Business Phone - getting out of a new contract! Please help!

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Please Help!

How do I make a serious complaint and get out of my recently switched business phone provider (2 months in)?

I have been with XLN for many years and was extremely happy paying £35 per month for my phone line until Unicom enticed me with a better deal, with the addition of broadband and the 'free gift' as a thank you of SIM cards for my children.

I feel that I was completely railroaded into taking something that I didn't want or need by the clever salesman making it sound like I would be ultimately saving money. (3 of my kids all had pay as you go phones which I normally topped up £10 per month)

As the week went on I found that it was becoming difficult to port over the kids numbers and one of the original handsets were playing up so the salesman suggested I have a couple of handsets from them. My new contract with the business included 2 'free' mobile handsets for use on the shop floor or when away from the salon so we could divert calls (another free service) so he suggested I add on another 2 handsets for the 2 eldest kids for £12.50 each per month which seemed like a good deal.

I then received 8 handsets instead if 4 which was ridiculous and had the palava of finding out what had happened and getting them sent back. All then seemed to be ok until a week in one of the children's handsets locked itself and wouldn't let my son access the home screen - when I called Unicom they were completely unhelpful and the guy on the phone was rude and blamed us for forgetting the password which was certainly not the case. He was unable to reset the phone and told us to go to our nearest Sony shop (which is in Wolverhampton, a 4 hour round trip!)

At this point I already had one of the four handsets not usable so had to switch my sons SIM card with a business handset so I could make sure he was safe (he'd never had a problem with his old pay as you go blackberry!)

I was then billed £300 from XLN for leaving them which Unicom had told me would not cost me and would be left to them!

A couple of weeks later my daughters handset refused to switch on leaving us with only 2 out of 4 working handsets just one month in.

My first bill was £185 which I thought was very high when I have been used to paying only £35 - I realise I now have the addition of broadband (£30 per month) and the two rented broken handsets (£24 per month) so I was expecting the we bill to come to approx £100 per month which is in my budget.

I have since found that the 'free' SIM cards for the kids are not actually free but all texts and calls are charged??? - how the hell does that work?? Panicking I had to take out a monthly bundle for each of them at £12 each (so the old pay as you go's that cost me £10 per month now cost me £25 per month each and are now already broken)

I have just received the nasty surprise that this month my bill has come to £375 which I simply cannot afford and have no idea what is going on - that is half of my wages and has left me seriously struggling for money. These people are going to bankrupt my business if I stay with them.

I am absolutely livid and very reluctant to call and complain directly to them as most of the cost of my bill is likely to be the amount of time I have been left on hold trying to get answers from them for all of the problems - and I do not want to be spoken to rudely again either!

Is there an ombudsman or regulating body I can go to to deal with the case for me? I just want to send everything back to them and return to XLN and pretend none of this has happened - and I want my money back!

There. Rant over. Please can someone help?!

Jane

Comments

  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 24 September 2013 at 8:49AM
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    What is the minimum term according to the T&C's of the contract you agreed? It's not going to be less than 12m, and possibly 24m or more.Business customers have little or no consumer protection, so its likely that you are bound by that contract unless you pay the full ETC. The only way to void the contract without penalty would be for you to prove that it was mis-sold, which would not be easy. It seems rather that you failed to properly research what you were being offered.
    I don't understand how you can be adding handsets for your children onto a business account?
    The SIM cards are free-the usage is not. How did you think that they would give you SIM cards allowing unlimited free calls ?
    The regulator will not be interested until you have gone through the provider's official complaints procedure and either failed to receive a reply in 8 weeks, or reached deadlock.
    You agreed a contract, so you can't just pretend 'it didn't happen' and send the handsets back. That doesn't void your contract without penalty, as the contract is for the airtime.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Mr_Trick
    Mr_Trick Posts: 23 Forumite
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    Too late I know but ...

    Unicom use the Ombudsman for 'dispute resolution', they also pay him and naturally expect (and get) value for money.

    Be aware that I have no legal training - beware of armchair lawyers - you would need a solicitor to do this. I can only offer what I think ought to happen.

    "I was then billed £300 from XLN for leaving them which Unicom had told me would not cost me and would be left to them!"

    As far as I am aware...

    a representation made as a matter of inducement to enter a contract is to be treated as a continuing representation.

    Unicom should pay the penalty fee for leaving XLN - it was an inducement (you would not otherwise have agreed to the contract) and is therefore part of the contract. It seems Unicom do not consider themselves bound by the contract and (in a fair country) neither would you.

    Later you write:-

    "I have since found that the 'free' SIM cards for the kids are not actually free but all texts and calls are charged??? - how the hell does that work??"

    Obviously it works in exactly the way the salesman intended - it was a deception by omission. If he had explained the implications of the 'free' SIM cards you wouldn't have accepted them. While Unicom may wish to claim you made up the agreement to pay the penalty charges to XLN it is abundantly clear that the salesman knew a great deal more about telecomms than you did - to the extent that it is highly unlikely you could have made up the claim that Unicom would pay the penalty to XLN - it had to come from the salesman.

    Given a good solicitor and £100,000 or an Ombudsman with an ounce of integrity I'd go for it. In the real world it might be cheaper to lose than to win.

    As macman writes:-
    You agreed a contract, so you can't just pretend 'it didn't happen'

    Of course Unicom can choose what did or didn't happen because they have the regulator (the Ombudsman) on their side.

    I hope all has gone well and the New Year turns out much better.

    Best wishes,

    Mr Trick.
  • Jemma-T
    Jemma-T Posts: 1,546 Forumite
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    Janie78 wrote: »
    Please Help!

    How do I make a serious complaint and get out of my recently switched business phone provider (2 months in)?

    I have been with XLN for many years and was extremely happy paying £35 per month for my phone line until Unicom enticed me with a better deal, with the addition of broadband and the 'free gift' as a thank you of SIM cards for my children.

    I feel that I was completely railroaded into taking something that I didn't want or need by the clever salesman making it sound like I would be ultimately saving money. (3 of my kids all had pay as you go phones which I normally topped up £10 per month)

    As the week went on I found that it was becoming difficult to port over the kids numbers and one of the original handsets were playing up so the salesman suggested I have a couple of handsets from them. My new contract with the business included 2 'free' mobile handsets for use on the shop floor or when away from the salon so we could divert calls (another free service) so he suggested I add on another 2 handsets for the 2 eldest kids for £12.50 each per month which seemed like a good deal.

    I then received 8 handsets instead if 4 which was ridiculous and had the palava of finding out what had happened and getting them sent back. All then seemed to be ok until a week in one of the children's handsets locked itself and wouldn't let my son access the home screen - when I called Unicom they were completely unhelpful and the guy on the phone was rude and blamed us for forgetting the password which was certainly not the case. He was unable to reset the phone and told us to go to our nearest Sony shop (which is in Wolverhampton, a 4 hour round trip!)

    At this point I already had one of the four handsets not usable so had to switch my sons SIM card with a business handset so I could make sure he was safe (he'd never had a problem with his old pay as you go blackberry!)

    I was then billed £300 from XLN for leaving them which Unicom had told me would not cost me and would be left to them!

    A couple of weeks later my daughters handset refused to switch on leaving us with only 2 out of 4 working handsets just one month in.

    My first bill was £185 which I thought was very high when I have been used to paying only £35 - I realise I now have the addition of broadband (£30 per month) and the two rented broken handsets (£24 per month) so I was expecting the we bill to come to approx £100 per month which is in my budget.

    I have since found that the 'free' SIM cards for the kids are not actually free but all texts and calls are charged??? - how the hell does that work?? Panicking I had to take out a monthly bundle for each of them at £12 each (so the old pay as you go's that cost me £10 per month now cost me £25 per month each and are now already broken)

    I have just received the nasty surprise that this month my bill has come to £375 which I simply cannot afford and have no idea what is going on - that is half of my wages and has left me seriously struggling for money. These people are going to bankrupt my business if I stay with them.

    I am absolutely livid and very reluctant to call and complain directly to them as most of the cost of my bill is likely to be the amount of time I have been left on hold trying to get answers from them for all of the problems - and I do not want to be spoken to rudely again either!

    Is there an ombudsman or regulating body I can go to to deal with the case for me? I just want to send everything back to them and return to XLN and pretend none of this has happened - and I want my money back!

    There. Rant over. Please can someone help?!

    Jane

    What's your responsibility here? Sounds like you've either not looked into things correctly or you're just not wanting to accept your failures as a consumer.

    If you think something has went wrong get a copy of the contracts and take it from there.

    Best not to bundle stuff that's reduced price or 'free' with important services too.

    You'll have to sort all the mess too until you can prove something went wrong.
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