Facing Battle With NTL - Any advice?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
7 replies 1K views
GuizimoGuizimo Forumite
14 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
In July of 2005 I took out an NTL in a property I was renting on a temporary lease and at the point of sale (and various calls before), I was advised that there would be absolutely no problem with the property being leased on a temp basis.

I even went so far as to ask if there was any moving home fee or any disconnection fee if I moved (to an non-NTL serviced area) within a couple of months or so, and was told there was none.

In the property until Jan this year, I phoned up to cancel on finding a property in the south of England, again, because it is a non NTL servicable area, I was told the contract would be cancelled without penalty, which I authourised.

After reading the forums here and seeing a thread from 2004 which talked about an NTL line not being disconnected and continuing to be billed for, I thought it would be funny to ring the old number. I was shocked to hear a ringing on the other end of the phone.

So I phoned NTL to see what was happening, 100% expecting them to say that the number had been reassigned to someone else and to have a chuckle at my stupidity, what I was greeted with was a horror story.

Not only had NTL declined to cancel my account, but they had not even put a call bar on the phone, despite being told very clearly that I was leaving the property and that someone else would no doubt be moving in within days.

Whoever moved in after myself, found an active line and ran up over 250 quids worth of calls in my name, under my account. The lady at NTL whom I spoke to was extremely helpful regarding this and because it clearly stated the date that I had left the property, the cost of the calls was struck off.

Unfortunately I have no chance of taking any action against the thieving ignoramouses who ran up such a huge bill in my name, and to my anger, surprise and beamusement, NTL themselves were not interested in recovering the funds either, meaning those good for nothing cretins, who are no better than common crimials, have gotten away scot-free with their spineless, illegal act.

However, that is not what I am heading towards deadlock with NTL regarding, despite being told NOTHING of a 12 month contract at point of sale, despite not receiving any terms and conditions stating that there was a 12 month contract until long after the paltry 7 day cooling off period NTL allow their customers, and despite being told that a move to a non servicable area would mean an account cancellation without penalty to myself, NTL now expect me to honour a 12 month contract, they say I agreed to.

Is there any way of resolving this without shelling out for the remainer of the contract after the advice I didn't and then did receive respectively?

I have made a payment today of 10.50 (1 months line rental) as a gesture of goodwill, because I am willing to accept the 30 day notice period, despite not being informed of it at cancellation, due to that usually being the norm, but I am loathe to be obliged to pay the remainder of a contract I was duped into by mis-information at point of sale.

Am I within my rights to do so and how do I take this further?

I have approximately 2 months before the bill is passed to a debt collection agency and I really can't be bothered with the kind of monkeys I've heard you get in those places, so would like to sort it out, favourably to myself, before that situation arises if possible.

If anyone has any advice about how best to proceed I would be very grateful.


  • no advice but I will watch this with interest as a similar thing happend to us.

    we switched to a bt line and bulldog brodband in novembr, and once we told ntl we were severing our contract they tried everything to get us to stay (offers of fr broadband for 3 months etc)

    we were well over the 12month minimum contrct so they cancelled no problems, however we continued to recieve bills from them and the old number is still connected for incoming calls.

    we have just recived final demand for bills from novmber to the present dte, despite the fact we hav not used any of their services since and i have called many times to tell them this.

    they are also asking for £200 for our set top box, despite me hving arrnged for them to collect it many times (they never turned up)
    they say we have to pay this or send it back to them via courier at our cost.


    good luck..they are a nightmare to deal with!
    Membre Of Teh Misspleing Culb
  • I would advise that you follow the complaint advise on the Ofcom website http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/landline/company/.

    This will take you through the necessary steps that you should take before submitting a complaint via the Alternative Dispute Resolution (or ADR) scheme.

    If you end up having to use the ADR scheme, NTL can be forced to write off your debt and pay compensation if it is deemed that they have treated you unfairly (NTL will also have to pay the ADR fee usually around £500, so it is in their interest to resolve the issue before it gets to this stage). This will also reflect in NTL’s complaint count at Ofcom.
  • just wondering if you have made a mistake by paying the £10.50 as this could be deemed as accepting that you are responsible for the debt?
    Membre Of Teh Misspleing Culb
  • Thanks for the replys! :)

    I will certainly start the ofcom process in the morning, I hadn't actually thought of going down that route on this occassion, nor did I know that NTL would have to pay 500 quid to fee for arbitration, very useful to know, thank you.

    I did wonder about that 10.50 myself, but to be honest, I'm more than aware that there is usually a 30 day notice period for most things, even when the contract is monthly and try to be as honest as possible when it comes to these things. I felt I would have been lying to NTL to claim or attempt to claim that I should not be held accountable for that.

    My conscience wouldn't have allowed me to do so for long, even if it had have done today! I'd hae ended up phoning them back to pay it in a week or two anyway! lol!

    I made sure that it was noted that I was not accepting responsibility fo the remainder of the contract I never knew about, and that the payment was nothing more than a goodwill gesture on my behalf, acknowledging the typical severance period, typical of most service providers in my experience.
  • I had much the same prob;em a couple of years ago, i had an NTL line a moved out of a rented house, i called to disconnect the line, they said it would be done 6 months later i received a bill and called again they were going to cancel it, no bill they said, 18 months later i got a letter from a debt collection agency saying they were going to send the boys round. I called the NTL and requested they do a check on the lne to see if any calls had been made, none. Then why havent you called the line i said, i have not lived there for 18 months! I then rang the debt collection agency, and they said all I needed to do was to sort the matter out with NTL!! I told them that they had bought the debt from NTL and it was down to them to sort out whether there was a debt to pay, i had tried on numerous occasions to cancel the line, and therefore could do no more. I have to say it doesnt surprise me that the same thing has happened to others, they had no record of me calling them 18 months previous on their CRM package (i suggested they may wish to upgrade to a better model ;) ) and suggested it was a little unrealistic to expect both me to remember the person i spoke to and to expect the person i spoke to to still be working for NTL. i have heard nothing since then and was assured by the debt collection people (who tyrned out to be alright, once they had established that i wasn't going to waste my time sorting out NTL's error) that i would not get a credit mark as the amount and the debt was in dispute. It has been about 6 months now and i have heard nothing from NTL or the debt collection people, so i dont know what is or is being done about it but saw this and thought i know this one!!
  • BusybodyBusybody Forumite
    925 Posts
    Go to the NTL website and find the names of the 'TOP PEOPLE' and bombard them with letters. Don't believe anything anyone of them say on the phone! because they always sound very concerned when you are on the phone then do absolutely nothing about it!!
  • zx2011zx2011 Forumite
    309 Posts
    1. You need to go through NTL's complaints procedure first. Write them a letter and send it recorded delivery. The addreess is at http://www.ntl.com/locales/gb/en/contact/index.html
    2. If you make no progress with NTL you can take the matter up with Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman(OTELO) http://www.otelo.org.uk
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