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Cancelled BT Broadband, still got Netprotect


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Hi guys, here's my situation:


I closed my business down last June and cancelled my telephone & broadband contract with BT, no problems there thank god.


Anyway, they have asked for a £44 payment for Netprotect or something. I'd never heard or used this service, but they said that it was taken out when I set up the phone/broadband. My wife explained to them that surely if we have cancelled the phone and internet in June last year, how could we use the Netprotect? They say that it can be used on any PC anywhere.


My wife also asked why they didn't mention it when we cancelled last year, but BT said that they were not obliged to and assumed that we wanted to keep it. My clever wife also asked for (and received) a copy of the transcript of her conversation.


So, where do we stand, do we just pay it to avoid damaging my perfect credit rating?


Many thanks in advance.

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Whatever you do, do not cancel your direct debit. For the moment make sure you make any payments they require for this because if you suddenly stop paying then these people become like dinosaurs and they blight your credit file and smash up your life.


You had better understand that these companies are better at debt collecting then they are outdoing their mainstream business. I think that the reason is probably that the people who run their debt collecting functions have a certain arsonist about them and they make everything a personal mission. The people who are running the mainstream business of providing the communication service are by and large well-intentioned, peaceloving jobsworths who just want to get home in the evening and forget all about it.


As far as getting a transcript of any phone recording is concerned, forget it. It will be amazing if you get anything like this. These companies don't like to let this kind of information out and even if you send them subject access request under the data protection act, you will not get it for some reason or other.


If you have never heard of or use the service then it is clearly a case of mis-selling – and this is the equivalent of the banks and finance industries PPI mis-selling. Everybody's at it and British Telecom is no exception.


You'll probably find is that some British Telecom employee got a commission when they added it to the products that you had bought.


I suggest that you begin by making a claim to them on the basis that this is an insurance product that was mis-sold. BT will knock you back – then go to the communications regulator. However like most industry regulators, Ofcom is weak, limp wristed and bias towards the industry and they will probably do nothing as well.


In terms of the continuation of the contract now, it is clear that it is a collateral contract. This means that it needs a core contract and it rides on the back of that core contract. Such a collateral contract is unable to exist on its own if the core contract is terminated.


As I have said, do not withhold money because otherwise BT will start to do what they very good at and that is to smash up your life. Put in a letter, tell them that the protection contract was collateral to the main contract and that as the main contract was terminated, the collateral protection contract also terminates automatically. Explain to them that it cannot be any other way. You only problem here will be whether they are capable of understanding this kind of logic.


If they refuse to cancel the contract and to refund you at least to the date of the termination of your main BT contract, then you could sue them in the County Court with better than 95% chance of success. If they obliged to do that then at the same time I would add a claim for the mis-selling and try to get all the money back as well.


It's really up to you as to how much trouble you want to take. I'm afraid this is the the way that it happens with these big industries. They don't care about you. Individual employees get very personal about standing up to customers rather than providing a decent and straightforward and straight dealing service.


Finally, you will find all these big industries are prepared to spend 10 times more money depriving you of your right then it would cost them to recognise your right in the matter.


BT is about to take over a substantial part of the mobile phone market. God help us all

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