Have just moved house from London to Dover and have sadly had to cancel my Broadband subscription with BT because the service in my new town is very poor in comparison to my old service which is not available in my new address.
Old speed: 80mbps down, 20mbps up.
Fastest new option: 6-12mbps down, 1mbps up.
Therefore I have decided there is no other choice but to go with Virgin Media who offer 500mbps down at my new address.
My wife has the contract registered in her name and contacted BT in the weeks before we moved and the customer service rep said that everything was fine as the new home owner would be taking over our contract and that we could leave our equipment there if we wanted and it wouldn't make any difference (luckily we took it with us)
Now she has received a cancellation bill for £480 plus another £80+ unless we return the equipment.
Does this seem excessively high to anyone? We have been with BT for around 7-8 years and were forced to sell up due to my wife being made redundant due to the pandemic. Our last contract was taken out in order to recieve the equipment so it hasn't cost BT anything as long as we return the equipment to them, we came to BT from Sky so they have never had to send an engineer to our home.
It seems like we're being charged almost £500 because we can't afford to live at our old address anymore.
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The only time you would not pay the cancellation fee, would be if BT Retail could not provide any broadband service at your new address.
As standard ADSL broadband is available at your new address, but you chose to move to Virgin Media instead, then BT are quite within their rights to charge the full cancellation fee, plus any equipment costs.
The only way you can avoid that cost, is to move your service to BT Retail instead.
Also, the new owner of your old house, could not take over your contract, as they have to start a new contract in their own name. All they would be doing, is taking over the line itself, not your contract, which you have now terminated, hence the cancellation charge for breaking the terms of your contract.
As already pointed out, the fact that someone may takeover the line at your old address is irrelevant, they may use BT or may use someone else, but your contract was with BT for a minimum amount of time which you didn’t complete, you had the option of taking a BT contract at the new address , thereby removing the early termination charges at the old address but chose to use another provider instead.
The amount of ETC is published , based on the remaining months of the minimum term , if the amount to be paid is inline with that , then you really have no valid complaint.
If you were in contract with VM and moved in the same way , taking service from a different supplier at the new address, VM would levy ETC’s, it’s pretty much industry standard , it was quite naive to think that there wouldn’t be anything to pay if you leave a contract part way through, if you accept there was always going to be a charge given your choice of new provider, and it’s more a case of the amount , then again, it’s really your responsibility to know this, if you didn’t consider it until the final BT bill arrived, then it’s a lesson hard learned, £480 in ETC suggests you had quite a long time left on the minimum term, or your monthly free was significant, either way you must have realised it was going to be expensive to just quit.
Technically the only service they could provide us at our new address would be significantly cheaper than our previous contract and therefore the price difference is itself significant.
I will be taking the matter to the independent adjudicator and then on to OFCOM as I fail to see which extra costs BT have incurred as a result of our cancellation of contract. Again I could understand if this was the first contract we'd taken out with them but this is after around seven years of continual business in which time they have never had any cause to visit the address.
Seems predatory and the fact they declined to mention at the time we called for cancellation that we would be incurring these fees makes it seem more opportunistic, had we been told we would likely have remained with BT for the remainder of the contract at the new address despite the pitiful service.
If you had been out of contract, then there would have been no charge. To get that amount of cancellation charge, the contract must have recently been renewed, or upgraded.
Our upgrade consisted of a new router (which we are returning) otherwise our contract is unbroken from the past seven or so years.
At the end of the day this is just poor business practice, if I have to pay this fee I will never consider returning to BT as a customer and will take every available opportunity to tell everyone I come across on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and every other form of social media what a terrible company BT are.
The money isn't a major issue but the fact that I've been a customer at different addresses on and off for the best part of two decades and this is the way they deal with customers who they can no longer offer an adequate service to is poor form.
I'm sure you'll come back with "but contracts are contracts" as you seem to be some kind of official representative but I find the attitude and service poor.