NOW RESOLVED but a bad experience for me for many months … here is the full story:
Don’t make the mistake of signing up with BT for any type of broadband service whether commercial or personal, once they have you in, like in the League of Gentleman’s Royston Vaysey – YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE without incurring extra hidden charges!
My own case cost me £345.85 to leave! This included a fee of £69 for debt collection, and was not an itemised bill just a bland statement for ‘early cancellation’.
I had a commercial broadband contract, which after experiencing speed and delay issues I upgraded on their recommendation. It had no impact, the service was only slightly faster and continued with dropout/disconnections. I became very disappointed with the service; it was very slow and kept dropping out multiple times a day. Complaints only resulted in them offering me yet another ‘better service’ if I paid more, which I was not prepared to do. All their advertising tells people how great their entry level service is and even good for multiple users, even on its entry level service: this is certainly not so in my experience, and I believe its misrepresentation.
I was disappointed and very frustrated. I could not resolve the low level of service. But the worst of it was that BT, when I phoned to complain only offered a better service for a bigger fee without any attempt at rectifying my current service. My frustration deepened. Then things took a further turn for the worst. I changed supplier and as a result BT charged me a huge amount for cancellation. I had justification to cancel and then even more issues after doing so as they also sent be a huge bill extra bill! Then they really angered me. Mainly this has been caused by BT who never responded to my multiple letters, emails and telephone calls on the matter: they just refused to speak on the subject, just sending out demand letters and bills for their exorbitant charges, and every single communication effort I made to open a dialogue, was met with no response; just another demand for payment; they just stone-walled me. This is what I found to be most awful and a total reversal of public relations and complaints procedure standards.
It all happened following a letter to me from a certain GRAHAM SUTHERLAND: CEO BT BUSINESS thanking me for being a loyal customer and fulfilling my minimum contract of 24 months with them (following several previous years of low quality services). He informed me that I had …”achieved my committed spend…” This is from a letter he sent, which I have.
This letter gave me the understanding that I had reached a point in my contract that met BT’s terms, and after several none responsive service complaints… I transferd over to TalkTalk (which resolved my technical speed/drop out issues and was far cheaper!) Then BT sent me several bills – one for £49.11 (for line rental and services in my final period – which I paid) and a further bill: £276.68 – for ‘early termination of the contract’ (confusing me, as Mr Sutherland had written to congratulate me on reaching my minimum period).
Let this be a warning to everyone out there using or thinking of using BT as a Broadband supplier for home or business usage. They don’t like you to leave and use silence as the method of dealing with complaints and when pointing out circumstances that are in real need of requiring a personnel intervention by a human being. As I suspect all of my communication difficulties are either dealt with as ‘a policy to be silent’ and result in – just pay the bill responses… or its all so mind bogglingly computerised that no BT person actually takes time or pays attention to complaints or to customer confusion; they just use a big stick….
So you can appreciate that they have really upset me. In taking out a new contract with TalkTalk – included within that contract I was paying the BT line rental charges. Within what amounted to their ‘fine’ applied to me for leaving their atrocious entry level service, in that ‘fine’ I believe was included yet another line rental fee: therefore I am paying TWO concurrent line rental fees.
Is it correct that the only recourse to a bad service is to cancel it and then find that BT can impose a huge fee?
At least one person got BT to drop cancellation charges by threatening them with the Ombudsman; this is my own next step. And another persons experience: Moving to another supplier: BT users forum Hidden Charges for leaving.
Also I believe its outrageous for BT to charge so much to every line in the country as line rental fees; this is monopolistic and most lines were fitted long ago when BT was a public utility – The GPO. So, we the taxpayers paid for this infrastructure ages ago and BT continue charging us all monthly fees for it! I believe this should be investigated by the monopolies commission.
Sign up for a campaign to stop BT line rental charges. Letter / email the (Monopolies Commission) – now The Competition and Marketing Authority.
Sign up letter/email to complain about BT charges especially for broadband captivation enhancement with fines for leaving/changing. The Communications Ombudsman Service.
This is an ongoing complaint…. to be continued; as my complaint has now become much more serious.
I have decided to pay their ‘Debt Recovery’ bill, as an interim ‘holding strategy’ (I don’t want them issuing even more ‘ recovery fees’) but I will take this to appeal and to the Ombudsman, so watch this space.
I will be circulating this to all my family and friends and business colleagues and also to a wider set of social media contacts.
MASSIVE PRICE RISES WHILST MAKING BILLIONS!
And the best is that BT are putting up its prices – a very good time to leave, but first be wary of my treatment and check out your contract, get advice from the links above and complain, complain, COMPLAIN.
At last a response after appealing to the Managing Director of BT:
Dear Mr Phillips
Thank you for your time earlier this morning. I am truly sorry for all the trouble you had whilst trying to get your BT broadband level of service improved and the on-going issues with the final bill. It’s really unfortunate that we were unable to improve the broadband to an acceptable level, resulting in you taking the decision to move providers. Due to the circumstances in this case, as a one off goodwill gesture, I am happy to waive these charges in full.
This email confirms that the debt and admin fee totalling £345.85 have been recalled back to BT and will be waived. If you do receive any further correspondence concerning this account please forward to me by email, it may just be cross-over but I will check any for you to put your mind at rest.
Chairman & CEO Business Complaints Specialists
0800 032 5115
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From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of David Phillips
Sent: 22 July 2015 10:09
To: Patterson,GE,Gavin,CGEM R
Subject: Last Resort
I have had a very bad experience with BT and currently having to pay a huge ‘so called cancellation fee’. I could not get any serious response to even discuss my complaints nor the charges inflicted upon me.
Its all explained in the webpage I have made about this issue:
My next steps are to the OFCOM, The Communications Ombudsman. And the Competition and Marketing Authority.
SO – I did not have to escalate the matter any further, but its a warning about the blind-sided nature of huge monopolistic enterprises.