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Increases in 2 yr contract monthly charges - breach of contract by O2?

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When I signed up with O2, about 18 months ago now, I was told in no uncertain terms by the sales assistants, that the cost will remain the same throughout the term of the contract. This was the strong point in their sales patter - the reliability of this charge being the same constantly to help you budget for the duration of your contract.

 

I was (foolishly) persuaded. May I ask whether this constitutes a breach of contract if they now decide to increasse the charges in spite of having made verbal promises via the sales staff to keep to the same price every month for the duration? If there is a clause that allows them to do this, would this constitute an UNFAIR contract?

 

After all, I am required to pay IN FULL the complete remaining cost of the remaining months should I decide to leave O2 and even then, after payment has been made, I would need to give a month's notice AND not enjoy the service any more from that day onwards.

 

Should I complain to OFCOM? I shall, of course, be complaining to O2.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Rraa,

 

I have just had the message also stating that the price of my 2 year contract (which I am 6 months into) is going up by 3.2%. I have made a post myself as I believe this is above the current RPI (as per O2's T&C's) and we should therefore be able to cancel the contract without penalty or having to pay for the rest of the contract. See below for the specific clause I found

 

"5.3 You can end this Agreement without having to pay the Monthly Subscription Charges up to the end of any Minimum Period you have left, if:

(a) we increase your Monthly Subscription Charges by more than the Retail Price Index (RPI) annual inflation rate at the date we notify you of the applicable price increase; or

(b) we increase any of our Charges (apart from for Additional Services) in such a way that would have increased your total bill for the immediately previous month by more than 10% (if the increase(s) had applied for the whole of that month)."

 

I am waiting to see what other comment but it certainly looks like a possibility. They shouldn't be able to get away with increasing charges like this as it is completely unfair and a complete con. Inflation should be expected and it should already be incorporated into the contract when it is taken out (which I am sure it is). It's just another way to try and con more money out of you!

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Thank you GravityGuy. I see from the Office for National Statistics (www . ons. gov.uk) website updated 18 December that "The Retail Prices Index (RPI) annual inflation stands at 3.0 per cent in November 2012, down from 3.2 per cent in October..." which means that the increase IS above the RPI and so the claim would hold. I shall definitely make an enquiry with this in mind and see what O2 say.

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I'm just on a web chat with them and they really aren't doing too well at the minute. The hole they are digging is getting deeper and deeper! lol

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I gave Gravityguy some advice, Take a read here and continually ask if "that is o2's final response" so you can escalate the complaint.


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

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

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Thanks Locutus. I have put a draft of my letter which will be sent to them today, on the other thread of the same topic. I have found out how to email them so will do both. I don't wish to chat online as I doubt it will achieve much and cannot be as easily traced as written communication.

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Follow this and keep trying to get them to confirm their "final response"

 

Complaints Code of Practice

 

At O2, we always try to make sure things run as smoothly as possible for our customers. If you're unhappy with any part of our service, please tell us.

 

Your complaints give us a chance to put things right and also means we can improve our service to you and our customers in future.

 

Our service teams are in the best position to deal with your complaint and should be the first people you contact. You can contact them by phone, letter or email. You can do this by clicking here

We'll look into your complaint immediately and aim to sort the issue out as fully as we can within 14 days. If something comes up that means it may take longer than this we’ll discuss this with you. If you're unhappy with our decision, ask for one of our team managers to investigate further.

 

We hope that we will have been able to sort out any problems by this stage. However, if you're still not satisfied after speaking to one of our managers and you'd like an impartial review, please write to:

 

O2 Complaint Review Service

PO BOX 302

DUNSTABLE

LU6 9GN

 

Alternatively you can email us directly at: complaintreviewservice@o2.com

or fax us on 0870 600 2402. We’ll aim to review your complaint within 14 working days.

 

Please include the following information:

 

 

  • Your name and address
  • Your mobile and account numbers
  • A daytime contact number
  • A suggestion of what you'd like us to do to put things right

If you've had any previous correspondence relating to your complaint, please send copies of these as well as any names of supervisors and managers you've spoken to.

If we haven’t been able to sort things out within eight weeks, the ombudsman can review your complaint for free. Unless there is a deadlock situation, they won’t look at cases that are less than eight weeks old. Contact them directly at:

 

Ombudsman Services: Communications

PO Box 730

Warrington

WA4 6WU

 

Phone: 0845 050 1614

Textphone: 0845 051 1513

www.os-communications.org

Email: enquiries@os-communications.org

 

For information on your consumer rights, get free advice from your local citizens advice bureau (CAB), consumer advice centre, local authority trading standards or consumer protection department. You'll find their contact details in the local telephone directory or ask at your town hall or local authority offices.


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

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

If you can't donate, please use the Internet Search boxes on the CAG pages - these will generate a small but regular income for the site

 

Please also consider using the

C.A.G. Toolbar

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I have sent an email on 22nd December and backed it up in writing. Here is the email reply:

 

"Thank you for contacting us about the price rise announcement.

 

I realise that you aren't happy with the increase in the price of your

monthly tariff.

 

Just so you know, we're increasing the tariff price by 3.2% effective

from 28 February 2013 because of inflation.

 

Price increases are never welcome and this isn?t a decision we?ve taken

lightly. We have to make a change and increase our prices in line with

the current RPI. We have avoided putting our prices up as long as

possible (even when all our competitors have been raising theirs). But

we can't put it off any longer.

 

However, it will help enable us to continue to invest in the services

that matter to our customers while still offering value for money, such

as priority moments,O2 Gurus, O2 WiFi and O2 Recycle.

 

This change is only applicable to Monthly Line Rental Charges which

means everything else stays the same including charges for calls, texts,

bolt ons and data.

 

This change is reflected in our Terms and Conditions which states we may

increase our charges from time to time. If we increase our charges, we

have to let you know at least 30 days before the charges are due to go

up and we won't increase the Monthly Line Rental Charges more than once

in any 12 month period.

 

If you cancel your contract now then you'll be charged an early

termination fee. This is because you'll be cancelling your contract

within the contract term.

 

I appreciate your understanding with this matter.

 

Kind Regards

 

MY REPLY TODAY, 24.12.2012

 

Thank you for your reply. The wording of clause 5.3 is

 

"5.3 You can end this Agreement without having to pay the Monthly Subscription Charges up to the end of any Minimum Period you have left, if:

(a) we increase your Monthly Subscription Charges by more than the Retail Price Index (RPI) annual inflation rate at the date we notify you of the applicable price increase"

 

... therefore, I am taking advantage of the protection this clause offers customers.

 

 

Yours sincerely

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That looks very... erm... templatey? (is that a word?) to me!

 

As I said before, every reply, ask "is that your final response?". I would also use small words to explain what they have done wrong. Something like:-

 

 

I was promised when taking the contract that the price would not increase, and it was locked at £xx per month. I feel this was missold. Please either keep to what was agreed, release me from the minimum term or if you have already given your final standing, allow me to escalate this complaint to Ombudsman Services: Communications


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

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

If you can't donate, please use the Internet Search boxes on the CAG pages - these will generate a small but regular income for the site

 

Please also consider using the

C.A.G. Toolbar

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Thank you Locutus. I take your point.

 

I know what you mean by "templatey" - it appears as if I had taken the wording from a textbook example which could be rather generic and not specific enough to support my particular argument.

 

I shall use your wording when I reply to their next objection - which will come after Christmas, no doubt. Thank you for your constructive criticism. This is very helpful. :D

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You are welcome, and get off the computer, it's Christmas! :p

 

Thinking about it, maybe only offer the 2 options, Release me from the minimum term or let me escalate the complaint... In the meantime, enjoy the festivities as I will, and let o2 sweat over new year :)

 

Merry Christmas :)


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

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

If you can't donate, please use the Internet Search boxes on the CAG pages - these will generate a small but regular income for the site

 

Please also consider using the

C.A.G. Toolbar

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