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Non-renewal of broadband/telephone line

KR1485

Member
I wonder if anyone can help. In a nutshell, was not happy with my ISP. Found out when contract was due to end and asked how much notice they needed for me to confirm I did not want to renew. Told 4 weeks, so gave 5 weeks' notice. Got in touch with new provider about a week later who said they would initiate transfer. Paid final month's bill which went past the contract end date.

New provider continually blocked from taking over (first a 'cease' which old provider said put in place in "error" and then an issue with BT OpenReach and then about 7 further attempts "rejected"). Old supplier denied this. They then, despite my instruction for the contract not to be renewed, continued to bill me after the contract end-date (early July). They are trying to bill me for August and September (despite cutting the line entirely on 29th July).

Very, very long story short, referred to Ombudsman (Ofcom said I had grounds for complaint as did the Ombudsman, as did Citizens' Advice Bureau). They have ruled that the bill should be paid because I was being provided with a service. Despite the fact I had given notice that I did not want to renew and gave sufficient notice. How can a company keep you in a contract that you have done everything correctly to not renew? Hardly my fault that the new provider could not take over the line (they insist that old provider never lifted the original 'cease' which sounds plausible).

Any help, gratefully received. Saw on this website that the Ombudsman is funded by the telecoms industry so they're hardly impartial.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Hmm that sounds tricky, but would you rather have been left with no working service during the transition?

The way I see it you have a couple of options as you've already run the Ombudsman route. You could and probably should start by disputing the Ombudsman's findings and asking them to review the case based on your points. Alternatively you could take it to the small claims court.

I'd also raise this with Ofcom as they're responsible for reviewing the related ADR process, although they themselves won't be able to do anything for your specific case but it may help in future reviews.
 

KR1485

Member
Thanks very much for your response. I don't think the old supplier was doing it out of the kindness of their heart. As it turned out, I was left three weeks without phone and internet (it should have just been just 2 days).

It appears from their response to the ADR that they deliberately chose to read my instruction not to renew as a cancellation thus necessitating the 'cease' and this is why my new supplier could not take over. When I refused to be bullied by them into staying (they offered inducements and then sent threatening letters about a termination fee), they cut my internet and ability to make outgoing calls on 29th July and cut the phone line entirely on 4th August. Miraculously, new supplier (who they insisted had never tried to take over the line) could then start the take-over. They have actually lied to the ADR. The 'evidence' they have supplied has not been made available to me. They also double-charged me two years ago when I wanted to change the contact details on the account, bouncing me into a new contract against my wishes. They refuse to engage at all on the fact that they owe me a refund (despite me providing copy bank statements).

How can it be right that, despite giving express instructions that I did not want to renew, they kept me, against my wishes, in a contract and then charged me for another month (not only that, but they tried to charge me for the following two months!). Placing the 'cease' on the line, prevented my new supplier from taking over. A brilliant ruse if you want to extort more money out of your departing customer. And if you look at the online reviews of this company, there are many, many others who have been victims of their appalling 'service'.

So, I wonder where I stand legally. Do I cave in and pay up for and lose my double payment from two years ago so that I don't get taken to court and have my excellent credit rating trashed, or do I challenge the ADR decision (which is probably unlikely to be overturned). I think this behaviour stinks of sharp practice (it is instructive that when I reported the supplier to Ofcom, the person there said that I had "gone above and beyond" what was required of me. But I will, as you suggest, go back to the Ombudsman.

Thanks again.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Whatever you do, it's usually wise to pay and then dispute the charge through ADR or the small claims court, than risk damage to your rating.
 

KR1485

Member
Thanks. Though depressing that the big-guy business, lying through its teeth, gets my hard-earned because they can bully and issue threats. Thoroughly reprehensible way to conduct business. And I'm not the only one of this opinion. So many appalling reviews for this company (basically saying the same thing I am) and they get away with it.
 
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