On 27th February I signed up for BT Broadband (moving from Virgin), for my daughter who has a mental health disability. So I ordered essentials broadband and TV. The package was activated mid-March. Since then I've been shocked that the quoted price of £25 was never charged, and her price almost immediately increased to (presumably) £29.43 per month which seems to work out as follows:
There's three issues here:
1. Is it correct that a price increase applied almost immediately, despite the fact her broadband package didn't start until mid-March
2. Why was the monthly price quoted as £25 when that was never the amount charged? Actually the charges were £37.99 in April (£3 more than quoted due to paper billing), £30.53 in May (no idea why this wasn't £29.43) and £29.43 in June. I would have expected to have been told when I signed up that the quoted price was subject to an immediate price increase and a £3 paper billing charge and for the total monthly cost quoted on the final summary to include the paper billing charge.
3. Why has she been charged £3 for paper billing? Even if I asked for paper billing, at no point did it say I would be charged extra for it. On the last page of the online order (I have screenshots) it does say "Billing delivery method Online and paper bill", but on the same page it shows the monthly charge as £25.00. Also, I thought that vulnerable customers weren't supposed to be charged for paper billing?
This is made difficult because, due to her disability, I never managed to get my daughter to activate her account and add me as an account manager, so despite me being added to her account (when I first made the order for her) as a person who can discuss her account by telephone - I gave my name and date of birth, BT customer services are now refusing to talk to me about anything to do with billing. So it's proving impossible to get what seems to be overcharging fixed. I set up the account in her name in the hope I could gradually encourage and help her to become more independent, but it's my job (as DWP appointee) to manage all her money that comes from her benefits.
My daughter is vulnerable, and on disability benefits, hence me moving her from Virgin to BT - yet BT seem unwilling to fix her billing problems unless she deals with them herself, something she isn't able to do.
Hi @apwood sorry that you're having these issues with the essentials package.
I would suspect that all the bills since the service has been set up would've had the £3 paper bill charge and the first bill would also have had a £9.99 delivery charge for the equipment.
Are you able to set up the BTID with you as the Account Holder for your daughter using an email address different to your own BTID if you have BT service?
Then you would be able to change to paper free bills. The future bills would then only be the essentials and TV package.
See updated post above. Yes the bills work out at £25 + £3 paper + £1.43 increase from 2nd bill and £9.99 one off charge for 1st bill.
So the issues are - why the £3 charge when this was never quoted to me when signing up and when surely this should not apply to a vulnerable customer on BT essentials. Why the (almost immediate) price increase despite no warning of this when signing up and the fact the service only started in March (and signed up only 3 days before beginning of March).
Also, why are BT customer service refusing to talk to me by telephone about billing, despite the fact I'm added to the account as a person who can talk to them be phone?
I don't have BT. I asked my daughter to follow my instructions to activate her account so I could then be added as account manager - she agreed to that, but never did it. She seems to struggle with this stuff and only can do anything like this on a "good day". She also suffers form paranoia so often refuses to do things with me. So the answer is, I might be able to get her to set up the BTID (one day), but haven't yet been able to do so since I signed up for her during February.
I just wish I'd kept everything in my name - just wanted to try to move forward to helping her become more independent (I might not always be there for her).
I think the customer service agent has changed to paper free bills for me, but I'd like to get a refund for the first 3 months and try to get the price increase reversed, and ideally I'd like to have paper bills for free due to her vulnerability.
Why the (almost immediate) price increase despite no warning of this when signing up and the fact the service only started in March (and signed up only 3 days before beginning of March).
Because it was in the t&c's when you signed up, if it had been ordered on/after 1st March the increase wouldn't have applied
Thanks everyone, I've replied to the PM.
About this being mentioned in the terms: (1) there aren't supposed to be price increases on the social tariffs, (2) I'd expect an annual increase after 12 months or at least a good few months, not immediately, (3) given this increase took place almost immediately, there should have been a warning up-front that I wouldn't actually be paying the amount quoted after the first month. Key terms like this are legally required to be clearly drawn to attention for a contract to be fair and binding, not just hidden away in the small print.