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Increase to O2 Mobile Phone Contract

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Hi all,

 

I have just received a text message form O2 that reads:

 

"O2: We need to tell you about a change to your tariff. From 28 February 2013, your monthly line rental will be going up by 3.2%. That's the same rate as inflation. To find out more, visit o2.co.uk/prices or call 2202"

 

When I had read it I did the obvious thing and checked O2's Terms & Conditions and it was clause 5.3 that caught my eye. It states:

 

"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)."

 

My next step was to check the current RPI annual inflation rate and found that the latest one which was released on 18th December is only 3.0% (as per the office of national statistics which I am not allowed to post a link too). This is however for November, but as the RPI for December isn't actually available until 15th January (or even calculable until December has ended) then the RPI for the date I was notified is set at 3.0%. This therefore means that they are actually increasing the price by more than what is allowed for in their T&C's and I should be able to cancel my contract?

 

I would be interested in what others think about this as I am aware that there was discussion a few months ago regarding a similar matter with other providers. I don't see why when you enter into a fixed price contract that they should just be able to increase the price whenever they want, even if it is only a small amount.

 

Regards

Mikey

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I'm currently having an interesting chat with O2 via their web chat. They are already trying to mislead me by giving me a link to Octobers RPI (which is 3.2%) rather than the latest one for November which is 3.0%. I'll post transcript when I have finished if anybody is interested

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I have just called o2 and there answer is they announced the increase when RPI was at 3.2%, therefore they say there in the clear

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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;

 

Note the words "at the date we notify you", which, in my case, is TODAY, 21st December and therefore the 3.0% RPI stands. I believe GravityGuy is in the same situation as me, having just been told of this increase, AFTER the October date when O2 decided to send out the mass email to all their customers. The way I read it, they are NOT " in the clear".

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This is the exact argument I am having with them now. They are saying that they 'announced' the change on the 11th. My argument is that the T&C's state the applicable rate is the one at the time they notify me (or you)

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Even if theey "announced" the change on 11th (December?), the latest RPI known was the one published in late November and this was 3.0%. This means that whichever way they argue it, they are still above the RPI ... keep up the good work GravityGuy!

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Also worth noting is section 19 of their general T&C's about notices. In section 5.3 it says

"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"

 

A 'notice' by their definition in section 19 states that notifications sent to us must be sent to our email address

 

"19 Notices

19.1 If you want to end the Agreement for any of the reasons described in paragraph 8.2 or 8.4, you must call customer service and give us 30 days’ notice (“Notice”).

 

19.2 Any other type of notice related to this Agreement must be in writing and delivered by email, by hand or sent by pre-paid post, to us at the address on your bill, or to you at the most recent address you’ve given us.

 

19.3 References in this Agreement to “in writing“ include email and notices to us must be delivered through the ‘Contact Us’ section of our Website, or to you at the most recent email address you’ve given us. You’ll need to tell us your full name, address, account number and Mobile Phone number when sending notice through the ‘Contact Us’ section of the Website."

 

I have received nothing by email at all which means they will also be in breach of contract on this one also as we will not have been effectively notified.

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I received an update by text via my phone and the words:

 

"Pay Monthly tariffs are going up in price. From 28 February 2013 they'll increase by 3.2% in line with inflation as at December 2012 when we made the announcement."

 

today on my account page of the O2 website. It clearly states December and also 3.2%

 

...I'd say ... knee deep ...so far.

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need to get my post count to 10 to post transcript (as it contains links to ONS etc)

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OK, here is the transcript from O2 (sorry, its quite long. I was chatting for almost an hour and a half)

 

info: Welcome to O2. Someone will be with you soon.

info: You're through to 'O2 : Aman'

O2 : Aman: Hi I'm O2 : Aman. How can I help?

Mike Xxxxx: Hi, I had a text message today saying that the price of my contract it going to increase by 3.2% as of february next year. I am not happy with this and would like to know why this is possible for a fixed price contract

O2 : Aman: I'll check and explain you.

O2 : Aman: Can I have your full name and mobile number?

Mike Xxxxx: Michael xxxxxx 11111 111111

O2 : Aman: Thanks for the information.

O2 : Aman: Please can you tell me the 2nd and 5th characters of your security answer?

Mike Xxxxx: x x

O2 : Aman: Thanks for the information. Please give me a few minutes while I check this for you.

O2 : Aman: Thanks for waiting.

Mike Xxxxx: no problem

O2 : Aman: We are increasing the tariff price by 3.2% effective from 28 February 2013. It's because of inflation

O2 : Aman: Your tariff line rental will be increased only. The other cost i.e. Bolt on, one off bolt on, roaming, International will remain unaffected.

O2 : Aman:

O2 : Aman: 3.2% is the same as the UK inflation rate (at the time of publishing this page). Inflation is measured by the Retail Price Index (sometimes called RPI). You can find out more about the Retail Price Index and inflation http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cpi/consumer-price-indices/october-2012/index.html

O2 : Aman:

Mike Xxxxx: but this is a 2 year contract. I don't agree to the price increase as it is not what I singed up to

O2 : Aman: You can check our standard terms and conditions. It states under the clause 5 that “We may increase or decrease our Charges from time to time. If we increase our Charges (apart from for Additional Services), we'll let you know at least 30 days before the Charges are due to go up”

O2 : Aman: To check the full terms and conditions, please visit http://www.o2.co.uk/termsandcondi

O2 : Aman:

Mike Xxxxx: The information you have provided is wrong. The latest figure for RPI is 3.0% not 3.2%

Mike Xxxxx: I have

Mike Xxxxx: 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).

Mike Xxxxx: you are charging me an extra 3.2% but current RPI is only 3.0% meaning that I can end my agreement as per the above condition

Mike Xxxxx: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cpi/consumer-price-indices/november-2012/index.html

O2 : Aman: I'm sorry

O2 : Aman: Please click here

Mike Xxxxx: yes, I have already posted the relevant clause above (clause 5.3) which states that if you increase the price by more than the current RPI then I can end the agreement. You are charging more than the RPI and I would therefore like to end the agreement. How do I do this?

O2 : Aman: let me check it again.

Mike Xxxxx: thank you

O2 : Aman: Thanks for the information. Please give me a few minutes while I check this for you.

O2 : Aman: I would inform you that As the other network provider have been increasing their Tariff rates in Every 12 months, but O2 is doing this after is long time

O2 : Aman: Price increases are never welcomed by anyone and this isn’t a decision we’ve taken lightly. However, we’ve kept it at RPI, which for over half our customers means a 58p increase per month: that’s the same cost as one pint of milk. This decision will mean we can continue to invest in the services that matter to our customers while still offering great value for money, such as O2 Priority Moments, O2 Gurus, O2 Wifi and O2 Recycle.

Mike Xxxxx: I'm not really interested in what other networks are doing, I'm interested in my rights as a consumer. Your terms and conditions clearly state that if you increase the cost by more than the current RPI then I am entitled to end the agreement without having to pay for the remainder of the contract. You are increasing by more than the RPI and so I would like to end the agreement as per clause 5.3 of O2's terms and conditions

O2 : Aman: let me check this for you.

O2 : Aman: Could you please give me 2 minutes?

Mike Xxxxx: no problem

O2 : Aman: Thank you.

O2 : Aman: Could you please help me with the link where you say that if we increase cost by more than current RPI then you are entitled to end the agreement without paying Termination fee.

Mike Xxxxx: It's the same link you sent to me

Mike Xxxxx: http://www.o2.co.uk/termsandconditions/mobile/our-latest-pay-monthly-mobile-agreement

O2 : Aman: Thanks

Mike Xxxxx: Please scroll down to section 5 of the service agreement and then see clause 5.3

O2 : Aman: let me see.

O2 : Aman: I have seen it

O2 : Aman: Thanks but I would also inform you that the Current RPI that we have is 3.2 it's not 3.0

Mike Xxxxx: Are you referring to the link you sent me earlier for the ONS?

O2 : Aman: Yes. As we have not increase your pay monthly Tariff more than by 3.2%

Mike Xxxxx: That link you sent me is out of date. This is the latest http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cpi/consumer-price-indices/november-2012/index.html

O2 : Aman: please give me a moment

O2 : Aman: I'll explain you now.

O2 : Aman: RPI has been revised on 18 Dec for 3.0 but we've communicate this to our customer on 11 Dec and that time it was 3.2.

O2 : Aman: communicated*

Mike Xxxxx: I was only informed today by text message. i have it on my phone to prove. I have received no other communications from you

O2 : Aman: Yes but we're sending this to all our customer from 11 Dec.

O2 : Aman: We've started this from 11 Dec and we're still sending text and email to our customers about this.

Mike Xxxxx: but you haven't informed me on the 11th Decmeber. You have informed me on the 21st December. Clause 5.3 specifically states that the applicable rate is the rate at the time you inform ME, not at the time when you start to inform your customers

O2 : Aman: As I've told you above that we're still sending the text to our customers.

O2 : Aman: We've lots of customers and we're sending this to every customer.

O2 : Aman: I'll give you a link where you'll get all the details about this.

Mike Xxxxx: OK, lets get back to basics. When was I informed about the rate change?

O2 : Aman: Please click here

Mike Xxxxx: It was today, just to make it easier.

Mike Xxxxx: That's great, but you did not notify me until today

O2 : Aman: You can check on our website where we've clearly mentioned that we're sending a text and its not possible that we can send all our customer text or email in one day.

Mike Xxxxx: I think we will continue to go around in circles here. What is the email address and postal address for O2 in order that I can both make a complaint and also end my agreement under section 5.3 of the terms and conditions.

O2 : Aman: please give me a moment.

O2 : Aman: Please wait while I transfer this chat to My Manager.

O2 : Aman: Please stay with us on chat.

Mike Xxxxx: thank you

O2 : Aman: we appreciate your patience and request you to please wait as this chat is being transferred. It may take few minutes.

info: Hold on. You're being put through to O2 - Ardee.

info: You're through to 'O2 - Ardee'

O2 - Ardee: Hello

O2 - Ardee: Give me a minute please with regard to the above conversation.

Mike Xxxxx: OK

O2 - Ardee: Thanks for waiting.

O2 - Ardee: If I understand your query is with regard to the recent price rise as per the RPI rate of 3.2%

O2 - Ardee: However, you major concern is that the RPI has now dropped down to 3.00% as per the UK Nationals stastics Board.

Mike Xxxxx: yes

O2 - Ardee: Is that correc t?

Mike Xxxxx: yes

O2 - Ardee: Thanks for confirming.

O2 - Ardee: Yes, you're right in your point. However, O2 has decided to go as per the RPI rate that was applicable on 11th December when we started notifying our customer the tariff price increase.

O2 - Ardee: Which means at the time of publication or notification the RPI rate was 3.2%

Mike Xxxxx: But clause 5.3 clearly states that the date which you notify me is the date at which is RPI is applicable. Can you confirm the date that "I" was notified?

Mike Xxxxx: And then also define what is meant by a "Notice"

O2 - Ardee: We started notification from 11th December 2012.

O2 - Ardee: The clause 5.3 states that we need to give a 30 days notice to all our Pay Monthly customers before making any changes to the monthly tariff price.

Mike Xxxxx: So how do O2's general terms and conditions define a "Notice" and how does it say that a customer is to be notified?

Mike Xxxxx: No, actually thats clause 5.2

O2 - Ardee: The term Notice means letting our customers know of the changes that will be made on there account. And as per our terms and conditions we're required to give a 30 days notice.

Mike Xxxxx: And how should notification by given to customers (as defined in your terms and conditions)?

Mike Xxxxx: *be given to customers

O2 - Ardee: It can be given via texts, emails or any such correspondence updated on your O2 Pay Monthly account.

Mike Xxxxx: 19.3 References in this Agreement to “in writing“ include email and notices to us must be delivered through the ‘Contact Us’ section of our Website, or to you at the most recent email address you’ve given us. You’ll need to tell us your full name, address, account number and Mobile Phone number when sending notice through the ‘Contact Us’ section of the Website.

Mike Xxxxx: It states that I should be notified by email. I have not been notified by email, only a text and only today the 21st December 2012. At the time I was notified the RPI is set at 3.0%

Mike Xxxxx: Again, we are going around in circles and getting nowhere. Can you please just give me the email address and postal address to both make a complaint and also end my agreement as per section/clause 5.3

O2 - Ardee: The date of notifying is the general date when we started the first notification and it isn't based on an individual date when he/she receives the text.

O2 - Ardee: On account of high customer base the date of notification doesn't relate to the date when you receive it. It's the date when we published the tariff price increase.

Mike Xxxxx: Clause 5.3 is quite specific. Can you please just let me have the email address and postal address as requested above

Mike Xxxxx: The terms and consitons state that I can send an email via the 'Contact Us' section of the website but there is no link to send an email

O2 - Ardee: That's right, it's quite specific which means the same as I've explained above.

O2 - Ardee: I understand that you can send us an email. I apologise if you aren't getting the option to send an email.

O2 - Ardee: You can write us at mycare@o2mailo2.co.uk

O2 - Ardee: mycare@o2mail.o2.co.uk

Mike Xxxxx: can you also let me have the postal address

O2 - Ardee: Sure

O2 - Ardee: Correspondence Management Team,

O2 - Ardee: PO Box 202,

O2 - Ardee: Houghton Regis,

O2 - Ardee: LU6 9AG.

O2 - Ardee:

Mike Xxxxx: And this is the correct address to make a complaint and also request the termination of my contract?

O2 - Ardee: You can also write us at ComplaintReviewService@o2.com

O2 - Ardee: Yes.

Mike Xxxxx: Thank you

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You don't need to worry about that, just write it out, something like this: "w. ons. gov. uk / ...."

 

Let's get you up to 10 anyway ...

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They inititially tried to fob me off by showing me Octobers figures, then when they realised that one, they tried to say that actually, as they had started to notify customers from the 11th December then the increase is valid. They continued to argue this even after I had shown them them that clause 5.3 clearly states that the rate of RPI is the rate when the customer is notified, not when O2 begin to notify customers. They still wouldn't have it though so I will be requesting in writing that they terminate my contract as per section 5.3 of their T&C's and then if they refuse to do so, I shall take it before the courts and let them decide

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You don't need to worry about that, just write it out, something like this: "w. ons. gov. uk / ...."

 

Let's get you up to 10 anyway ...

 

LOL, I just made it up to 10 as it was quicker! :roll:

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I can also add that the O2 Complaint Review Service is at

 

O2 Complaint Review Service

P O Box 302

Dunstable

LU5 9GN

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I have recently been notified too, seems fair in my case as I get free unlimited data, often over 4gb/ month as Tethered to pc, 600 mins and unlimited txts for £25/month.

but keep up the good work, I agree with your point of view.

 

I believe the energy companies use the same argument, saying when it is nationally announced about an increase that is the effective notification date and not when individually informed. ( contract law specialist required )

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LOL, I just made it up to 10 as it was quicker! :roll:

 

Yep! So it was. Thanks for sharing this information. I shall be writing today too. The only thing is, I shall have to take it tomorrow to the post office and have it sent by recorded delivery because they will try to claim they have not received it otherwise....

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Indeed they will. It does actually say under section 19 of their general T&C's that anything sent via the post must be sent registered post.

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I have recently been notified too, seems fair in my case as I get free unlimited data, often over 4gb/ month as Tethered to pc, 600 mins and unlimited txts for £25/month.

but keep up the good work, I agree with your point of view.

 

I believe the energy companies use the same argument, saying when it is nationally announced about an increase that is the effective notification date and not when individually informed. ( contract law specialist required )

 

If you're happy with it then fair enough but it's the principle for me more than anything else. Why should they be able to get away with it? All the big networks have done the same recently and this one at least seems to be something that hasn't been picked up by their legal team (unless I am completely wrong of course!!) lol

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I would also point out that if you get o2 to confirm that they are not going to do any more, you can take this complaint to "Ombudsman Services: Communications" (thats the Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme that o2 is signed up with)

 

 

MY thaughts are they are a toothless qango, but it costs o2 money to have a complaint looked at. If you explain that you want your PAC, you want your final bill zero'd or you want your contract reverting to the original price, and if they say "no" ask "Is that o2's final answer? May I escalate the complaint to the ADR now?" they may stumble ;)

 

Also the "pint of milk" thing he said... I'd point out that over a 24 month contract, it's more than £10, which if earning minimum wage would take more than 2 hours to get that after tax, and how would he like to work 2 extra hours to afford a price rise that is against their own T&C? ;)

 

I have recently been notified too, seems fair in my case as I get free unlimited data, often over 4gb/ month as Tethered to pc, 600 mins and unlimited txts for £25/month.

but keep up the good work, I agree with your point of view.

 

I believe the energy companies use the same argument, saying when it is nationally announced about an increase that is the effective notification date and not when individually informed. ( contract law specialist required )

 

You can get that package with 1500 mins for £25 p/m (including unlimited data and texts) from giffgaff... or if you can get away with 250 mins, it would only be £12 (and GiffGaff use the o2 network)


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I took out my contract, in August, for £36 a month, all you can eat, type

My usage is low, but I wanted fixed cost.................. I'm extremely unhappy, with the proposed increase.

 

As there seems to be better people, than me on the case ......... I shall, watch the thread

and wait with interest.

 

o2 ........ shame on you ........ fancy contract terms and fast speak

Does not a happy customer make!!!!

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HAHA yes, the pint of milk. That may be the case for some customers however the difference each month to me is more than £1.50 which is 4 pints of milk.

 

With regards to a contract law specialist, it just so happens that my wife is a solicitor that specialises in contract law :whoo: I asked her what she thought when she got home and she says that she thinks I have a very good case. With regards to notification, even energy companies must notify you personally in order for the notice to be deemed effective. They can't just put out a notice without specifically telling you as this would be deemed unfair and hence not enforceable.

 

My wife's adviceto me is to send a letter to O2 stating that I want to terminate the contract based on clause 5.3a on the grounds that the increase in price is greater than the current RPI. Then, when they write back to state that they do not agree, wait until the full 30 days of your notice period has passed. Then, when they next take payment from my bank issue a county court claim in the small claims court (easiest way is to use moneyclaimonline) and add a declaration onto the claim requesting that the judge declares that the contract has been terminated and that no further monies are to be paid to O2.

 

The reason for waiting for them to take monies is that it means you can do it through the small claims court which would limit your costs to £50 I believe (should you end up losing). If there was no monetary value included within the claim then it could potentially go through as a fast track. This means there is no cap on costs should you lose which is obviously a much greater risk.

 

I'm not saying that this is what you should do but this is what I will be doing.

 

I will keep this updated as and when I have anything further to report :)

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I took out my contract, in August, for £36 a month, all you can eat, type

My usage is low, but I wanted fixed cost.................. I'm extremely unhappy, with the proposed increase.

 

As there seems to be better people, than me on the case ......... I shall, watch the thread

and wait with interest.

 

o2 ........ shame on you ........ fancy contract terms and fast speak

Does not a happy customer make!!!!

 

Don't forget you only have 30 days to respond from the date you received your notification though. One thing worth noting, if you received your notification before 18th December then the rate of 3.2% RPI will be correct and there would be no basis for a claim (or at least with the line that I'm going down). My OH had an email on the 13th so she is in this boat unfortunately.

 

With regards to their fancy terms, it is these fancy terms that I hope will be their undoing in this instance. I am hoping that they will fall on their own sword, so to speak

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