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Author Topic: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"  (Read 5975 times)

UncleUB

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BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« on: March 05, 2009, 12:58:56 PM »

BT are now putting users on a 'rolling contract'.If you don't cancel before it is up you will be locked in for another term and could be expensive to buy your way out of it.

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsid=111690



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If customers have been re-signed to the same package, they will be forced to pay up to £180 to extract themselves from the contract.

and

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Ofcom said BT and other communications providers have until April 1 this year to comply with its guidance on contract terms or face a review under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations. A spokeswoman said: "Ofcom does have some concerns over the automatic renewal of contracts if it means that consumers are subject to unintentionally long and recurring contracts. Ofcom will open an enforcement programme and will take action where necessary."

BT reiterated that it believes it is complying with Ofcom's rules and that its customers are exchanging a longer contract for a better deal. ®
   >:(
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 02:29:25 PM by UncleUB »
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tuftedduck

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 01:14:35 PM »

Barstewards  >:(

And this may have something to do with it.....http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/mar/04/bt-superfast-broadband-ofcom
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roseway

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 01:35:24 PM »

That's absolutely outrageous, and I would be rather surprised if it's legally enforceable unless the customer specifically signed up for those terms; otherwise it's a change of contract which the customer didn't agree to.
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  Eric

HPsauce

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 06:10:00 PM »

What is amusing is that the PCadvisor links says:
"Top 10 Broadband is surprised by BT's decision to enforce rolling contracts on customers. Taking this approach is not particularly helpful to customers during these tough economic times. This policy is peculiar as other ISPs – including TalkTalk and PlusNet – are taking measures to reduce the cost of their broadband packages"
PlusNet of course are changing from 1-month to 18-month contracts! Keep up PC Advisor!
(now who owns PlusNet.... :-X )
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weezer

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2009, 01:11:52 PM »

Article seems a bit confused, rolling contracts are only for a couple of BT's call plans which you get free or reduced rate if you sign up. Don't think you are just put on these contracts.
Nothing to do with broadband.
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UncleUB

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 01:21:02 PM »

Article seems a bit confused, rolling contracts are only for a couple of BT's call plans which you get free or reduced rate if you sign up. Don't think you are just put on these contracts.
Nothing to do with broadband.


According to the article it seems a lot like BT broadband to me.

BT also have rolling contracts for landline calls if you sign up for free evening and weekend calls on a 12 month ongoing contact,otherwise £2.70 a month.
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UncleUB

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 02:44:54 PM »

Heres another article on the subject from www.thinkbroadband.com


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BT Total Option 1 with rolling contract
Friday 06 March 2009 13:27:28 by Andrew Ferguson

Generally most of us accept 12 month contracts on broadband products and in return often get free broadband hardware. The rise of the value of the freebies which can be a laptop these days has seen contracts lengthen to 2 years in some cases. In a highly competitive market with new deals every few weeks, signing up to lengthy contracts can be risky as just like the stock market, performance of a provider now is no sure indicator to its future performance.

BT Retail has taken contracts one step further, and many people will say it is one step too far. In return for free evening and weekend calls which BT Option 1 customers are offered, BT Retail will be automatically renewing contracts for a further 12 months at the end of the existing one. Standard industry practice is that once the minimum term has been completed most providers drop back to just requiring a 30 day notice period for you to leave. This means that BT customers could find themselves paying up to £180 to exit the contract, hardly conducive to a free and competitive market.

    BT’s rolling contract policy flies in the face of the majority of telecommunications providers’ renewals practices – where the default position at the end of a contract is that a customer becomes a free agent. This enables them to scour the market for the right deal for them and, if they wish, to change providers.

    "We believe that rolling contracts are a sharp practice at any time, but particularly so in the current credit crunch and with given the riches available in the market," said Andrew Heaney from TalkTalk. "We would like to see these unfair rolling contracts stamped out and have already called upon Ofcom to take a firm line in this area."

    Andrew Heaney continued: "BT cynically places the onus on its customers to cancel their contracts – simply because it knows that many of them will simply forget."

    Jo Stockwell, 39, from south-west London, is a BT customer who's unhappy with the idea of rolling contracts: "I've been a BT customer since 2006 but my contract is coming to an end, so for the last 3 months I've been hassled by calls from them suggesting I move onto a rolling contract - apparently because I can save £3! I really wouldn't feel comfortable doing this as I don't like the idea of being tied in, and I think it makes it easier for companies to hike up their charges if they know you've got to stick with them. I'm seriously considering moving ISP and I'm doing some research into other alternatives at the moment."
    TalkTalk Press Release

We would have covered this news earlier when TalkTalk sent out a press release highlighting the issue, but we have been trying to decipher the BT Total Broadband website and terms and conditions, which do not appear to set out the terms of the rolling contract in an easy to find or understand manner.

BT Retail says that it contacts customers 30 days before the expiry date of the contract to let people know about the renewal and give them a chance to move provider if they want, but how many people will understand the implications until they try to take up what are increasingly attractive offers from competitors.

Should Ofcom and other consumer bodies act on this change? It is something that is not uncommon in the business sector, but consumers are never assumed to have as much contract term knowledge as a business. Ofcom exists to ensure a fair and open market, and should really investigate these new contract rules. BT Retail is risking putting off a lot of new sign-ups, since even if this rolling contract only applies to a subset of their products, many people will not want to take the risk, but then after some nine years after ADSL roll-out started there are still many who think that because BT Total is part of the BT Group that its broadband is better than any other on the market.

We have contacted BT about the issue, but are waiting on a reply.
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weezer

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 04:41:56 PM »

It's the same story I've seen rehashed on other sites, still seems wrong. Confuses the old BT calls package BT Together Option 1, now the Unlimited Weekend Plan, with BT Total broadband option 1. These rolling contracts were started in April 2008 where you get free evening and weekend calls, nothing new here really apart from TalkTalk bleating about them ie. handy publicity for TalkTalk at the same time as the initial 12 months is up at the end of March.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 04:47:43 PM by weezer »
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weezer

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Re: BT Broadband "Rolling Contracts"
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2009, 08:09:35 PM »

Thinkbroadband have updated their story - "The renewable contract is in relation to traditional PSTN calls packages......." http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3894-bt-total-option-1-with-rolling-contract.html
Nothing to do with broadband, whole story basically wrong.
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