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i have recently split from my husband and deceided move out and go on holiday to clear my head.


i was advised to not leave the house as it is a joint tenancy , but when i went back after 2 weeks i found that he had called BT and told them that we have split up and that he wanted a new phone in his name.


BT have now sent me a bill for some £450 , £160 as a final bill and the rest as cancellation charges for the phone and broadband.


i did call bt to tell them that I did not cancel this contract and that he had no authourisation to do so , but all thay could tell me is that as he was a close family member and must have had the relevent account details when calling , that this was o.k and all they needed.


How can this be? my name was the only one on the contract and i have not given them authority to deal with anyone else regarding my account.


they did ask if i wanted to resume service , however the phone line is now a new number and he has had sky BB activated , so i am basically being asked for money for cancelling a contract that i never did and i have no way of resuming the service even if i wanted to.


ANY advice would be gratefully appreciated on this.



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i did call bt to tell them that I did not cancel this contract and that he had no authourisation to do so , but all thay could tell me is that as he was a close family member and must have had the relevent account details when calling , that this was o.k and all they needed.


As the account was in your sole name, only you can cancel the agreement.


Have you complained in writing?


You will also find all the help you need at:


Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman - Home which is the first stage ombudsman before ofcom.


sorry for the late reply.:)

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  • 3 weeks later...


I would like to share my experience with providers so it may help you all.


Some time ago, when I moved to a new place I was in charge of the electricity bill, so I call british gas and changed the name of the bill. A few month later they sent a letter to me asking for around 300 pound for a period over a year.

Since the people in the house regularly paid the bills and we had the receipt, I sent an email to BG explaining the issue and asking them to correct the bill. After 1 or 2 hours wasted on the phone they said they were going to send me a new letter....and surprise! they sent another warning with a surcharge of 60 pound and saying that they would come to my place to disconnect the electricity with the police.

I called them again and the same again: waste of time and money. I put a complain through the independent watch dog and I sent the same complain to them with the people from watchdog on copy. Some days later, the people from watchdog called me asking me about the situation and saying that they would contact BG to see what happened.


Some days later, I got the right bill, which was just 40 pound.

**** Advice for BG complains ****

Do not waste time and money calling them. Contact the energywatch: Home Page and explain the situation.

Also send your complain to BG with the energywatch people on copy (I even included some European organisms on copy) and keep copy of all your emails and bills.




I moved to a new place and I needed to activate the line in order to have internet at home. Since BT is the only provider who can do this I had to call them to activate this service. I was informed about the set up fee of 125 pound, which you cannot avoid, and they offered me some other packages that were interesting (international calls, etc). I told them that I wanted the line just to connect to internet and refused their offers. I said that I preferred to have a look to the market and then decide which offer was best for me.

Some weeks later I moved to Talk Talk, whose package of phone, broadband and international calls was much better than any other offer in my area and it wasn't much more expensive than just the line rental of BT.

A few months later I received a letter from BT with the final bill of around 300 pound. In the details of the bill they said that it was due to the cancellation fee.

As I had never been informed of this, I did some researches on the net, read a lot of similar stories about BT and decided to put a complain.

I sent an email to BT, also a copy to the guys from Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman - Home and to some other organisations (Home page | Ofcom , that help the consumer.

I got a few replys but none of them saying something that could help me. BT said something like this

Dear Mr Gates,


Thank you for your e-mail regarding cancellation charges.


In response to your e-mail, I have looked into your account and found that your account has been terminated and there is an outstanding amount on your account for £289.25 . Further, the cancellation charges are the held to term charges for cancelling the services before the term which you have agreed for.

Further, after checking your account I can conferm that the cancellation charges are correct and needs to be maintained.


If you should have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us again via e-mail.


Thank you for contacting BT.


**** I've put in bold something they said I agreed but that I never did. I contacted BT over the phone, I signaled them that I needed a line because I wanted to set up internet and I couldn't go with any provider unless they activated my line. Later on, they never sent any contract or T&C to me so I didn't sign anything.

Some time later I received a remainder for the cancelation charges and I decided to call them to explain the issue and clarify the situation. I don't know if they listened to my recording and found that I was never told about any cancellation charge, but they cancelled the cancellation fee and let me go with no charges. They even refunded me some money.


**** Advice for BT complains ****

Review the information you received from BT, verbally or written. If you contracted your services over the net have a look and see if they say something about the cancellation charges in the T&C.

Call them to explain the situation. I don't know what information they verify on their end, but if you are lucky like me that I hire the service on the phone and I wasn't told at all about the cancellation charges and didn't sign any contract, then you'll resolve your problem.



Unfair Terms in Contracts - BERR


Consumer Direct


Welcome to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform


Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 2083


Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman - Contacting Otelo

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  • 2 years later...

The roling contract scheme came into play in 2008.


I have cancelled BT to go to Virgin Media in Aug, but BT notified me on Aug 16 that as I was leaving when I am still in Contract which was automatically renewed in July 2010, I have to pay a cancellation fee. They adviced that a end of contract notice was sent 30days prior in June 2010. (which I have never seen).


I wrote to refute stating that I have not agreed to sign for this contrct in 2008, have not agreed to renew in 2009, nor in 2010.


I was not aware of such a contract.


BT's response :

1. In my Bill, it is clearly printed the type of contract (Free Evening & Weekend, Automatically Renewalable Contract). So it's my fault for not reading my bill.


2. BT does not have any proof of delivery of the 30 day notice but they do not need to.


3. I had the chance to stop the cancellation when I received the 16 aug 2010 letter but did not. So it's my choice to leave with the understanding of a cancellation fee payable.



I rang BT this morning with the following response:


1. In the bill no start date or end of contract dates were printed.

2. Since there was no proof of delivery of notice, either by email or letter and nothing printed on my bill, How am I to know when my contract was due.

3. Please provide the contract BT claimed I agreed to in 2008. BT said there is no written agreement.


No matter what I said, the call center staff refuse to accept the fact that an agreement needs the consent of 2 or more parties. In this case, I was never made aware of the 'contract' Have not agreed to be bound by it, but the main thing is I have never received any notice warning me of the end of my contract.


This contract is essentially one-sided!


I urge all of you who are affected by this to cancel your direct debit immediately at least they will have to chase you for payment and not you for the refund.


Please make a complain to OfCOM at 020 7981 3040.


Please also email BBC Panorama at [email protected]

asking them to investigate.


Twit, Blog and email all your friends warning them of such dishonest practise. spread the word.


Please if there are any lawyers out that. Please advice.

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Sorry - this has already been covered ad nauseum. The contract never ended, or will do - the difference is in a minimum-term lock in. THis, BT has never made a secret of, and you benefited by getting free weekday off-peak calls, which is the carrot for the lock-in. If someone is sill enough to accept this carrot, then they have to play the game as set out by BT. DON'T take thefree calls, and oyu have a 30 day notice period and NO minimum term lock in.


If you cancel the DD, then you'll be pursued by a DCA. OFCOM have also agreed that BT is correct in their charging, but objected to them charging the full amount of the remaining months. This has now been capped at £5pm for each month outstanding - which is a fairer compromise.

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thank buzby,


I am questioning the legality since I have not seen a notice highlighting me to the date of renewal.


the contract was renewed apparently on 15 July 2010

I was first made aware of the cancelation charges by a letter dated 16 Aug 2010.


which coincidentally falls outside the 30 day cancellation window set by BT by a day.


If knew about the carrot fine call me sill(y) but I was not aware of this contract and it's contents.


I only got BT so that I could connect broadband with tiscali in 2004.


I rarely make any evening or weekend calls on my landline as I have unlimited minutes on my mobile.


So please before you start questioning the comprehension abilities of others, please clarify your assumptions.


Also, although it is a rolling contract, there is a window for cancellation which BT has made less than obvious in my case, not at all. There is a tangible end to this contract if one is suitably informed prior to the end/renewal date.

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I hate being an apologist for BT, but here is how it works. ALL customers are given free weekend calls at no cost (or hidden charge), it is provided as part of their standard call package. There is an option to extend this, (so instead of free off peak calls SAT/SUN, you get them all week, MON/SUN from 1900 to 0800hrs), and no charge is made for this, except for the minimum term on 12 months, which will auto renew unless you advise BT you wish to end your subscription and revert to the original free weekend calls offer.


BT say they write to remind customers of the rollover of the minimum term (NOT contract), but they are neither obliged to do this, nor responsible if the customer does not receive this reminder letter.


So my assumtions are correct - it is you who has made the error, as if you only wanted BB, why on earth ask BT to extend your free calls to include the weekdays if you had not planned to use them? This is an opt-in service. not opt out (as mandated by Ofcom) so either you ticked the box for the freebie, or did not notice you were applying for this. None of which makes what BT has done erroneous.


As is your claim you were in a rolling contract. You were not. Only the minimum term rolled for the free calls, as if you oped out - your contract would continue for its minimum term, (12 months, then 30 days). So you say you were unaware your were IN a cxontract, yet you had BT service? How come? Also, if you didn;t make use of the free calls, that's hardly their fault is it?

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buzby, I suggest you work for BT cos you sound as accusational as the call center staff are!


1. I connected to BT in 2004. the rolling contract thing only start in 2008. I did not 'Opt in' I was just slapped with it. My only fault i guess is as since my DD decudtion is never more than £15-20 /mth I don't question BT's charges.


2. In this case, your assumption has actually highlighted that BT cannot 'Opt me in' automatically which is the case here.


3. Not sure what you mean by not in a rolling contract, on my bill it says 'Automatic renewal'


4. As per my previous postings, I only use BT for Broadband. I never said it was their fault for my not using the free calls. It was you who mentioned the Carrot.


So please unless you have a solution, please stop embaressing yourself.



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Nope. Never did, never had and never will. If I sound like CS staff is because your position is untenable - basically you've opted in to a promotion that gave you free calss for a minimum-term deal. You wanted out and are not prepared to pay the price associated with it. That remains your problem, not BTs. I never got free weekday calls, as the lock-in was not worth the additional cost it would cost me. Why should I not play your game an get those calls free, yet expect to walk away without the restriction I agreed to? Because I knew they'd hold me to it. Ignorance of the arrangement you entered into is no excuse, and as Ofcom have upheld BTs proceedures as being fair and reasonable, with the implication that it was BTs customers who were going into agreements without taking care. Which seems to be your argument?


1. Again - despite attrempts to clarify, your contract doesn't 'roll' - it is the minimum term of service that does. Next, BT would have invited you to opt in for the free Weekday Calls, they could not impose it - so without you agreeing to it. it would not have been "slapped on". But even if it was, you would have had reminders each year stating that if you didn't want the lock in to continue, then to let them know.


2. If you didn't, as BT to provide details of when you 'opted in' - this will eaither be the date of the call you asked for it, or when they received your application form with the box ticked.


3. The automatic renewal is for the special offer of FREE weekday off-peak calls, NOT your contract, which carried on until you provide them with a notice of termination.


The only person who is embarassing is your unremitting inability to understand what you agreed to! Make them put up or shut up - but as most of the complaints support BT playing fair and the customer getting it wrong, you'll be in good company.

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