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xmarksthespot
Contributor
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Message 11 of 13

Re: Blatant contract changes disguised as price increases - nice try BT but you've been rumbled

@NeilO - the billl contradicts what you say. As do the BT staff who I raised this on the phone with.

 

Best we all wait until the outcome of the complaint, which I'll happily post here.

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mabrookes
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Message 12 of 13

Re: Blatant contract changes disguised as price increases - nice try BT but you've been rumbled

I could be wrong but in that "broadband and calls" package it always included line rental as part of it (it is required). People who take advantage of line rental saver are setting up a separate payment contract for that payment period alone for this required element, but line rental remains a separate, required package for the "broadband and calls" package and continues as normal once the saver period ends.

 

So I would suggest nothing has really changed here, other than how they technically list the required line rental (just the wording has changed but it all remains the same).

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xmarksthespot
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Message 13 of 13

Re: Blatant contract changes disguised as price increases - nice try BT but you've been rumbled

I promised I'd post an update once the complaint is resolved, so here it is.

 

It's pretty clear from some of the replies to this post that the subtleties between packages, prices and contracts aren’t well or widely understood, including by BT staff. If it’s any consolation this shortfall in understanding was shared by:

  1. the BT agent in India I first spoke to;
  2. the UK agent to whom it was then transferred;
  3. that person’s manager to whom it was then passed;
  4. the Complaints team agent to whom it was then escalated;
  5. that person’s manager.

Most felt the issue was about price rises and the ASA's directive requiring companies to be clearer about package pricing and what's included.

 

Few grasped that while the ASA has ruled on how packages and prices be shown, that it is up to BT (and other telecoms providers) to each determine how this be implemented – and that includes doing it in a LEGAL manner, such as adhering to contract law. That's where BT is falling foul as they seem to have overlooked (deliberately some might say) that some of us already have existing contracts, and therein we have legal rights. I think BT have tried to gloss over their contractual requirements and dress this up under the banner of price rises. Add into the mix their thinly veiled attempts to say they have communicated the changes.

 

As you can imagine from the myriad of people involved, just getting the complaint resolved was almost more aggravating than the cause of the complaint itself! Everyone was “trying to help” (they told me). The reality is that you cannot help if you don’t have the knowledge or understanding - or the ability or aptitude to acquire these.

 

So each time there was lots of time wasted recapping the issue over and over again; top-of-the-head uninformed guesses by BT staff; re-opening of previous agreements and actions; contradicting information given out by BT staff and - when they doubted what I was saying about previous interactions and agreements - a seeming reluctance to listen to previous calls where all would easily be verified and become crystal clear. Calls recorded for quality and training purposes? - more like an utter contempt for customers.

 

And don’t get me started on BT's “callback process”: Answerphone messages left for me by BT staff without contact details and/or direct numbers; then you have to call and you get someone else who tries to go through everything all over again and who is hampered by poor notes from their colleagues in the system; then no ability to be put through to the person who left the original message. Then wait to hope the original person calls you back. What a joke. In my business you call someone, you leave a message if they’re busy where they can call you back and they call you back. Simple! Not rocket science.

 

Eventually, after a total of 3-4 hours on the phone over 4 days, success:

  • My complaint about contractual breaches and notification of changes has been upheld.
  • My original contract terms have been honoured.
  • My broadband and calls price has been reinstated (I actually now have a greater discount than previously)
  • My anytime calls add-on package has been reduced in price
  • Further line rental discount
  • Reimbursement of non-agreed charges
  • No exit fee to pay if I leave my contract beyond a certain date
  • Plus £75 of compensation
  • Other customers will benefit
  • Some hard lessons learned for BT.

If you know your rights, don't let BT bully you.

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