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KC Broadband customer felt 'sick inside' over 'disgusting' £350 cancellation fee

Friday, July 24th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A KC Broadband customer has been told he needs to pay more than £350 to cancel his broadband contract.

Lee Jarratt, from Hull, tried to cancel the contract after splitting up with his long-term girlfriend, but said the amount he was asked to pay made him feel “sick inside”.

The 24-year-old has been a customer of the Hull-based internet service provider since 2010.

“I upgraded to their new Lightstream fibre package in February, unaware of the life changes that were to come a few months later,” Mr Jarratt told Cable.co.uk.

After the breakdown of his relationship, Mr Jarratt is due to start university in September as a mature student.

“I’m moving into student accommodation where internet is paid for as part of rent, and my ex-partner doesn't want to pay the £45 per month in her new place,” he said.

“The person I spoke to on the phone said they would waive the cancellation fee if my ex took up a like-for-like package, or I can cancel and either pay the £350-plus in one go or as part of monthly instalments.

“Even after explaining the situation, they couldn't offer me another alternative. I’m very disgusted.”

Mr Jarratt said he wasn’t expecting to quoted such a high cancellation fee.

“It made me feel a little sick inside. I was expecting up to as much as a £100 charge, which I would happily pay, as I understand a contract has been broken.

“But they aren’t losing out on much by myself cancelling, are they?”

Mr Jarratt said he would be reluctant to use KC Broadband – the only residential fixed line broadband provider in the Hull area – again in the future.

'No apology'

He said he would first research providers using other methods of delivery such as satellite broadband, adding that he has “never had a fantastic experience with customer support from KC”.

“Technical support is quite good, and they’re nice when they’re selling you a higher package,” he said.

“But they’re not understanding when dealing with payments.

“A couple of years ago I had to pay upwards of £100 for a bill as I went over the data cap, but I was unaware as I never got any emails despite setting it as my contact email address. I got no apology and obviously had to pay the full amount.”

Mr Jarratt said he was thinking of asking a debt management expert to talk to KC in the hope they could agree a fairer cancellation charge.

A spokesperson for KC Broadband said: “When customers take out a contract with us, our conditions of service make it clear that they will need to pay early termination charges if they end the agreement during the minimum term, which is usually 18 months.

"We calculate our early termination charges in accordance with Ofcom’s guidance on this matter and they are significantly lower than the full amount a customer would have paid had their contract continued until the end of the minimum term.

"We don’t charge early termination charges in cases where customers have ended their agreement early because we have made an increase in our charges, or where we haven’t provided the services in question for a period of four weeks.

"We understand that customers’ circumstances can change and we offer to waive early termination fees if the contract can be transferred to someone who is remaining in the property where the service is installed.

"We would also usually offer to make arrangements for the fees to be paid over an extended period at a rate that is affordable to the customer."

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