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Dragonlady
29-12-2007, 10:41 AM
Ah, now as we all love this institution I thought it about time it had it's own thread.

My pet peeve, is the 4.50 charge made for not paying my bill by direct debit. I do it online, but I still get charged 4.50 for processing. then I noticed a sneaky little charge of 7.50 apllied to my account because children, it was 10 days late......now that to fire breathing old dragon, just is not cricket, they don't even have to send a red letter. It's paid. tghe money has gone from my account the minute I hit the confirm payment button, my bank confirms the money has gone on the date I paid it... so it is now war with the Dragons and BT.

A lovely lady named Catherine rang yesterday asking for me, but asking for someone with a variation of name, I told her that no-one by that name lived her, her lovely Irish accent asked when would this other person be avaiable and I suggested perhaps she was wanting to speak to me and I pronounced my name very clearly, yes it was me she needed to speak to. She is on the broadband tema, now why dear reader does the braodband team need to get involved with a charges dispute? Irish Catherine didn't know the answer and she said she would make sure it got passed to the RIGHT team. i also reminded her that my original complaint stated NO phone calls, it was all to be in writing, ah yes, she replies I see that.

I now have a folder of acknowledgements that my complaint has been received, it has been assigned a case number and yes they will resolve in TWO working days.

Here is the latest sent yesterday at 12.56

Thank you very much for contacting us. We are very sorry that you have had cause to complain. We take any complaint very seriously and will do all we can to resolve the matter for you. We will now look into the details of your complaint and aim to respond with a resolution within 2 working days.

If you need to contact us again on this matter, please respond to this email, quoting the following reference number which we have assigned to your complaint: XXXXXXXXX
BT Customer Services

Here is the first acknowledgement 23 December 2007

Thank you for contacting us. This is an automated acknowledgement of your complaint. We are sorry that you have had cause to complain. We take any such matter very seriously and will do all we can to resolve the issue for you.

There is no need to reply to this message. Your case has been successfully raised and has been directed to the eCustomer Services Team for action. Your unique reference number is xxxxxxxxxxx
We are currently experiencing a very high volume of emails due to increased demand for information and ordering of our range of Broadband products. We apologise in advance for any delay this may cause and we will aim to reply to you as quickly as possible. If you need to contact us again on this matter, please email us quoting the above reference number.

With kind regards,

eCustomer Services Team
.................................................. ......

Followed by 24 December 2007

Thank you very much for contacting us. We are very sorry that you have had cause to complain. We take any complaint very seriously and will do all we can to resolve the matter for you. We will now look into the details of your complaint and aim to respond with a resolution within 2 working days.

If you need to contact us again on this matter, please respond to this email, quoting the following reference number which we have assigned to your complaint: XXXXXXX

BT Customer Services
.................................................. ................................
This is a bit like the 40 day SAR rule, let's play for more time, dear reader two working days from the 24 December was, oh yes, let me see yesterday, the 28th December, now do they count Saturday as working day, so I should have answer by 2 January 2008.

I feel a ground swell coming on regarding these charges. Some of us have no option other BT because we are too far out to have cable, and the cost of satellite is rather extortinate. No I am not out in the wilds of the Cotswolds, just in the Fens and between two towns :D :D

Even when I lived with my ex husband, his family lived in the outback and they had better telecommunications than in this green and emerald isle. For far les cost also. I did checke with ex sis in law the other day and their bills are even less than ours here and no, no late payment charges applied and yes you can pay your bill however you want to with no fee. If Telstra can do it for the Outback, why can't BT do it for us???

sparkie1723
29-12-2007, 04:13 PM
Hi Firebreather,

My partner has her name on one phone in our house and mine on another (business line) she has been late paying quite a fewtimes, I, ve let the charges buid up from 5 to 7.50 and now the last one was 12 so I'm off to claim them back as penalty charges and ask them to explain how they have reached 12 in less that 12 months and how a late payment charge actually costs BT that amount of money.

Happy New Year

sparkie

Oh forgot to add what I spotted your 4.50 plus 7.50 adds up to our 12 strange don't you think???

Dragonlady
29-12-2007, 04:17 PM
Well, that's two of us Sparkie..we need more to follow suit and start to put the pressure on BT regarding these charges.

Angry Cat
29-12-2007, 05:19 PM
Well, that's two of us Sparkie..we need more to follow suit and start to put the pressure on BT regarding these charges.


Three now DL,

One of the firms that really get under my skin apart from Banks, is BT.
They have given me grief for such a long time!

About 2 yaers ago, I had great difficulty in paying my phone bill due to my being unwell and not working, therefore on a few occasions I paid the bill off in three lots at the post office, but the bill was always paid.
However, of course I was fined 5 each quarter because I did not pay on time.

For the last year, I have always paid my quarterly bill precisely on time, as BT request, but on three occasions they have phoned me 2 days before I even received the bill (sent out via TNT, which take 6 days to arrive) demanding payment!
Of course, I went mad saying 'how am I supposed to pay bill when I have not even received it'. Do you think that I am clairvoyant.
Anyhow to cut a long story short, I rang their customer assistance department and was told that my BT credit rating is bad because I was previously late in paying my bill. Yes, I said that I did have some problems paying due to my long term illness prohibiting me from working but for the last three bills you have been paid on time. I reminded BT of the Disability Discrimination Act. Oh, we will send you a form re the DDA but they never bothered to send it,

My last phone bill was sent 6 December, received this month 12 December, I paid it as I always do at the Post Office on the required date 17 December 2007 but I notice that I was charged 4.50 as a Payment Charge.

It doesn't cost 4.50 to process a Post Office Giro payment to BT, it is an automatic payment.

I have just checked back through all of my BT phone bills and apart from the 5 late fines charged, I note that I have also paid this additional 4.50 on each bill, just for BT to process my Post Office Giro payments to BT.
GRRRRR, this is a fine because BT want customers to pay by Direct Debit.

Is there a template letter to send to BT?

AC

Dragonlady
29-12-2007, 05:26 PM
AC,

No, we don't have a template letter for BT and these charges, as this is something new and I decided to float the idea and see if there is a take up for it. In the New Yeasr i I will set a up a poll and from there we could do something. i don't want to go into to much depth here, but if the bank charges happened because of people being fed up with being bled dry, I think BT needs to have reality check over it's charges also. Everything is automated, so we know the costs are not what they are charging us.

Angry Cat
29-12-2007, 05:59 PM
DL,

It would appear that the media are on the case, I'm constantly reading and hearing about vexed BT customers, for example on BBC Watchdog
Maybe, once the New Year has arrived then we can set up a template letter.

The BT penalty fines really do need to be addressed as they are clearly unfair.

Love to you et al..
Have a Happy New Year:)

Love AC

Dragonlady
29-12-2007, 08:31 PM
The media are on to it, but it hasn't changed BT's mindset, now they increasing the late payment charges, so something more has to be done. The same way we got a statuatory body to take our complaints about MBNA more seriously. Class action seems to be the way to go and providing the evidence in a dossier. BT seem to think it people will complain in isolation, we need to get them to realise, it is the majority who are disaffected and fed at being told how they should pay their bills.

Tamadus
29-12-2007, 11:34 PM
I have not used BT for about 10 years so this doesn't really affect me personally. I do however think BT need bringing back to earth (along with a few others) over penalty charges.

Not everyone likes or wants direct debits and these companies should not be forcing them onto us. I do not want their grubby little fingers dipping into my bank account whenever they choose, I had enough of that with the banks.

I don't care who they are we can and will take them on head to head.

I'll set up a new sub-forum for this sort of battle.

sparkie1723
29-12-2007, 11:49 PM
I know people pooh pooh the idea of conspiracies ... I wont go that far ....nearly though, .....but the more and more firms who penalise people for not paying by direct debit means that some who cannot really afford a bank account I mean with the new running of account charges banks are now slowly charging just to have an account...... to recoup their lost penalty charges, the worse off folks are the ones who are going to suffer are the ones who have to open one to try and save the charge for not paying by DD, but ........will fall into the trap of paying more ....10 -15 a month account service charge to the bank just to pay a bill by DD. The Banks will also make money from the firms who are receiving the payment by that method.

sparkie

Dragonlady
30-12-2007, 08:52 AM
I am so fed up with being told I must pay my bills by Direct Debit. Noooooo...this is how a DD of 3400.00 was set up on our account, by an unmamed person and help lead us down the path of unlawful charges. The bank allowed this knowing that we did not have that much going into the account each month and when we tried to find out abouth the DD guarrantee and who authorised this DD to be set up, the bank would not tell us, yet they allowed this payment to go through...people wonder why I say no, I will pay this bill myself, no-one but no-one get their fingers into our bank account again. I know there is the argument of the fee to run an account, but I would rather pay that fee and hold the bank accountable for any mistake that it allows to happen, then not pay a fee. Perhaps also if we start paying a fee, we might get a better interest rate on the accounts as we save.

If the banks charge for a service they have to perform and be truly accountable for their actions.

Back to BT...do we allow the charges to mount up on the account and then claim them back, or do we do it piecemeal until they sit down realise that the consumer is not going to take it any more.

They would get the money in farster if they offered a rebate for the bill being early. Maybe that is too revolutionary?

Angry Cat
30-12-2007, 09:32 AM
This is also about Freedom of Choice!

Personally, I do not wish to pay any bills by DD, it is all to easy for utilities to make an error and state that you owe more than you factually do. This happened to my daughter with the water board, because she had a DD set up the water board simply went into her bank account and took the ircorrect amount owed out of her account and of course she had a devil of a job getting the money refunded.

Also be reminded of the fact, that when one sets up a DD you sign the form allowing these firms to process your data:(
I recently was approached by my central heating oil supplier, asking me if I would like to set up a DD which would enable to to spread the cost of the oil purchase over the whole year and pay monthly.
Well, that seems to make sense, until I noticed the DPA section at the base of the form, meaning if I signed the DD allow the OIL provider to process my data,
NO, NO, NO, I was not going along that road, because onece that consent is provided...well you know the story.

Consumers must be allowed Freedom of Choice and if they prefer to pay their bills online, by personal cheque or by Giro at the Post Office counter this must be allowed.
It is not fair nor reasonable to charge or fine the consumer 4.50 to make the payment, as it does not cost that amount to process an automatic electronic payment.

AC

Tamadus
30-12-2007, 01:58 PM
I just realised I do have something similar to this with a telecoms company.

3-4 years ago I set up an account with a company called Alpha telecoms. This was a prepaid account which allowed me to make low cost long-distance calls (USA was 3p per minute). The account also had a dial up internet access, which I used when I was in a hotel as it bypassed the high phone charges in hotels, this was also in credit and has been suspended.

I havent used the account for a while but recently tried to phone a friend in Canada only to find my account was suspended. Following a couple of emails it appears they have suspended it and removed approx 20 of credit as I had not used it in 180 days. They claim this is subject to their terms and conditions.

They have said that if I make a top up payment to the account they will return the missing money to it, but this is not worthwhile as I rarely use it now.

This is so obviously a penalty for not using the account that I am going to nail their hides to the wall over it.

Angry Cat
31-12-2007, 01:38 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and_radio/watchdog/reports/services/services_20070314.shtml


Here is the complaint letter:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and_radio/watchdog/penalty_charge_for_nodd.rtf

Put that in your pipe and smoke it BT

Love
AC

Stan
31-12-2007, 02:31 PM
Funnily enough, shortly before I left the UK, I noticed my BT bill contained a late payment charge for the previous quarter. I sent them a strappy letter enclosing a cheque for the bill minus the late payment charge. I was quite forceful in the letter and threatened to change to another telecom comany if the charge wasnt removed. Low and behold, they wrote back confirming it had been removed. I guess i was pretty lucky.

Dragonlady
31-12-2007, 04:04 PM
This is the complaint letter from the site

is it me or is there something wrong with it?

I thought we were protesting about being penalised because we don't want to pay by Direct Debit
.................................................. .........................................

[YOUR ADDRESS]

[ADDRESS OF COMPANY list of company addresses are below]

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to protest about your charge for customers who pay by direct debit.

I think this charge is unfair and does not reflect the true cost of processing my payment. It seems to me simply a way of increasing your revenue.

Provided I do so on time, it is my right to manage my payments however I choose. Why should I pay more just because I pay by direct debit.

I urge you to reconsider this unreasonable charge. But if you insist on continuing with it, I would expect you to demonstrate that the charge is justified. You will be aware that the law says penalty charges must be fair.

I do not believe that this is the case with yours, but look forward to hearing your explanation.

Yours faithfully,




[YOUR NAME]

Tamadus
31-12-2007, 04:10 PM
There are 2 letters available for download and you got the one for complaining about charges incurred by paying with direct debit :D

Dragonlady
31-12-2007, 04:13 PM
I am laying off the eggnog....I thought I was going ga ga...

Tamadus
31-12-2007, 04:23 PM
I am laying off the eggnog....I thought I was going ga ga...


Hey no reason to blame the eggnog lol.

Dragonlady
31-12-2007, 04:26 PM
Watch it there Tam me lad..I read that letter three times, ruled the dyslexia out, because I could read it, the thought hang on the wiring in the brain must still be haywire, and then posted it.

it is the Eggnog, becuase I sure didn't see a second letter. Must go back and have another look....

Tamadus
31-12-2007, 04:33 PM
DL I had to look twice and work my way through finding both letters. The site isn't laid out for those of us who have partaken of a glass or two :D

Angry Cat
31-12-2007, 04:39 PM
I am laying off the eggnog....I thought I was going ga ga...

DL!
it's not the eggnog.
Both letters are the same.

Now i'm thinking that I've been at the advocat...

Basically, I agree in that the letter is somewhat wishy washy, however it is a start.
Tweek it a bit and away we go.

Complain away and good for you Stan:)

Here is another version:-

http://www.bankchargescandal.co.uk/BTTemplateletter.rtf

Love AC

Dragonlady
31-12-2007, 04:47 PM
Angry Cat thank you...thank you, thank you.

We need to put some meat on that letter and get the groundswell underway

Angry Cat
31-12-2007, 04:51 PM
No Prob. DL:)

I have just added another link and I feel this additional letter is far better:-

http://www.bankchargescandal.co.uk/BTTemplateletter.rtf

HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

AC

tbern123
28-03-2008, 01:59 PM
already posted on another thread

Yaff
29-03-2008, 02:18 PM
I have just read an article in the paper regarding a Solictor who took BT to court over the 4.50 processing fee...she lost.

The judge disagreed with her claim that the charges are effectively a penalty and decided that no laws had been broken. he said he could not be satisfied that there was bad faith by BT. He also said the term imposing the charge was made within accordance of BT's standard terms and conditions.

BT said this is the fifth consecutive victory over the paymen processing fee and if the claimant was unhappy she should go elsewhere for her service.

Dragonlady
29-03-2008, 02:22 PM
Yep, but the fight doesn't end there.

Yaff
29-03-2008, 02:37 PM
It seems now that taking them to court over the charges being a penalty is not going to wash. I am assuming she didnt argue the fact that they were unlawfull as it does not cost BT 4.50 for thier customers not paying by direct debit. If she did and the judge still ruled in favour of BT then something is wrong!

zubo
29-03-2008, 05:06 PM
I have just read an article in the paper regarding a Solictor who took BT to court over the 4.50 processing fee...she lost.

The judge disagreed with her claim that the charges are effectively a penalty and decided that no laws had been broken. he said he could not be satisfied that there was bad faith by BT. He also said the term imposing the charge was made within accordance of BT's standard terms and conditions.

BT said this is the fifth consecutive victory over the paymen processing fee and if the claimant was unhappy she should go elsewhere for her service.

BT can say this but there is nowhere else to go - Sky provide me with my BB/phone but I still need to use BT's line rental. That is exercising a monopoly.

The other point Yaff is the solicitor was pretty poor!! the judge said - He also said the term imposing the charge was made within accordance of BT's standard terms and conditions.
excuse me but I have been with BT for years, where in my original agreement does it say that they can vary that agreement without my consent? I will be lodging a formal complaint with OFT as soon as I get off my sick bed... they need slapping down and that judge needs retraining...

Z

sparkie1723
08-05-2008, 11:44 PM
Just thought I'd revive this thread.
When I come to reclaim my late charges from BT I'm going to use the Bill of Rights we have discussed on that thread see what a judge make of that,.... also anyone who claims Bt's fees back don't forget to add the VAT to the claim ie 7.50 late charge will be 8.81 inc VAT plus interest.

sparkie

sparkie1723
01-07-2008, 10:52 AM
BT have now put up their late payment charge to 12 this of course will include VAT =14:04.............so they are charging a credit card fee PLUS VAT which is against OFT guide lines and doubly unlawful.

sparkie

BOUDICCA
02-07-2008, 09:41 AM
Err! How can BT charge VAT on penalty charges?

tink69
02-07-2008, 11:36 AM
I have been paying my BT phone bill by DD, set the payment date for 27th/28th of the month, it was getting earlier and earlier each month over the past 12 months, then they got to the point where they tried to take the money out before we got paid. Got wacked 29.99 from the bank (no, they won't get away with that) called BT only got a "sorry for the inconvenience" and sod all else.

Goes to show that when you do play by their rules they still screw you over. Makes you wonder if they are in cahoots with the banks.

Hocuspocus
02-07-2008, 12:02 PM
I see anything that ties you into dates and payment especially DD's as a contract that can work against you, I'm PAYG with everything. It is worth the extra 's and the extra 's is only what i used to pay in charges, but this time I'm getting something for my money ...peace of mind.. its priceless .:)

BOUDICCA
02-07-2008, 05:20 PM
I cannot comprehend how BT cannot charge VAT on a penalty charge; a penalty charge is not a service!

A few months back I attempted to reclaim the unfair direct debit charges levied on my BT account, they will not refund them. Furthermore, they changed the goal post by issuing customers with an agreement, which blackmailed them into accepting said charges.

Basically, if you don't accept the charges, go to another provider, or if you refuse to pay/challenge us, then we will cut you off.

In my area (rural) there is no other telephone provider, therefore I cannot change my land line provider; look like I'm stuck with BT:(

I will have another go at BT in order that I can reclaim the unfair D/D charges levied on my account prior to the new agreement.

BT are not treating customers fairly.

BC

sparkie1723
02-07-2008, 07:28 PM
I cannot comprehend how BT cannot charge VAT on a penalty charge; a penalty charge is not a service!

A few months back I attempted to reclaim the unfair direct debit charges levied on my BT account, they will not refund them. Furthermore, they changed the goal post by issuing customers with an agreement, which blackmailed them into accepting said charges.

Basically, if you don't accept the charges, go to another provider, or if you refuse to pay/challenge us, then we will cut you off.

In my area (rural) there is no other telephone provider, therefore I cannot change my land line provider; look like I'm stuck with BT:(

I will have another go at BT in order that I can reclaim the unfair D/D charges levied on my account prior to the new agreement.



BT are not treating customers fairly.

BC

Hi BOUDICCA,

Try the Bill of Rights 1689 angle with BT.... I am going to once I've sorted my other "minor problems":D:D this could also protect you from cutting you off.

sparkie