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BT false call charges


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Any help on the following will be appreciated. On my last BT bill there were a small number of call charges that were clearly incorrect and which had not originated from my phone. I wrote to BT informing them of the five items in question asking them to justify the charges and told them that I would withhold some of the payment from the bill if I didn’t receive a letter from them explaining these items before the “final reminder” arrived (I withheld £15.00 when it did arrive).

 

I got no reply. A month later I sent a second letter enclosing my first and mailed under Recorded Delivery. I have no reply and so, a month after that I sent a further letter referring to the previous two (and also mailed by Recorded Delivery). In this letter I also enclosed an invoice for £25.00 to cover the time and effort of writing this letter, printing and enveloping it, driving the six-mile round trip to the Post Office to mail it “Recorded” – inclusive of the approx 1 hour it took to do this. I stated that if I had to write to them again on this matter that I would continue to charge a sum of £25.00 each time. Almost two weeks have elapsed and still no replies. As it currently stands I intend to deduct the invoiced £25.00 from their next bill due shortly.

 

Any suggestions for further action that I should take to resolve this matter? Frankly, I don’t see why I should be spending all this time and effort to get them to do their job correctly and am annoyed still further by their lack of courtesy in answering the letters I have sent? Should I increase the future invoice charge I impose for their failure to respond to this matter and what is a reasonable amount to charge anyway?

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Firstly, you cannot send them an invoice and enforce payment, no matter how frustrating - you need their agreement to accept the charges, without it you're just wasting more effort, although it can be useful for compensation claims later.

 

Much of BT's correspondence is simply canned and then dealt with at an Indian call centre, so forget using RD unless service notice on the Registered Office of court action in an LBA.

 

They told you to pay the undisputed amount, why are you making heavy weather of this, it can take up to 3 months for the matter to be dealt with. If the charges continue and remain unrecognised, escalate your concerns.

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Thank you Buzby. Three months is almost up. They didn't tell me to pay the undisputed amount, I told them I would pay it. I understood that, on the charges front, if they didn't reply saying they didn't accept the charges then by default they had accepted them. If this wrong? Or can I write a variation to the terms of the contract/agreement between us and give them 14 days to decline and then it becomes enforceable if they don't reject it?

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Firstly, any modification to your service contract has to be 'agreed' to be effective, and only certain officers within the company are empowered to to this - so this particular route might be be fruitless. As for having your version accepted 'by default' after a certain time period, again - I wish it would work this way but it doesn't. The ONLY way to enforce this is by court action (Small Claims is fine) and when the judge rules, you have your authority.

 

It is a thankless task, however if you have the time to pursue them by phone, asking to speak to Supervisors who can taken an interest in resolving the matter, at least the cost of calling is free, and you might get a reasonable offer of compensation for their ongoing incompetence.

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On my last BT bill there were a small number of call charges that were clearly incorrect and which had not originated from my phone

 

out of interest; what were the numbers?

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Firstly, any modification to your service contract has to be 'agreed' to be effective, and only certain officers within the company are empowered to to this - so this particular route might be be fruitless.

 

The company reserves the right to vary the terms. When it does, it assumes by your continued custom that you agree to the variation. We have the usual principles of mutuality, equality and reciprocity, which means that (put simply) turnabout is fair play. It is therefore nothing for the consumer to tender their own variation, and any action other than BT cutting you off would constitute agreement to the variation (as their continued provision of the service would be manifest assent).

 

Of course, there is another side to all this:

 

In this letter I also enclosed an invoice for £25.00 to cover the time and effort of writing this letter, printing and enveloping it, driving the six-mile round trip to the Post Office to mail it “Recorded” – inclusive of the approx 1 hour it took to do this.

 

This would constitute a penalty, and could not be enforced even if you mirrored their own procedure and varied the terms. Same reason as the banks - it quite simply does not cost you that much to deal with it. You might have got away with £5 - £4.50 for half an hour (the generally-accepted time for drafting a letter), 66p for the cost of RD. As for the "six-mile round trip", you are joking, right?

HSBCLloyds TSBcontractual interestNew Tax Creditscoming for you?NTL/Virgin Media

 

Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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