Mad at Telephone huge exit fees

Options
Last week we closed our small business (1 man and part-time secretary) and tried to terminate our phone line. In order that the next tenant in the rented premises does not have access to a phone at our expense I wanted the number and the phone cut off.
We have been asked for a solicitor's letter to confirm our cessation of business and to give 3 month's written notice. Since we rent premises weekly... 3 months is excessive. Also a termination fee is required, £300 approx.
Bill received today: July charge £35.81, termination charge £201.35. We are on a 12 month contract and the start date was April 2004. Apparently the phone providers want compensation for loss of business due to our early termination of agreement. This all has to be paid within 14 days or more fees wil be required.
Having dug out the original agreement I see in the fine print on the reverse of the document (pale blue print on pink background) that all this is indeed stated in the terms and conditions.
Ha! you say, you should have read the fine print.
Well, wouldn't it be super if these conditions were brought to my attention when the UNICOM salesman was selling me the phone service, LOUD AND CLEAR FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND.
I am trying to negotiate a reduction but I do not hold out much hope.
Let this stand as a warning to everyone about to sign a phone contract, READ THE SMALL PRINT. :p :mad:
«13

Comments

  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    Options
    Am not sure of your point, except that you should have read the small print. If you were in business, you should have known that you always go by what is written in the contract, not what is said to you.

    From what you have said, the provider has acted within the terms of the agreement.
    Gone ... or have I?
  • dangeroussports
    dangeroussports Posts: 1,245 Forumite
    Options
    I can only suggest that you read the small print my friend mate.
  • billycasper_2
    Options
    Sorry to be dumb but if the business has closed how can they chase the money ? The contract is with the business isnt it?
  • icannotbelieveit
    Options
    exactly as you say; should have read the small pint!

    But also, aren't these terms and conditions excessive?
    Can I expect the company to leave the phone line available for use for 3 months at my expense or will it be cut off? I have no access to the premises to check.
    Since my total annual phone bill is around £ 250 I would have thought the charge would be £30 - £40. Should have stuck with BT.

    I believe the charges are being looked at by the regulatory body. I live in hope.....just kidding!
  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    Options
    Excessive for a consumer contract? Possibly.

    Excessive for a business contract? No. When dealing on a business to business basis, you contract on an equal footing. If you thought that the terms were excessive, you should not have entered into the contract.
    Gone ... or have I?
  • icannotbelieveit
    Options
    reply to billycasper:

    as a sole trader I am responsible for all the business debts and the phone co. have my home address. Good try, though!
  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    Options
    Sorry to be dumb but if the business has closed how can they chase the money ? The contract is with the business isnt it?

    Not nearly as simple as that.

    Were you trading as a sole trader or a limited company?

    Edit: The OP answered my question at the same time!
    Gone ... or have I?
  • billycasper_2
    Options
    So for future reference is it better to be a limited company over a sole trader. ?
  • Timmne
    Timmne Posts: 2,555 Forumite
    Options
    There are a million pros and cons to this question - not one that anyone will be able to answer in one thread - taxes, liability, ownership, remuneration etc... so many things to think about!
  • RightRevBod
    RightRevBod Posts: 598 Forumite
    Options
    Would it be a cheaper option to get outgoing calls from the line barred, and have incoming calls redirected to another number for the duration of the contract/notice period?

    This would stop anybody incurring charges on the line, and as you are not terminating the contract early, you should not be charged a termination fee.
    [size=-2] If this post was unhelpful, please tell me.
    If it was helpful, please tell everyone - Press the [highlight]Thanks[/highlight] button!
    [/size]
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.1K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards