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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

BT bill dispute



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 18th 09, 02:00 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Fred
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default BT bill dispute

Hello,

Please forgive my cross-post, I wasn't sure which was the best forum
to ask these questions in as they relate to both telephone and
broadband services.

I signed up to BT broadband a long time ago. I was on option one which
was fine for a long time. Then last summer we started to exceed our
usage. Each month we were fined. it was only a few pounds per month
but I asked BT if we could upgrade to avoid being charged.

For some reason BT have managed to foul up this simple request and
almost a year later I am still trapped on option one.

I tried leaving and asked for a MAC code. They claimed I had renewed
my contract in October and was locked in for another some many months.
I had not received nor signed any documents but BT claim I was
cold-called and agreed over the phone. I remember being harassed about
BT vision half a dozen times (which I declined) but I don't remember a
call about renewal.

Earlier this year BT changed (increased) their fines and at the same
time our usage snowballed. I have now been presented with a bill for
300, which I am not prepared to pay.

I don't think it is right that I am supposed to pay 300, when if they
had moved me to option 3, like I had asked a year ago, I would have
paid 3 months at 24pm = 73. That's 227 difference! I have sent them
a cheque for 73, so I have paid what I think is fair.

BT now say they will cut off my phone line. It seems underhand that my
phone use has never been in dispute and has always been paid in full,
yet BT are wanting to cut this in retaliation for the broadband
issues.

I have never been in this situation before. What happens next? I am
connected to a rural exchange so I don't think there is anyone else I
can go to for telephony or broadband, is there?

The ofcom web site says to complain to the address on the back of the
bill. Like most people, I have e-mailed bills (not my first choice but
the only way to get the discounted line rental) so I don't have a back
of the bill. The only address I can find is the customer service
centre in Durham. I have been writing to them for months and they take
forever to reply; that's why this has dragged on for so long.

Can anyone suggest what to do next?

Thanks in advance.
  #2  
Old June 18th 09, 03:29 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Peter Crosland
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,463
Default BT bill dispute

As a general rule you have to exhaust the BT dispute procedure before any
outside agency will act. Have you tired phoning BT and asked them for
details of the address? If BT are simply applying the terms of the contract
you may have a problem proving that you don't owe the money. Part of the
problem is having a phone supplier and ISP combined. BT are obliged to give
you a MAC code and are not allowed to withhold it because of a payment
dispute. However they will probably claim that part of the money owed is for
you phone service and they are allowed to cut you off from that for non
payment of that. A pragmatic approach might be to pay up and switch ISPs
before suing BT for the amount you consider the overpayment but you are not
certain to win.

Peter Crosland


  #3  
Old June 18th 09, 03:55 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
fred
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 175
Default BT bill dispute

In article , Peter
Crosland writes
As a general rule you have to exhaust the BT dispute procedure before any
outside agency will act. Have you tired phoning BT and asked them for
details of the address? If BT are simply applying the terms of the contract
you may have a problem proving that you don't owe the money. Part of the
problem is having a phone supplier and ISP combined. BT are obliged to give
you a MAC code and are not allowed to withhold it because of a payment
dispute. However they will probably claim that part of the money owed is for
you phone service and they are allowed to cut you off from that for non
payment of that. A pragmatic approach might be to pay up and switch ISPs
before suing BT for the amount you consider the overpayment but you are not
certain to win.

A fine example of why BT should get line rental only with calls and
broadband from other providers, then you can't be held to ransom in
billing disputes.
--
fred
BBC3, ITV2/3/4, channels going to the DOGs
  #4  
Old June 18th 09, 07:41 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Mike Tomlinson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 285
Default BT bill dispute

In article , Fred [email protected]
email.here.invalid writes

Earlier this year BT changed (increased) their fines and at the same
time our usage snowballed.


_Has_ your usage snowballed? Or is it just the bill? If your usage is
no different and you are not running any peer-to-peer applications, do
you have a wireless router? It sounds like someone may be leeching off
that.

--
(\__/)
(='.'=) Bunny says Windows 7 is Vi$ta reloaded.
(")_(") http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/windows_7.png


  #5  
Old June 19th 09, 08:57 AM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
tony sayer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 290
Default BT bill dispute

In article , fred scribeth thus
In article , Peter
Crosland writes
As a general rule you have to exhaust the BT dispute procedure before any
outside agency will act. Have you tired phoning BT and asked them for
details of the address? If BT are simply applying the terms of the contract
you may have a problem proving that you don't owe the money. Part of the
problem is having a phone supplier and ISP combined. BT are obliged to give
you a MAC code and are not allowed to withhold it because of a payment
dispute. However they will probably claim that part of the money owed is for
you phone service and they are allowed to cut you off from that for non
payment of that. A pragmatic approach might be to pay up and switch ISPs
before suing BT for the amount you consider the overpayment but you are not
certain to win.

A fine example of why BT should get line rental only with calls and
broadband from other providers, then you can't be held to ransom in
billing disputes.


In my past experience with them their the ONE company I would prefer
never to deal with again if a had any choice in the matter. EDF being
the other..

And as you say getting them to do things is bloody hard work sometimes.

If they'd bring their call centres back to the UK that might go a long
way to improving things but I doubt it'll happen...

Still when this is over go to another ISP and in fact people like idnet
do a combined net and phone line charge so with a bit of luck you'll
never have to deal with them again.

I know some have slagged VM off but IMHO there're a lot less incompetent
to deal with;!..

And thats saying something!(.
--
Tony Sayer

  #6  
Old June 19th 09, 10:00 AM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
eps
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default BT bill dispute

Mike Tomlinson wrote:
In article , Fred [email protected]
email.here.invalid writes

Earlier this year BT changed (increased) their fines and at the same
time our usage snowballed.


_Has_ your usage snowballed? Or is it just the bill? If your usage is
no different and you are not running any peer-to-peer applications, do
you have a wireless router? It sounds like someone may be leeching off
that.


That doesn't really address the OP's problem, he says he asked to be
moved onto a different package and BT didn't do that.

To be fair, I think this boils down to whether the OP has any record of
asking for the change of pacakge, it seems likely that BT do not which
is why they are chasing this bill.
  #7  
Old June 19th 09, 12:07 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Ato_Zee
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 343
Default BT bill dispute


To be fair, I think this boils down to whether the OP has any record of
asking for the change of pacakge, it seems likely that BT do not which
is why they are chasing this bill.


Companies deny having received anything when it suits them.
Recorded delivery often gets an illegible signature and a
denial of having received any relevant correspondance.
Phone calls just get you to repeat everything each time,
often at national rate, "We'll call you back" they never
do.
Only a County Court claim gets any response, they
have to, or lose by default.
  #8  
Old June 19th 09, 01:35 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
John Geddes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8
Default BT bill dispute

Ato_Zee wrote:
To be fair, I think this boils down to whether the OP has any record of
asking for the change of pacakge, it seems likely that BT do not which
is why they are chasing this bill.


Companies deny having received anything when it suits them.
Recorded delivery often gets an illegible signature and a
denial of having received any relevant correspondance.


What we need is some form of "Registered Email":

Government would need to pass legislation that required businesses above
a certain size to nominate a specific non-public email address to which
registered emails can be delivered: proof of delivery of an email to
that address would be ruled as constituting proof of service. In the
event of such an email bouncing, it would be held for the company to
collect, and a letter posted to their Registered Office notifying them.

Royal Mail (for want of anyone better) would run the service, offering
delivery of an email (with attachments if desired) for say the same
price as first class post plus Recorded Delivery charge (to pay for the
service and to keep the volume manageable). Royal Mail would archive
exactly what was sent and when. The customer would get an electronic
"Proof of Sending" which could be used to prove not only that something
was delivered (like Recorded Delivery mail) but also exactly what was
delivered.

Result - customers would have an affordable means of serving notices on
big corporations - so they could cancel contracts or give notice of
their wish to exercise a right (eg, as here, to change tariff) needing
to waste time being batted from pillar to post on the phone.

Corporations would hate it, as they couldn't deny receipt and any
misdirection within the corporation would be their problem rather than
the customer's. But good ones would adapt by improving their customer
service to avoid the need for customers to resort to using the
Registered Email service.

John Geddes


  #9  
Old June 19th 09, 03:57 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
eps
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default BT bill dispute

John Geddes wrote:
Ato_Zee wrote:
To be fair, I think this boils down to whether the OP has any record of
asking for the change of pacakge, it seems likely that BT do not which
is why they are chasing this bill.


Companies deny having received anything when it suits them.
Recorded delivery often gets an illegible signature and a
denial of having received any relevant correspondance.


What we need is some form of "Registered Email":

Government would need to pass legislation that required businesses above
a certain size to nominate a specific non-public email address to which
registered emails can be delivered: proof of delivery of an email to
that address would be ruled as constituting proof of service. In the
event of such an email bouncing, it would be held for the company to
collect, and a letter posted to their Registered Office notifying them.

Royal Mail (for want of anyone better) would run the service, offering
delivery of an email (with attachments if desired) for say the same
price as first class post plus Recorded Delivery charge (to pay for the
service and to keep the volume manageable). Royal Mail would archive
exactly what was sent and when. The customer would get an electronic
"Proof of Sending" which could be used to prove not only that something
was delivered (like Recorded Delivery mail) but also exactly what was
delivered.

Result - customers would have an affordable means of serving notices on
big corporations - so they could cancel contracts or give notice of
their wish to exercise a right (eg, as here, to change tariff) needing
to waste time being batted from pillar to post on the phone.

Corporations would hate it, as they couldn't deny receipt and any
misdirection within the corporation would be their problem rather than
the customer's. But good ones would adapt by improving their customer
service to avoid the need for customers to resort to using the
Registered Email service.

John Geddes



Its not a bad idea, in theory you don't even really need the government
to sanction it. Third party monitoring of email communication, might
make a good business...
  #10  
Old June 19th 09, 05:15 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
John Geddes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8
Default BT bill dispute

eps wrote:
John Geddes wrote:
Ato_Zee wrote:


Its not a bad idea, in theory you don't even really need the government
to sanction it. Third party monitoring of email communication, might
make a good business...


Without the government sanction, there could be argument whether sending
an email to a mailbox somewhere on a corporation's system constitutes
proper service of a notice. (Any customer "on the make" would only need
to find an infrequently-checked email address within a corporation and
they could potentially make a fool of the system). And if the email
bounced, then the company providing the service has to post a letter by
recorded delivery to the HQ ... and then has to prove what was included
in that letter.

The real benefit comes if you can get government to put the onus on the
corporation: if they don't provide a suitable email address, or if they
don't accept the letter advising them of the email available for them to
access, or if they don't bother to read it ... in any of these cases,
the contents are taken as "delivered" and the consumer's interests prevail.

John Geddes
 




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