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    • In March 2016 I took out a boiler from a shade greener on a conditional sale for 10 years was approximately £40 per month for 10 years which sounded a bit expensive but they advised that all parts and labour would be covered over that 10 years and an annual safety check which sounded great as it took away the worries of the boiler breaking down and replacing with expensive parts plus they said they would power flush it so I went ahead And also they had a call out of a maximum of waiting 24 hours. The whole installation and power flush took approx 4.5 hours. I didn’t have any problems until 23 months later when the hot water was playing up and I was told when I rung that if it was debris in my boiler that the visit would be chargeable. I advised none of this was mentioned when I took the agreement but they was insistent as it happened I was due a service within a couple of days so they did the visit and said it was debris and they cleaned the heat exchange plate as a gesture of goodwill. Approx 6 months later started having intermittent problems with hot water so I called again and was told by an advisor over the phone that it was my heat exchange plate which was blocked due to debris and I would be charged, I asked the advisor if he was a gas safety registered engineer and he said he wasn’t so I asked how he could be making such technical diagnosis’s over the telephone and I asked why the boiler would be blocked with debris when a power flush is supposed to last 5-6 years, I also asked if they cleaned the filter on a boiler service which they said they didn’t and they didn’t have to. I got my own gas engineer to check and it was a different fault and rang back and they sent someone out. I made a complaint to asg and i posted on social media about the disgraceful way I was spoken to on the phone and their service in general only to be sent a letter threatening libel on me and I had two days to sign a letter promising I wouldn’t post anymore on such platforms. Hence i didn’t sign and the Facebook group was changed to private however within 24 hours staff members of asg tried to infiltrate the group and when I raised this with asg they banned me from using the 24 hour call out facility and would only allow me to communicate by recorded delivery as I’d been abusive and threatening to staff which they apparently had proof of to provide to the courts if necessary. I did a sars request to asg to request said copper of emails and call recordings to which they couldn’t supply so I made a complaint to the information commissioners office who in turn raised this with asg who admitted they infact did not have these (because it never happened). Also it transpired that my boiler wasn’t fitted to gas safe regulations/building regs/manufacturers instructions to which asg denied (the flue was discharging into next doors garden) to which asg sent their head engineer round who got my tenant to sign documents (with my name in the boxes) to say their was no issue with the flue even though this had been raised several time’s. I also found out there was a charge registered against my property which prevented me from remortgaging even onto a better rate that was never mentioned when I signed up. I took these issues to the financial ombudsman who looked at the case and in the meantime I got gas safe to inspect the boiler who confirmed it wasn’t legally compliant after my solicitor checked the boundaries of the property so the ombudsman ruled in my favour that they should wind down the credit agreement, remove the boiler and pay me £400 compensation as asg had many opportunities to rectify the issues and chose not to, they also didn’t believe that the boiler flush was done to a correct standard as after researching it should take 2 days to fit a boiler and do a complete power flush. I have never dealt with a company like a shade greener in my life and sincerely hope that telling my story that no one falls foul to these again.
    • Thank you dx100uk   I know I dropped the ball on this one and there’s no excuses for it. I should of done my research well before now and not leave all this to the last minute.    I’ll try and get on the website but if I can’t I’ll email this defense over today and keep this form updated.    Once again thank you all for helping me   Andrew
    • Do you live on your own?
    • Okay thanks it is a difficult one.
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Chris.Marsh

Capping of Fixed Term Contracts?

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I have run into an issue with our old friends at Unicom. This all started a couple of weeks ago when Unicom sales (who I have two phone line with) contacted me to offer a deal on Broadband which on the face of it sounded OK apart from when they got into their script they mentioned that it was a 36 month contract; I immediately stopped them there and said "I don't do 3 year contracts" the girl was a bit flustered and said "they only offer 3 year contracts" so I said "Forget it then" she convinced me to hold on and she went to talk to a manager. On her return she we can tie it into your current phone contract so I agreed and we continued on.

 

Yesterday when my accounts administrator came in I explained what I had done and showed her the figures she did some quick sums and reported that I would end up paying far more than I do currently. She had a look around and she found several deals that would be a lot cheaper and asked me to contact Unicom to see how long we had on our current phone contract and to cancel the Broadband migration.

 

I called customer services and asked when my current phone contract expires "May 2016" came the reply I then ask what is the term "36 Months" they replied; if this was the case then the contract must have renewed somewhere around April - May 2013 I didn't say any more on this subject at this point but I did go on and cancel the Broadband migration ( a few harsh words with a salesman here but I persisted).

 

I then e-mailed a "Formal Complaint" to customer services stating that I don't remember any contract renewal and was this an "Automatically Renewing Contract"

if so these had been banned by OFCOM. I received a phone call some 2 hours later and was told that it wasn't an ARC and that I had been contacted by phone in April 2013 and I had agreed to renew the contract for 36 Months and to top this they had a recording of the conversation. She went away and and listened to the recording and came back and reported that YES it was me and YES I had agreed to 36 Months; I asked if she could e-mail me a copy of this recording to which she agreed.

 

Having carried out some further research into OFCOM's GC9 I see that they capped Fixed Term contracts to a maximum of 24 Months but what isn't really clear is if this cap includes Small Businesses ie those with 10 employees or less.

 

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

 

Regards

Chris

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Hi Chris

European telecom laws and Ofcom have ruled that businesses and residential premises must be offered a 12 month contract as from 26th may 2011. The maximum 24 month contract only applies to residential premises http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/news/uk-consumers-benefit-from-european-telecoms-law-changes/

If you need any help, please check out www.unicom-complaints.co.uk

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Thanks RMJ,

 

So not a leg to stand on then!

 

Regards

Chris

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Apparently, Unicom's defence when approached about this is that they DO offer a 12 month contract, but it is up to the customer to ask for it!!! The definition of 'offer' in the Oxford dictionary is 'present or proffer (something) for (someone) to accept or reject as desired.' and could be a useful quote if they use this tactic on you.

 

A legal definition of offer is 'An offer is a communication that gives the listener the power to conclude a contract.' If they did not communicate this 'offer' then there was no offer! http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/offer

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Thanks RMJ for the additional information, I'll wait for the recording to turn up via e-mail and then listen to it carefully

 

Regards

Chris

 

PS I have seen your PM sorry I can't reply due to low number of posts.... But I am following it up.

Edited by Chris.Marsh
Added PS

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Unicom are currently under investigation by Ofcom and the investigation centres on Unicom's sales and marketing activities in relation to fixed line products and also into whether there was a breach in the rules regarding a requirement to offer contracts with minimum terms. http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforcement/competition-bulletins/open-cases/all-open-cases/cw_01125/ I would URGE you to contact Ofcom on on 0300 123 3333 and make a formal record of your complaint. The more complaints that Ofcom receive, the more information they will have for the purpose of the investigation.

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I have already seen the link above and I noted that there was a Case Leader listed at the bottom with an e-mail address, I was considering e-mailing him directly! What do you think?

 

Regards

Chris

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I would do both. Send an email to Jonathan Ruff and also call them to make a record of your complaint. Ofcom do not deal with individual cases but they do monitor companies and record complaints with view to investigating them if they receive many complaints about them. Ofcom will advise you to raise your complaint with The Ombudsman Services who can deal with individual cases eight weeks after your first complaint to Unicom - or if you receive a deadlock letter - whichever is soonest. However, the Ombudsman's decision is evidence based meaning if you can't prove what was said during the sales call or meeting, they will rule in Unicom's favour as they will have the evidence of the recording of you agreeing to the contract, or a signed contract.

BTW if you haven't received your recording say by the end of next week, or if you do receive a recording and find it is the short edited version of the agreement but does not consist of what you agreed to, I would send a Subject Access Request for ALL the FULL UNEDITED recordings and an excellent template can be found here http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?387306-Full-Subject-Access-Request

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Thanks again, also having read some of the horror stories (Links) on unicom-complaints I really need to get written conformation of my CANCELLATION of the impending Broadband Migration as from what I have read it could still go ahead and then a denial of having received my cancellation telecom. I'll e-mail them Recorded Delivery tonight.

 

Regards

Chris

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RE: Subject access request

 

I see I definitely need to do this because a key part of my report to ofcom and any action that might get to the ombudsman service will be the key phrase "We only do 3 year contracts", I'll set-aside some space on one of our servers and ask them to upload all the data to it.

 

Regards

Chris

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