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Victory against Telecom Italia (TIM) re made-up charges


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I'll write about my little tale just in case it comes in handy for an ex-pat in the future.


For years here in Italy I had had a landline/broadband contract with Telecom Italia (now called TIM) and a mobile contract with Wind.  In June I had to go into the Wind shop and the bloke running it said if I passed the landline/broadband to Wind too they would do me an excellent offer and I'd end up paying half what I was paying Telecom Italia for a much faster connection.  So I went for it.  And both things he'd promised turned out to be absolutely true.  The cost  of the modem is split into 48 monthly payments meaning if I left them "too" early I would still have to pay this, but fair enough, the condition was quite clearly written in the contract and not hidden in the small print and is par for the course here.  So far so good.


Then my last Telecom Italia bill arrived - charging me €128 for leaving them "too" early, despite the fact I'd had broadband since 2007!  I refused to pay and wrote to them - getting no reply.  I did some investigation and saw that they had changed the name of their landline/broadband service in October 2020, no doubt to pretend the service was "new" and to discourage customers from changing provider (and hitting in the pocket those that do).  Oh, and without bothering to communicate anything.  So I went through the official complaints procedure, and unsurprisingly they found for themselves.  Then I went to Conciliazione where a representative of Telecom Italia and a representative of a consumer association would consider my case.  This is a free service and seems prevalent in Italy as I went through virtually the exact same procedure in a dispute with the post office some time back.


Disgracefully, given we are in the middle of a pandemic, Telecom Italia would only accept my documentation by recorded delivery post so I had to queue up in the post office.  No e-mail.  Or using their site.  Or even using certified e-mail.  Anything to make it as difficult as possible.  I sarcastically wrote in my documentation that I'm surprised they weren't using carrier pigeon.


I expected to lose as after all I was challenging their whole MO and there must be thousands of others in my position.


But the consumer association bloke phoned me today - to say I'd won!


How I managed to win without them admitting their MO is a con is that they still insisted it was a "new" service but as I hadn't consented to the change or signed anything I don't have to pay the €128.


So a very satisfying day has been had 😀 and I've just opened a beer to celebrate!

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