 25

Re: BT changing charges during a contract

An update on increased charges during the contract period has been posted on thinkbroadband:

 

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6275-clarification-of-ofcom-price-rise-guidance-rules.html

 

Two key points to remember:

 

  • The new rules only apply to new contracts, i.e. entered into on or after 23rd January 2014.
  • A Retail Price Index (RPI) based rise if mentioned in the contract terms and conditions is allowed and does not constitute a material detriment. In other words the price is allowed to increase by the annual rate of inflation once a year.
toekneem

(EASBF)

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