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BT’s Struggle to Honour 9 Month UK Student Broadband Contracts

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 (7:41 am) - Score 798
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Last summer’s attempt by BT’s consumer division to attract student customers onto its broadband packages by offering a shorter 9 month contract may have backfired after the operator initially failed to honour its commitment and instead charged those whom attempted to leave for additional months, often including a £30 exit fee and £55 HomeHub charge.

Readers might recall that during August last year we highlighted a range of student friendly promotions (here), with ISPs like BT and Virgin Media reducing their usual 12-18 month contract periods to just 9 months for eligible subscribers (though if you can live without TV services then one of the smaller ISPs with a 1 month contract might be easier).

Unfortunately a report on Cable highlights several examples where subscribers found that their so-called 9 month contracts were not as advertised and those leaving were instead treated as if it was an early-exit on a 12 month term. In one example the combined cost of having to pay for unexpected line rental, broadband, exit fees and the HomeHub came to £117.

The good news is that BT, after receiving complaints, appears to have recognised their mistake.

A BT Spokesperson said:

We apologise to the small number of students affected by this billing issue and will refund those who have found themselves in this situation.”

The problems arise at the worst possible time for BT, with another student year fast approaching and any doubts likely to dissuade potential subscribers. As usual it’s also worth pointing out that BT’s concept of a “small number of students” has to be taken within the context of them having 7.3 million broadband subscribers (this figure is likely to rise again with tomorrows results).

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar Steve Jones

    So they acknowledged some mistakes and corrected them. That’s not really “fails to honour” is it? It’s a billing mistake. Of course that’s still a serious consumer service issue, but it doesn’t appear to be a refusal to accept terms of a contract, which is what the headline implies.

    • Avatar gerarda

      It is not just a billing mistake if BTs customer service confirms the charge – but a deliberate attempt to overcharge

    • Avatar Raindrops

      Depends the statement says… ““We apologise to the small number of students affected by this billing issue and will refund those who have found themselves in this situation.”

      But i can not remember the last time BT in a physical cash sense refunded anything, normally they want to apply it as credit to your bill which in this instance if they have left BT will not be doable.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      “But i can not remember the last time BT in a physical cash sense refunded anything”

      Speaking from what… your time in the BT refunds department or…. resident BT troll?

    • Avatar Raindrops

      Based on experience and examples on BTs site, one being…
      http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12763/c/761

      Calling people names just makes you look bitter as well as stupid.

  2. Avatar DTMark

    Is this a case of someone in the marketing department thinking that this would be a great idea and rushing to implement it before the IT team could get around to adding the necessary options to the billing system, assuming “we will deal with this later on” and then, er, not dealing with it perhaps..

  3. Avatar digi457

    Very misleading headline to say the least, this is not the kind of thing I have come to expect from your site although the article goes on to clarify the situation, this is what you can expect to read from a tabloid newspaper!

  4. Avatar RLP

    How to mess up your company’s future: Upset the very people who will be responsible for running companies which might have wanted to purchase your services in the future.

  5. Avatar HooRay

    makes you laugh on there advert where would we be without our super duper fibre?

    Ans: nowhere because its shite .

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