12 months ISP contract changes

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Broadband & Internet Access
6 replies 605 views
bobmccallbobmccall Forumite
25 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Broadband & Internet Access
Hi,

A bit of a legal question here, if anyone can shed any light:

If I sign up to an ISP with a minimum 12 months contract, then, part way through the 12 month period the ISP changes the t&c's, say by introducing a credit card admin fee that I don't accept, would that invalidate the 12 month tie in?

My ISP is Eclipse, who I've been reasonably satisfied with for the last 7 years, but they're comparitivily expensive now and I want to change. I moved house last August hence the new 12 month tie in.


Thanks.

Replies

  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
    40.4K Posts
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    It all depends on the ts + cs. Contracts do differ on the way changes to the ts + cs can take place.

    Usually a contract allows variation to the charges up to a limit (usually the rise it the RPI). Introducing a brand new charge as you describe can't usually be done without both sides agreeing.

    If you pushed this with them, they might just waive the charge.

    But if you are wanting to make an issue, then object in writing to it being imposed on you, and dispute any bill that has the extra charge on it.
  • Thanks for this.

    They've refunded it this month because I hadn't received the advanced notification they claim to have sent via email, but they're going to charge future months.

    I think I will put pen to paper and see what happens, its more a point of principal. Changing the rules part way through a fixed term contract seems a bit poor to me - especailly when they've caused me so much stress and hassle in the past. I don't think they should be allowed to get away with it so easily.
  • normanmarknormanmark Forumite
    4.2K Posts
    Most contracts with ISP's will have a clause there saying they can change any thing to the contract as long as they give you notice.
  • MarkyMarkDMarkyMarkD Forumite
    9.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    The exact same situation arose a few years ago with mobile phone contracts and itemised billing charges. One (or more) mobile phone operator attempted to unilaterally introduce such charges. The outcome was that if people refused to accept the change, either the provider had to stick to the original terms or the customer could walk away.
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
    40.4K Posts
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    That was covered in the mobile network's ts + cs (which did say any increases over the RPI meant that customers could cancel their contracts without penalty).

    By introducing a charge for itemised billing of £1.50, that increased the monthly rent (say £25) (which previously included itemisation) by over the RPI.

    If such a clause is in the Eclipse ts + cs it will help the op. But the ts + cs run to 28 pages, should anyone care to spend the afternoon on them!
  • MarkyMarkDMarkyMarkD Forumite
    9.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    I don't think the specific clause you mention is a requirement. A party to a contract doesn't have a unilateral right to introduce new charges.
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