Following my recent complaint against BT's mobile phone service, during April 2018 I received a flurry of E-mails from BT informing me that my current Broadband and line rental contract was coming to an end and provided a succession of replacement deals (special offers).
Initially BT offered me a 2 year fast fibre broadband and line rental contract for £22.99 pm which was then rescinded and replaced with a 12 month contract again at £22.99 pm. However, before this contact offer was activated I received another batch of offers including 12 months free fast fibre broadband and line rental provided that I took out a BT TV package.
Whilst having no use/requirement for a basic TV package as we own 3 smart TV sets, I accepted their basic 12 month BT TV package in order to get 12 months free line rental and fast fibre broadband (which would also run alongside BT's mobile phone contract).
Before placing the order on 20.4.2018, I telephoned BT several times to check whether what I considered was an exceptional offer had been correctly advertised. Various BT staff refused to transfer me their line manager to check, including Rachel and Ben. Ben in BT's sales department advised me “To take the deal if it was still available” and I placed the order shortly afterwards on 20.4.2018.
BT's service was used and operated by me and bills for the first few months were automatically collected from my bank account by BT via direct debit.
Yesterday (10.7.2018), I received a letter from BT dated 7.7.2018 apologising for offering me a package which shouldn't have happened and that they were prepared to offer me a new 18 month broadband and line rental contract for £36.99 pm and that if I did nothing then I would automatically be moved to the package 30 days from 10.7.2018.
I spent hours on the telephone trying to resolve my complaint and various staff with various staff at BT including their Resolutions Department and was categorically told that they were no longer prepared to allow me to stay on this particular contract and offered me an alternative of an 18 month fast fibre broadband and line rental package for £23.99 pm.
I said that I didn't believe that they could unilaterally change our agreement without my consent and was informed that their legal department had informed them they could. I asked them that in the event that I had made mistakenly selected the wrong package from their complicated series of available options and only realised when checking my bill several months later would they release me from the contract without imposing penalties. Their response was an emphatic 'no'.
I then claimed that either BT's contract was unfair, or their legal departments interpretation of it was as the whole point of any agreement or contract is that both sides have to adhere to it unless they both agree to a variation.
During these discussions I enquired how many other customers were in a similar position and was informed by the person I was speaking to that he had personally received 3 similar complaints today.
Obtaining a fair complaint resolution has been further complicated as the alternative attractive offers from BT's competitors which were available at the time are no longer being offered should I accept BT's offer of a penalty free transfer. Also I have my mobile phone contract with BT which is reduced by £5 pm for broadband customers, a television package along with the remaining credit balance on my account (from my previous complaint which presumably will just sit there until such time as I become a BT customer again).
BT's Resolution Department have deadlocked my complaint and will be sending a letter out to me to confirm the position.
Is anyone else similarly affected and do you have any suggestions as to what can be done in addition to complaining to OFCOM and the Ombudsman Service?
Once you hit the resolutions department and get offered a deadlock letter there is not much more that can be done. When you get the deadlock you can take it up with the ombudsman as you will need to follow BT's complaint procedure first, but try and get this registered before the ceases if you want to stay with BT with the new offer.
The Ombudsman will contact BT, after you complete the form and make an impartial descision. Thats as far as it goes I'm afraid.