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AndyD1
Beginner
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Message 2 of 8

Incorrect Early Termination Charges

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I'd be interested in the outcome of this too, as I've just received a similar contrary e-mail saying I'm to be billed £128 for switching as a result of the Price increase e-mail, which is very confusing and badly written IMO.

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AndyD1
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Message 1 of 8

Price Increase e-mail rec'd- Switched- Charge £128

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I'm giving BT notice to leave following receipt of an e-mail received 1st December stating the increase in BT pricing from January.  However, within 4 hours of signing up to another provider I received a second e-mail from BT stating I'd be charged £127.71 Early Termination Charges, broken down as follows:

 

Your outstanding charges
As you're still within the minimum term of your contract, you'll need to pay a charge for each month you've got left. We expect this to be £62.71 by the time you move. 
 
You'll also need to pay: £65.00 for BT broadband equipment charges.
 
If these charges don't look right, call us on 0800 028 3098. Please do that by 2pm on 14-Dec-2017. If we don't hear from you by then, we'll send a final bill with the amount you need to pay. It'll include charges for the services you've got with us up to and including 18-Dec-2017.

 

The price increase email states quite clearly that I can leave free of Early Termination Charges as follows:

 

"Important Changes to your BT Services"

If you want to leave and you're within your minimum contract term, you'll need to call us within 30 days of receiving this email to avoid paying a charge for leaving early. You'll need to give us 30 days' notice to leave (or 14 days if you're switching to a new provider). We won't charge you for any increase in price during that time.

 

See how your prices are changing

 

On 7 January 2018 your monthly price will increase by:

Broadband and Calls £2.50

Unlimited Anytime Calls Add-on £0.51

 

I'd like BT to please explain why this second e-mail has been received, when the price increase terms are quite clear. The price increase is is the reason I'm leaving, and according to BT's own Terms & Conditions...

 

Ending the service and this agreement

10. When you can end the service and this agreement

b) You can cancel the agreement at any time, by giving us 30 days' notice, if we've increased the core charges or we've changed the charges, a service or these terms and conditions in a way that significantly disadvantages you. In this case you won't have to pay a fee for leaving early.

 

I'm now presumably obliged to enter into a protracted discussion with BT arguing the toss regarding why I shouldn't be responsible for Early Termination Charges, despite advice to the contrary (see below)

 

I was wondering if someone at BT could please confirm what's going on and why the system presumes I'd want to leave for any other reason besides the reason stated in the e-mail I received from BT yesterday, which was the catalyst and motivation to look for a different provider?
 
Whilst I don't expect BT to be mind-readers, I feel it's a bit much for BT's Managing Director of Customer Care (Libby Barr), to send a secondary e-mail (presumably not personally!) within 4 hours of my decision to switch providers, especially taking into consideration Libby Barr's original e-mail (sent yesterday) stated Early Termination Charges wouldn't apply to my account following an increase in BT's 'core charges'.
 
I have to say I've been happy with BT up to now, but I'm afraid this situation doesn't reflect well on either BT's Managing Director of Customer Care or BT, to have such conflicting customer service in place following a price increase BT instigated.
 
I hope you can help to clarify the situation, as it's exceptionally confusing for the customer.
 
Best Regards.
 
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MadRob
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Message 3 of 8

Re: Price Increase e-mail rec'd- Switched- Charge £128

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Did you inform BT of your decision to go to another provider BEFORE making the move? That would be one explanation for the 2nd email as I'm fairly certain you must inform your old provider of your intentions before moving away to another in order not to incur costs.

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Moderator
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Message 4 of 8

Re: Price Increase e-mail rec'd- Switched- Charge £128

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Hi @AndyD1 and welcome.

 

I've moved your posts so we have all the details in one place. I'll be happy to check this for you as well. Can you drop me over an email with your details? You'll get the contact the moderators link in my profile.

 

Cheers

 

David

Community ModeratorDaveM
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Foiled
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Message 5 of 8

Re: Incorrect Early Termination Charges

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The cynic inside me, wonders if BT send out these false emails and letters to put people off moving. Not sure what ofcom would make of this.
AndyD1
Beginner
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Message 6 of 8

Re: Incorrect Early Termination Charges

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Thanks for the comments.

 

I understand the reasoning behind BT sending a secondary e-mail and I tend to always read the small print just in case I've missed anything and use this as the main guide. I've learnt through bitter experience to do this first.

 

I'm sure readers would take my point however, the ambiguous way the original Price Increase e-mail is worded in the main text by Libby Barr (bearing in mind this is BT's Managing Director of Customer Care), who is quite clear in the small print at the bottom of the e-mail (as follows):

 

Terms and conditions

Early Termination Charges: These usually apply if you cancel during the minimum term of your contract and are payable for each month of the minimum term remaining after you cancel. *These charges won't apply if you cancel because of the changes detailed in this email*

 

Well *I'd like to leave as a result of the price increase* and I'm giving the required notice of 14 days to switch to another provider (EE-owned by BT). I might have been tempted to stay with BT themselves when contacting 'retentions' if a like-for-like deal existed, but this second e-mail written by BT really does 'stick in the craw'.

 

The way it's worded in the BT price increase e-mail to "Act Now" is to encourage the customer to sign up for another lengthy contract, the presumption being you'll lose out if you don't, despite being clearly worded in the small print the customer *can* leave without penalty as a result of BT's own Price increase terms & conditions.

 

I realise BT is in the marketplace to make profit, but I do find it a bit much when I've acted as a direct result of receipt of a Price increase BT e-mail which, at least to me, reads one thing in the small print then the receipt of a secondary BT e-mail immediately contradicts the first.

 

*How* this is done and in what order the customer makes contact should be an irrelevance as long as the customer eventually follows the terms & conditions set out in this agreement (i.e. giving the required 14 days notice to leave).

 

The customer shouldn't have to automatically retrospectively challenge an imposed charge when they're quite entitled to leave without penalty according to BT's own Terms & Conditions.

 

It's the presumption of 'guilt before innocence' and the vigorous use of email for BT to automatically impose charges I take issue with, and I'm sure I won't be alone in feeling this way.

 

Situations such as these are *highly* successful in fostering ill feeling between BT and it's customers and are damaging to it's reputation, especially if the customer is in a position where they may not be able to call BT immediately.

 

Whether this aspect and the customer is taken into account when this notification system was designed is purely a matter for BT.

 

One suggestion I'd have is a grace period (say of 3-5 days) be put on file for customers who've received e-mails detailing the price increase who switch in an interim period but haven't yet contacted BT, in order to save customer angst & likely highly charged phone calls to the BT helpline as a result of contradictory information from BT?

 

I like to think I'm reasonably intelligent, but this matter seems in need of attention as the wording in both BT e-mails seem contradictory and confusing for it's customers.

 

Edit: Thanks for making contact DavidM, I've just sent my details over to you for attention.

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Moderator
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Message 7 of 8

Re: Incorrect Early Termination Charges

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@AndyD1 Thanks for speaking with me today, I'm glad that I was able to help clarify this for you. 

Community ModeratorNeilO
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AndyD1
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Message 8 of 8

Re: Incorrect Early Termination Charges

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Thanks to NeilO for the assistance, clarification and reassurance.

It's much appreciated.

Best Regards,
AndyD
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