Not allowed to switch.

Hello, all,
I am not allowed to switch from BT phone line and internet to any where else!
I’ve been OFCOM, and this is the email they sent.
I still can’t understand how a building company can limit my choice. This is for my whole estate and everyone is fed up. I can’t acess the deals in thier website as I’m locked into BT. :mad:
I am in a shared ownership property and there is nothing to say in my paper work that I am locked into BT.

Please, Please, Please, help!!!!

The e-mail;
Ofcom Reference: 00567050

1 August 2018


Thank you for contacting Ofcom with regard to your complaint.

I understand from your correspondence that BT currently supplies phone and broadband services to your property and the entire estate you live on, but you cannot switch to an alternative provider. I appreciate your concern and hope the information provided is helpful in assisting you.

While I understand you feel that this is anti-competitive, I should explain that this is a matter relating to your agreement with the property developer rather than an issue regarding telecoms regulation.

It is not uncommon for property developers to enter into exclusivity agreements with providers; this is a legal agreement between two parties and there is no regulatory reason why companies cannot put such agreements into practice. If you are unhappy with the situation, you would need to approach your property developer, or the management company involved in order to discuss the possibility of them allowing you to use an alternative provider. If you are unable to resolve the matter this way you may wish to consider seeking independent legal advice.

I appreciate that this may not be the response you were hoping for, but I hope that it helps to clarify the situation and allows you to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.

Yours sincerely

Rachael Seddon
Consumer Contact Team

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  • Go to the Citizens Advice Bureau - you will need to take all the documentation from the purchase of your property too.
  • edited 26 November 2018 at 10:49PM
    iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    edited 26 November 2018 at 10:49PM
    I don't see how you can be limited to just BT , if the likes of Sky and Talk Talk haven't unbundled the serving exchange , then you won't be able to get their service, but others that offer WLR3 type service , (Plusnet, EE and dozens of others) should be have you discovered this lack of alternative, did you try to switch on line only to be informed no one else is available, or did you just ask your 'building company' ?
    Is your property FTTP rather than a copper line or hybrid FTTC , if it is , other FTTP ISP's on Openreach are available , the mass market, stack em high and sell em cheap brigade currently don't resell OR FTTP, but there are alternatives to BT, but they tend to be more expensive....
    Perhaps you could post your Post Code, or show what is returned if you enter your Post Code into a broadband comparison site.
    The only way I can see what you are saying could be true is if your building management rules mean you have to order phone/broadband through them , and they have decided to only use BT , and as Ofcom have said, if this is the case, it's no different to a 'developer' doing a sweet heart deal with Hyoeroptic, or Virgin, or Vodaphone and exclude everyone else, the difference is those company's are network providers and Telco/ISP's.....BT isn't a network provider , they rely on their suppliers (Openreach , BTw) and OR BTw they have to offer products to other company's on the same basis as they offer them to BT, so it's difficult to see how it's BT limiting your choice
  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Ambassador
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    It's quite a regular occurrence , developer signs exclusive agreement with BT in return for low or zero charge for getting estate cabled
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Shopping & Freebies, Over 50s Moneysaving and Phones & TV boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert
  • edited 26 November 2018 at 11:28PM
    iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    edited 26 November 2018 at 11:28PM
    Browntoa wrote: »
    It's quite a regular occurrence , developer signs exclusive agreement with BT in return for low or zero charge for getting estate cabled

    Perhaps you can post a link to an example if it's a regular occurrence.
    BT Consumer don't own a network , they use 'suppliers' , and (as I have already said) those company's ( OR and TSO) cannot offer BT Consumer anything exclusively or on preferential's quite true that some developers do exclusive deals deals, I've seen VM having exclusive rights, and on some Persimmon developments you can only use their network, and quite possibly if a new block of flats gets Hpyeroptic or another Alt Net provider, ( and OR effectively blocked from the site) , it's conceivable you have to use them, (as a condition of living in that block of flats) but I have never seem an exclusive 'BT' site, indeed , given that BT only really resell TSO/OR products, how can they stop other ISP customers of TSO/OR joining in ?

    As I said, if you have to order your service through someone else ( like the property owner) , and they have decided to only use BT, is different to only being able chose BT if you are free to order directly with service providers yourself..that's why the OP was asked to provide more info ( to verify how there choice was being restricted)

    BT Consumer don't 'cable' estates, or individual property's , or anything at all, that's Openreach, who have to offer equivalent access to all company's on the same basis as they offer access to BT.
    The Ofcom reply to the OP even points out the difference between someone with the authority to make a 'tenant' or purchaser , go through them to get service,( thereby restricting choice) and a person not being able to freely chose, implying that it's BT that have somehow restricted that persons choice
  • Seems to be some misinformation here for sure

    You might well be limited to an Openreach copper line (no Virgin Media), but that doesn’t mean you have to use BT as a service provider.

    You may also have an Openreach FTTP line, but again, there are alternatives to BT.

    Have you tried putting your postcode into the checkers of other providers which use the Openreach network?
  • pmdukpmduk Forumite
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    Browntoa wrote: »
    It's quite a regular occurrence , developer signs exclusive agreement with BT in return for low or zero charge for getting estate cabled

    Virgin do it as well as Openreach
This discussion has been closed.
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