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llykstw
Aspiring Contributor
413 Views
Message 1 of 12

Price increases and early termination

I received the letter about the price rises yesterday, which mentioned the possibility of early termination of the contract without penalty. The only service I have with BT is two mobile phones, which were contracted back in May 2020 on two-year contracts each with an included new mobile handset. I've only got three months to run before the contract ends, but if possible I'd like to terminate early on the basis of this change to the terms as envisaged by the letter, and move to a cheaper SIM-only deal rather than paying £40 a month per handset for those three months. My understanding was that, because my mobile contracts dated from prior to September 2020, I'd be eligible to terminate early without paying an early termination charge. However, when I called BT and explained this they told me that I'd need to pay £90 or so for each mobile, because there were still three more months of the contract. Who's right here - do I have the right to terminate early without charge, which is what this webpage seems to say, or don't I?

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imjolly
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

Have you checked your T&C to see what it says about handset cost should you terminate contract early?



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llykstw
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 3 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

I read the terms, and it doesn't contain any specific references to mobile handsets. It *does* say that, even if I have the right to early termination without penalty (which I believe I do), BT has the right to demand the return of, or charge for, 'equipment' which includes the BT mobile - see clause 23(b)(iii). Having said that, I paid a separately marked fee for the mobile devices when I took the contract out (£50 for one, £0 for the other). I suppose my question is - does the fee that BT mentioned on the phone represent an early termination charge (which shouldn't apply, and so is an error on BT's part) or is it an equipment charge (which could apply), and whether there is anybody else in the forum in a similar position that's been given a different answer by BT.

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rbz5416
Recognised Expert
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Message 4 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

As above, you may be entitled to cancel the SIM element of your contract due to the price rises. But as your plan also includes buying the handsets over the course of the contract, there will be a charge for them. But as said, you'd need to check the original T&Cs.

Edit

Missed your second post but it's highly unlikely that £50 covered the cost of two phones. I suspect this was an "up front" cost, usually paid to get a reduced monthly charge.

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llykstw
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 5 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

The terms say that 'If we give you a BT mobile or any equipment to use with the service, you won’t own it until you've paid your first six complete months' bills in full.'  This rather suggests to me that I own the equipment (especially given I paid a separately itemised charge for it in the invoice when I entered into the contract, although that price was clearly heavily discounted from RRP) and that BT therefore can't ask me to return it or charge me for it.

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imjolly
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 6 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

The upfront charge is towards the cost of the handset not the cost of the handset as that is recouped over term of contract



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llykstw
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 7 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

Totally understand that the upfront cost doesn't reflect the value of the handset, and that the actual cost is intended to be recouped over the term of the contract. But BT is the one trying to change the contract here - not me - and it triggers a break clause allowing me to terminate the contract early without having to pay an early termination payment. So if they want me to pay £90 per handset, what's that for? It can't be an early termination payment because I'm exempt from that under the terms. The only other thing it could be is a charge for the equipment, but the terms say that I own the equipment after paying for the first six months of the contract, which we are well past.
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VeteranISPUser
Recognised Expert
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Message 8 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

Hi @llykstw 

Like most people I didn’t/haven’t read the full T&Cs for my mobile contract, but I’m fairly sure that the annual price rise is covered in the T&Cs and would not be grounds for penalty free early termination. 

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llykstw
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 9 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

Hi @VeteranISPUser !


I hadn’t read them in detail either! I’m sure most people don’t. However, having looked at them, they only allow BT to raise prices annually in line with CPI (this is true of mobile contracts entered into before September 2020). The recent price rise letter warns that BT is changing those terms  so that they can make annual price rises of CPI *plus an additional 3-4%*. That isn’t permitted under my old contract, which is why I’m able to break the contract early - BT’s letter confirms that.

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VeteranISPUser
Recognised Expert
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Message 10 of 12

Re: Price increases and early termination

Hi @llykstw 

Again I had always assumed that the annual increase is a fixed percentage plus CPI. Nothing new there.

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