Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder TheWatcherxx99 Novitiate

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    Default BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    Hi I've had a good search through the forum for answers and don't feel that anyone has addressed this issue properly.

    It regards:

    BT's Late Payment Charges of 7.50 and the Payment Processing Fee of 4.50.

    In short. I don't want to pay it. I'm happy to pay my bill. But where do I stand legally on this issue? Do BT have a right to make these charges?, if not, is there a letter templateicon I can send out to them? Or can someone tell me how I can go about challenging this trumped up charge?

    I am willing to go to court over this. So if anyone could answer the above I would be most grateful to use your advice to stand up to BT.

    Thanks.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    BT have alreadt won a court case, where the judge agreed the fee was reasonable, and the sill solicitor who raised the action did nothing to put up anything other than a low-key pursuit - and had an unsympathetic judge.

    Because of this BT are taking this as full judicial acceptance that their policy is fair and reasonable, as such you're most welcme to give them a run for their money, it it's going to be a challenge!


  3. #3
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    I had been looking out for that court case, and missed it.

    It's a bugger that they lost the case. How can they justify 4.50 to process a cheque? My business (a small one) gets charged 28p per cheque, and all of these firms say they have bulk clearing so they are probably paying about 5p.

    What an opportunity lost. Why did she bother in the first place? For a solicitor to screw this up is unbelievable.

    I always just knock them off, and pay for the charges I have actually incurred. They carry it forward and I knock it off again.

    I had another situation with BT - unfair charges when I went from one ISP to another and the charges went through BT and it appeared okay, and then they billed charges two quarters' late. Obviously if I had had the correct charges, I wouldn't have stayed with the ISP. Screamed and yelled, paid the actual call charges, and this went on for over two years, and then they backed down. It was about 400.

    Send letters, say you still don't agree with it, and keep on and on and on. If you get calls, tell them to respond to your letters. Tell them you will change phone companies. None of these companies, BT, British Gas, etc., actually ever seem to send a proper letter.

    Good luck!

    DDicon


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder grobian Novitiate

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    By way of protest i pay this charge on a seperate cheque.
    At least i can cost them an extra 28p that way.


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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    My bank also charges me per cheque, so I'd be shooting myself in the foot if I tried it this way.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    Someone posted an idea a while back... set up a standing order for 5p per day to cover that charge.... you're still paying it but getting real value for money

    If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    An urban myth. Banks will not permit a daily Standing Order - which they will see it for what it is, a juvenile prank in which they won't be prepared to join in.


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder InformedSearcher Novitiate InformedSearcher Novitiate InformedSearcher's Avatar

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    BT woes....
    Just to add and what happened with myself.
    If you do not pay by direct debiticon they charge you 4.50 a quarter as an administration fee. This fee has been mentioned as I believe around a year ago there was debate on it. The end result is that there is a 'cap' of 5 agreed with Ofcom on this (for any phone provider). The BT payment page is here: How can I pay my bill? | Help | BT.com
    Personally it seems to 'only' way to avoid the adminicon fee (for BT) is to either pay by direct debit or in full.
    Then we come to the late payent fee for BT (also on the link above). It would seem that Ofcom has agreed all this. In my case I am now unemployed and have had the most horrendous argument in that the 'catch 22' situation occured. Last quarter the man said as long as I paid by the next bill it would be okay however he never mentioned it as a 'one time offer' nor did he mention the 4.50 charge. Today's argument was simply if I don't pay the bill within the month (to the bill date) then 7.50 would be charged and 5 days later the phone be put to 'incoming calls only'.
    I think the whole thing is grossly unfair and have escalated by complaint to the Ofcom BT referred helpline.
    What shocked me more than anything is the blatant attitude of 'If you don't pay then sevices get cut and eventually restricted and removed'. For years I have paid my bills by DDicon till my bank cancelled them all (their excuse was they were helping me!) at the begining of February. For that to happen just about all services and suppliers then charge penalties.
    Michael

    When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is. (Oscar Wilde)
    --I like to be helpful wherever possible however I'm not qualified in this field. I do consider carefully anything important (normally from personal experience) however please understand that any actions taken are at your own risk--
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  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder anotherguy Novitiate

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    purely for information.
    These outrageous fees have angered me since they first began. It is MY choice how i choose to pay my bills and I do not for one second trust BT will deciding how much they take from MY bank account each month.
    I used to also subtract their PPF fees (since i always pay online BACS which costs nothing to process) from the bills prior to BT amending their T&C's which then made them legal.
    Anyway, Ive now managed to leave BT. The other week I logged in to my online BT account one last time to discover it said they owe me 23 and that it would be paid by 3rd June by cheque.
    Well the cheque has now arrived (late).
    Just to prove the point i am now sending BT a bill for 4.50 to cover the cost for me to process the payment they have sent me, and an additional 7.50 since they sent the payment late.
    I have no doubt they will try to ignore my demands but it will quite clearly demonstrate to BT their charges are utter BS.

    BTW Ive now moved to orangeicon as they offer 20Mb broadband for just 17 per month and that INCLUDES the monthly line rental which BT charge 12 for anyway!
    BT YOU SUCK

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    Sorry, this is pointless grandstanding.

    I agree with your sentiments, but if the public are willing to accept their treatment in this way, more fool them. Do remember, BY has a published price list that their customers can either agree to. BT, in sending you a cheque is providing you with your own money back. Since you did not advise BT that you made such a charge for processing cheque payments, it would be unreasonable for you to attempt to extord money in this way. A prior agreement would give your claim 'legs', but without one you;ll come across as unstable.

    No point in shooting yourself in the foot, as you'd need to take them to court, and you'd lose. (A Shame, but there you go).


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder anotherguy Novitiate

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    Im glad you used the term "extort" since legal or not that is what BT do to their customers, and yes im quite aware BT are not going to pay it and are under no olbigation to do so (goes without saying) it simply gets the point across. They are thieving money grabbing ****, charging unreasonable fees for nothing.
    I just thought it would once be nice to allow them to be on the receiving end of their own BS. I even made sure to use as much of their own pre-scripted rubbish that Ive had to endure from them explaining just how reasonable the charges are.
    BT have such an unfair monopoly we have no choice but to bow down to them or face their barrage of charges. So as i say, its just my parting shot at them to make the point.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    Unfortunately, your letter/invoice will only be seen by CS and routinely ignored. However, if you're going to the bother, why not sent it to MD Ian Livingston? A minion might just be tickled with it enough to pass it on as a costomer's concern...?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Desperate Daniella View Post
    I had been looking out for that court case, and missed it.

    It's a bugger that they lost the case. How can they justify 4.50 to process a cheque? My business (a small one) gets charged 28p per cheque, and all of these firms say they have bulk clearing so they are probably paying about 5p.

    What an opportunity lost. Why did she bother in the first place? For a solicitor to screw this up is unbelievable.

    I always just knock them off, and pay for the charges I have actually incurred. They carry it forward and I knock it off again.

    I had another situation with BT - unfair charges when I went from one ISP to another and the charges went through BT and it appeared okay, and then they billed charges two quarters' late. Obviously if I had had the correct charges, I wouldn't have stayed with the ISP. Screamed and yelled, paid the actual call charges, and this went on for over two years, and then they backed down. It was about 400.

    Send letters, say you still don't agree with it, and keep on and on and on. If you get calls, tell them to respond to your letters. Tell them you will change phone companies. None of these companies, BT, British Gas, etc., actually ever seem to send a proper letter.

    Good luck!

    DDicon
    March 2008

    Think this may be the Case BT: court action for bill charges? - Channel 4 News


  14. #14
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    I attempted to contact her on two occasions, but I didn't connect. The last I heard (at the time) was that she was 'considering an appeal', but of course, this did not happen. As I recall she was a PROPERTY solicitor, and had not planned the action on a multi faceted level, just the single complaint, and the judge felt BT had fully advised its customers adequately, and as such were entitled to charge providing the charges were 'transparent'.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    What are they actually charging for? I pay my bill through online banking so it goes straight into their bank. Nobody has to handle a cheque and presumably the references mean the whole thing is automated. Is there any human intervention in such payments and if not why do I get charged the processing fee?


  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder Mrs Hobbit Novitiate Mrs Hobbit's Avatar

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    I too pay by internet banking and still get charged the 4.50 fee every quarter. No cheque involved here. I have thought about withholding the fee when I pay my bill and I pay it in full every quarter, also bear in mind we are paying for a service not yet used, three month line rental in advance. I wont allow a DDicon after the fun I had proving my innocence regarding a DD set up back in 2006, but that is another story.

    Getting my life back in order after ID used by others for their enjoyment.
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  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder Mark_Blackpool Novitiate

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    With regard to the late payment charges: the bills appear to be back dated so that they're generated on day 1, arrive on day 8 or 9 and are due for payment on day 10 - pretty well impossible. However this then means that BT can charge another 7.50. Hence the payment processing fee is, in effect, 12.

    That's been my experience on two separate occasions when we had BT and was the main source of the dispute which led to us abandoning our line altogether and going with 3G for broadband, which for us is about 50% faster than ADSL was anyway. Hardly our loss

    Why not change to the Post Office, who don't rip you off to the tune of 4.50 just to pay a bill?


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder Mrs Hobbit Novitiate Mrs Hobbit's Avatar

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    The Hobbits are off to the Post Office, hope they don't want a DDicon to pay the bill.

    Getting my life back in order after ID used by others for their enjoyment.
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  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder anotherguy Novitiate

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    Quote Originally Posted by hightail View Post
    What are they actually charging for? I pay my bill through online banking so it goes straight into their bank. Nobody has to handle a cheque and presumably the references mean the whole thing is automated. Is there any human intervention in such payments and if not why do I get charged the processing fee?
    I also used to pay in the same manner. The way BT USED to charge the PPF wasnt legal since it was a penalty for not allowing them DDicon, I used to withhold the PPF payments and sucessfully got them written off after a lot of arguing with BT. BT some time ago reworded their T&C's which now makes the PPF perfectly legal since its no longer a penalty for not allowing DD, they now in effect do not charge you extra for not paying by DD but instead give customers who do pay by DD a discount.
    In effect its exactly the same, theyre penalising you because you dont want BT having access to your bank account but its perfectly legal - hence why Ive left them the moment my 12mth contract was up.

    Not great business sense really, their stealth charge of 4.50 per quarter or 18 per year has just cost them a minimum of 144 per year in line rental alone (I never actually used the phone line for anything other than internet access). If more people voted with their feet they'd soon get the message.


  20. #20
    Basic Account Holder Mrs Hobbit Novitiate Mrs Hobbit's Avatar

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    Default Re: BT - Late Payment Charge & Payment Processing Fee

    The Hobbits have just used their big feet and walked over to the Post Office. Bye bye BT

    Now to cancel with Talk Talk, because the Hobbits calls from Middle Earth to the world of Humans are going to get cheaper.

    Mrs Hobbit can afford a new cloak with the savings



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