Disputing exit fees

I've been with Post Office broadband for over a year and took out a new 12 month contract in August at £17 a month. I've been happy with them and my connection has always been 16 - 17 Mbs. Technology moves on and a month ago I saw  I could get a much faster connection for little more. I couldn't find out what the cancellation fee was through my online account so emailed to ask. I was quite shocked to be told it was about £140, equivalent to £14 a month for the outstanding contract.
Thanks to the information here I understand this is only enforceable if I was made aware of it when I took out the contract. I can't just now find that thread. Anyway I replied asking where I was made aware of it. I've just had a  reply saying it's on page 5 of the terms and they sent a link. On looking, that document says see the price list. So I've replied saying it doesn't answer my question as I'd already told them I couldn't find it on the price list. I added that if they can't find the information it's not reasonable to expect me to.
My first question is whether I've done enough to establish they can't enforce what I think is an excessive fee? I think I have.
My second question is about how to manage it to switch provider. Do I have to pay the full amount and reclaim the excess? That doesn't seem worth the effort to me. Would it cause me problems to set up a switch, offer a reasonable cancellation fee, say £50, and cancel my direct debit so I don't have to reclaim the money from them?
I'd appreciate any advice or experience anyone can share. Fortunately there is no urgency it's more about how to make challenging unfair practices as painless as possible.
So far I've been happy with the Post Office I just know from experience 'customer support' is often a source of pain. PlusNet were so bad I will not touch them ever again. As for Origin I'm convinced to my satisfaction (not their's) that I was ripped off.

Replies

  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    Standard contract you took out for xx months .You pay the contract off as to what you agreed on date of taking it out . Multiple posts on the subject .
    If you switch provider you will still need tp pay of the contract from the date of switch .
    Same will apply to new ISP contract .
  • edited 26 November 2020 at 3:05PM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    edited 26 November 2020 at 3:05PM
    AS JJ-E says, you have to pay for the remaining period of your contract if you terminate it early for any reason. - it's not actually an early termination fee just the balance of what you contracted to pay them.

    Most suppliers will waive it if you take out a new contract with them either at your existing premises or if you move home, however if they can't supply you at your new home then you'll have to pay the balance. It's the same with SKY, Virgin or almost anyone else.

    There are lots of posts having a whinge about this very subject.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • edited 26 November 2020 at 3:11PM
    cajefcajef Forumite
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    edited 26 November 2020 at 3:11PM

    Would it cause me problems to set up a switch, offer a reasonable cancellation fee, say £50, and cancel my direct debit so I don't have to reclaim the money from them?

    Not a good idea to just cancel your direct debit unless you want debt collectors knocking on your door and your credit rating trashed, you took out a 12 month contract and want to cancel after three months unfortunately they are entitled to a cancellation fee, it is standard with most ISP's.
    I used to have a handle on life, but it broke. :|
  • edited 26 November 2020 at 5:06PM
    macmanmacman Forumite
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    edited 26 November 2020 at 5:06PM
    So, which part of 'new 12 month contract' did you not understand?
    If you break the contract, they are allowed to impose a penalty that puts them back in the position they would have been in before the breach. Some providers voluntarily cap this down to a lower level, which they appear to have done in this case, as you've saved £3 per month.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • wheneverwhenever Forumite
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    Exit fees are justified in part by recouping the costs of installation and setup so if you are in a second contract term you could reasonably argue that those costs were already recouped during the first term.
  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    Thats wrong as they are nor Exit fees  ,
    They are the balance of the contract the OP signed to .
  • TakmonTakmon Forumite
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    I've been with Post Office broadband for over a year and took out a new 12 month contract in August at £17 a month. I've been happy with them and my connection has always been 16 - 17 Mbs. Technology moves on and a month ago I saw  I could get a much faster connection for little more. I couldn't find out what the cancellation fee was through my online account so emailed to ask. I was quite shocked to be told it was about £140, equivalent to £14 a month for the outstanding contract.
    Thanks to the information here I understand this is only enforceable if I was made aware of it when I took out the contract. I can't just now find that thread. Anyway I replied asking where I was made aware of it. I've just had a  reply saying it's on page 5 of the terms and they sent a link. On looking, that document says see the price list. So I've replied saying it doesn't answer my question as I'd already told them I couldn't find it on the price list. I added that if they can't find the information it's not reasonable to expect me to.
    My first question is whether I've done enough to establish they can't enforce what I think is an excessive fee? I think I have.
    My second question is about how to manage it to switch provider. Do I have to pay the full amount and reclaim the excess? That doesn't seem worth the effort to me. Would it cause me problems to set up a switch, offer a reasonable cancellation fee, say £50, and cancel my direct debit so I don't have to reclaim the money from them?
    I'd appreciate any advice or experience anyone can share. Fortunately there is no urgency it's more about how to make challenging unfair practices as painless as possible.
    So far I've been happy with the Post Office I just know from experience 'customer support' is often a source of pain. PlusNet were so bad I will not touch them ever again. As for Origin I'm convinced to my satisfaction (not their's) that I was ripped off.
    You have agreed to pay £17 a month for 12 months so that's what you have to pay. If there is nothing to say about cancellations fees then you simply have to pay the remaining term, it's as simple as that. 
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