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Aspiring Contributor
Message 11 of 12



Your reply is very helpful.

However, from my point of view as a non-expert layman, it still seems to me that there is fault on BT's part for continuing to charge for a calls plan after they knew that Orange had taken over the billing for calls. 

Thank you again for your detailed and comprehensive advice.

I will consider it in detail and decide where to go from here.

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Message 12 of 12


Although , as you say , as a Layman, it appears ‘simple’ to you , baring in mind this is potentially 20+ years ago , that ‘BT’ upon knowing that you are signing up to a CPS provider should in effect bar your line from ever making calls over BT network and adjust your BT bill to a line rental only one, ensuring that there never can be a charge for a call with BT because the ability to make a call with BT has now been removed  , but, and this is what a Layperson may not  consider but  something BT and the regulator must, what if your CPS provider goes bust ?, what if your CPS provider develops a fault that stops your ability to make calls , and you need to make an important call that cannot wait for the CPS provider to fix the problem ?, what if ( even if they publish their price list and can claim to be cheaper overall than BT,)  the CPS provider has a punitively high rate for calls to a single destination but it’s one you need to call  ?, you have moved for cheaper rates, what if they don’t stay cheap ?, amazingly there is nothing to stop a CPS provider baring calls to competitors customer service numbers , so you could find it difficult to call other companies to take over your line or calls .

BT was and still is highly regulated, they cannot simply charge what they like , but CPS company’s are not regulated , you may think that it’s all a little unlikely and that they would never do these type of things , but a simple search will find many consumers that have been ripped off by company’s that claim to be ‘cheaper than BT’ , now I’m not saying that Orange are in this category, but Ofcom cannot have ‘market’ rules that only apply to some company’s and not all, they do have rules that apply just to BT and Openreach though.

Every scenario has to be considered by those who’s job it is to do so, presumably on balance they ( the regulator) considered that giving the consumer to option to jump back onto the BT network for some or all calls by simply dialling 1280 in front of the required phone number was a good idea, there is  no compulsion to do so, it’s a back up in case the CPS provider goes out if business, provides a rubbish service , or puts their prices up etc, put like that , why would you not want this option ?

Your problem is ,  BT line rental comes with a calls plan , some plans carry a charge , way back before privatisation, you paid for the calls you made , with  privatisation, market innovation etc, packages of calls became included for a fee ( most would think this an improvement ) , the issue fundamentally comes down to , you were on a plan with BT that included some calls for a fee , you paid the fee and any calls made that qualified were ‘free’, you presumably wanted and consented to this, later , you sign up with a CPS provider , and they say that calls with them will be cheaper than BT ( probably true on a pay per minute basis ) but who is responsible for BT removing you from the call package with a fee ( which you no longer need ) and put  you onto a no calls included plan ?,

I would say it’s you, and that the CPS provider should have advised you to do this as part of the signing up process ( they cannot arbitrarily do it for you )  BT cannot simply remove something from your account , after all , if you were on a call plan , made some calls on the assumption that the calls were ‘included’ , received a larger than expected bill , and on enquiry with BT , were advised that BT thought you didn’t  require an included calls plan anymore , so they removed it , put you on PAYG , but you continued to make calls with BT , and therefore have to pay the individual call rate ,  in that case you would be furious that they removed you from the calls plan without your consent.

You obviously have a different take on this , and although no analogy is perfect, is it  really any different to say having Sky TV , taking up a VM TV deal without instructions to Sky to stop their service, and much later , when you realise you are still paying VM and Sky , complaining that Sky should have realised you hadn’t turned the Sky box on so couldn’t have watched it, so expect Sky to refund you ?