How to complain to BT and win!

Distance Contracts

The most relevant part of Consumer Contracts 2013 with any BT contract disputes is likely to be paragraph 16, as follows:

Confirmation of Distance Contracts

16. (1) In the case of a distance contract the trader must give the consumer confirmation of the contract on a durable medium.

(2) The confirmation must include all the information referred to in Schedule 2 unless the trader has already provided that information to the consumer on a durable medium prior to the conclusion of the distance contract.

(3) If the contract is for the supply of digital content not on a tangible medium and the consumer has given the consent and acknowledgment referred to in regulation 37(1)(a) and (b), the confirmation must include confirmation of the consent and acknowledgement.

(4) The confirmation must be provided within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the contract, but in any event:

(a) not later than the time of delivery of any goods supplied under the contract, and

(b) before performance begins of any service supplied under the contract.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4), the confirmation is treated as provided as soon as the trader has sent it or done what is necessary to make it available to the consumer.

In other words, it is not legally binding for a trader or service supplier to simply tell you that you are in a new contract during a phone call - whether or not you verbally agree to it. They have to follow it up 'on a durable medium'. This also cures the issue of a trader or service supplier neglecting to mention a new contract, but claiming that they did afterwards. In fact, much of the telephone call is irrelevant without the follow-up on a durable medium. Note, though, that this DOES exclude contracts which are instigated immediately. In the case of a home move, this is unlikely - and in our case we gave BT 10 days' notice.

"durable medium" means paper or email, or any other medium that:

(a) allows information to be addressed personally to the recipient,

(b) enables the recipient to store the information in a way accessible for future reference for a period that is long enough for the purposes of the information, and

(c) allows the unchanged reproduction of the information stored;


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