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A Warning to All

You may have seen from my other post that I was delighted that the upgrade to Fulbeck 3 (for Brant Broughton) was finally available this morning (02/09/2015).

My delight turned to despair when it became clear to me that I would not be able to get faster broadband without entering into a much more expensive 18 MONTH contract with BT. This is because my current contract with BT (which is 'up to 17MB', but only gives 1.4 Mb) is only half way through. To get anything faster than 1.4 Mb (but could still be less than 17) I have to buy a new 'product' with a new contract. If I move to a new provider I will have to pay BT a penalty equating to 6 months.

What's more, they like to sell you a one year line rental deal, and if that is out of sync with your broadband contract you have an even bigger problem of trying to get away from them.

Therefore it dawns on me now that the actual date that the cabinet went live, though of great interest to me at the time was meaningless - it is the date relative to your current providers contract that matters.

Of course BT knows all this. Morally, this BT contract business is reprehensible. I am disgusted that they can get away with it, and as I have said elsewhere, ultimately we have to blame a weak and ineffectual regulator (there are also other problems of BT miss-selling that I won't go into here).

As this is a general 'online lincolnshire' website, I would be interested to know what the moderators think of this, and wonder why they don't give this scam more prominence as I assume it must effect many other people.
Good Morning Alistair,

I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing some issues with your attempts to upgrade your broadband package.

The way that BT and all other ISPs conduct their business is regulated by OFCOM as you quite rightly point out and whilst I have strong views on the how the ISPs behave, I recognise that the only way to change the current position is through OFCOM. It may be useful to write to them to share your views with them and see what they come back with.

That is a shame you have not received a massive boost from FTTC. Are you far from your cabinet?

Thanks for your comments Stephen. I think I will write to OFCOM - it may not make any difference, but it is the proper place to vent my anger.

Nick: people should be aware that nobody will get any change to their broadband service just because their cabinet is upgraded (irrespective of your distance from the cabinet) - if you are with BT you will have to take out a new contract at a higher price and tie yourself in for 18 months. It you want to leave BT you will probably have to pay a penalty if your existing contract isn't conveniently coming to an end. And watch out if you have paid in advance for line rental - you may also lose the money already paid.

I don't know whether the same problems exist with other broadband providers.
For anyone interested, here is a copy of the complaint I have sent to OFCOM. If you are also unhappy about the way BT are able to obstruct free competition, the address to complain to is: OFCOM, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA

Dear sir/madam,
I wish to complain about the unfair treatment I have received from BT when trying to take advantage of faster broadband speeds that are now available in my area. And I wish to complain about OFCOM if BT is operating within your rules.
I have a contract with BT that provides ‘up to 17Mb’ broadband speed. We have only been able to actually get around 1.5Mb due, I understand, to our distance from the telephone exchange. Ideally we require about 12Mb for our needs.
I was delighted to find out that the technology has now been provided to our village so we can get the faster speeds. I was told I needed to phone my broadband supplier, BT, to actually get the improved service.
On calling BT I was told that to get a faster service I would need to pay a much higher price and take out a new 18 month contract. This is even though I have been paying for ‘up 17Mb’ for two years and only getting 1.4. And, the actual speed I would get on a new contract is dependent on how far we are from the cabinet and therefore may not be ‘superfast’.
I know I can get a similar service from other suppliers at a much lower price, however to do so BT said I would have to cancel my existing contract with them and pay a penalty. So the only way I can get faster broadband is to be locked in even longer to BT.
The situation is worse where people have been enticed by BT to take out an annual line rental contract separate to the broadband contract. In this situation, it is highly unlikely the contracts will be in sync (e.g. 12 months vs 18 months).
This makes a mockery of competition. This practice enables BT to make even greater profits by locking people in for another 18 months (or possibly perpetually) on the back of their lucrative monopolistic contracts to rollout faster broadband - paid for by the taxpayer.
BT should forthwith enable the balance of my existing contract with them to be operated at the original ‘up to 17Mb’ using whatever technology they now have available to achieve closer to this speed .
My complaint is about BT, but also to you, the regulator, as I assume BT are operating within whatever regulations you place on them.
Yours faithfully
My experiences with BT are like your totally incompetent with 1 suggestion from them for curing my lack of speed was move house to over the road yes 10 meters stop me having the service but was told if i pay to have it done I can have the new service all about making money with them for those who they are ment to help with the bduk rollout.

The front page says 3 Million homes now have the fttc options but my guess its actually alot lower
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