ISPs agree to cheaper contract buyouts
Firing your provider to cost less
The country's three biggest broadband and home phone providers have agreed to slash their charges to customers who cancel their contracts early, following pressure from regulators.
BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have previously made subscribers pay full or nearly full charges for every month left on their contract in order to release them early.
From October (June 1 for TalkTalk) they will all levy significantly less than their previous monthly early termination charges - on some packages up to 85 per cent less.
For example, cancelling TalkTalk's Essential home phone and broadband package early previously cost £33.48 for each month left on the contract. Breaking the deal now costs £8 per month. There's a full breakdown of the new charges for each of the three firms here.
Ofcom has waged an 18-month campaign to cut cancellation charges. In December 2008 it published an opinion that providers were breaching their obligations under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999.
The regulator said it now expects other home phone and broadband providers to follow suit by slashing their charges, and threatened enforcement action if they resist. ®
It's a contract which you agreed to. Simple at first glance. But I object t being forced to have a contract when it isn't necessary. Fair enough to lock someone into a contract if the length of the contract is necessary for the provider to recover the upfront costs of equipment, lines and so on. But if my new provider is simply taking over an already-installed line from a previous provider and is not providing anything new themselves, there should not have to be a contract at all. Imagine if shopping at Tesco the first time locked you into an exclusive Tesco-only contract for the next 12 months.
I especially object to BT's habit of automatically rolling you over into a new 12 month contract when your old one finishes. That is completely unnecessary and can only be to be anti-competitive toward consumers who aren't paying attention.
Why Pay? As long as your connected to an exchange with BT equipment, download as much as you can over a month (1TB+) they will soon end your contract. Works a treat.
... if BT offer me an 'upgrade', why should I have to submit to another minimum term?
Reducing the cost of contract buyouts is one thing. How about addressing the real problem - that of pigopolistic rolling minimum term contracts.