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BT wrongly charge students after broadband contracts end

Tuesday, July 29th 2014 by Dean Reilly

Students who signed up for nine month BT broadband at the start of the 2013 academic year have been told they must pay early termination fees – after billing errors charged them for 12 months of line and Home Hub rental.

Margaret Wiggins, whose son signed up for BT student broadband and shared the bill with his housemates, said: “They were told to pay for July and August, and a £30 get out fee. It has an impact on me because I have had to pay the bill, and only last month I had to help pay a council tax bill because the university finished early.

“It was there last year and it just seems that the bills are never going to end. There was no mention of the extra charges when the contract was taken out.”

BT customer and student Lucy faced similar problems. She told us: “They said we had to pay £55 for the free of charge Hub because this was on a 12 month contract – which we were terminating early. I don't remember them mentioning this when we signed up for our student broadband.”

Complaining of a “massive end of contract bill” Lucy added she paid an extra £31.99 for broadband and line rental, a £55 charge for her BT Home Hub and a £30 disconnection fee: a total of almost £117.

BT customer Martin Nix was also billed for extra charges, but managed to get the fees written off after complaining to the provider. He told us: "BT tried to charge 12 months duration for the equipment, plus one months cancellation, plus the cessation fee.

"I protested strongly about it and they said they would correct the equipment issue and not charge for that as it was clearly wrong. The cancellation period was also waived.

"I also managed to get the cessation charge waived as this is clearly not an up-front charge. They tried to pass it off as "everybody charges this" (as in other ADSL providers) when there isn't a continuation of service or transfer." he added.

Depending on when students started their contract, the nine month minimum term would come to an end between late June and early August, meaning more customers could have been incorrectly billed prior to us raising the issue with BT.

Speaking to Cable.co.uk, a spokesperson for BT said: “We apologise to the small number of students affected by this billing issue and will refund those who have found themselves in this situation.”

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