If you signed up for a broadband, landline, mobile, or TV plan with EE or Plusnet since 17 June 2022 and were charged exit fees for leaving early, you might be eligible for a refund. Additionally, current customers of EE and Plusnet who weren’t given key contract information at the time of signing up may have the option to leave their contracts without incurring penalties.

What Happened? According to Ofcom, the telecom regulator, EE and Plusnet (both owned by BT) failed to comply with rules introduced on 17 June 2022. These rules mandate that providers must give customers clear contract details before they sign up. This includes information such as the contract price, duration, service speed, and early exit fees.

An investigation by Ofcom revealed that EE and Plusnet did not provide this crucial information to approximately 1.1 million customers. As a result, affected customers were not fully informed about their contracts and any associated early termination fees.

Who is Eligible for a Refund? You may be entitled to a refund if:

  • You signed a contract with EE or Plusnet on or after 17 June 2022.
  • You were not provided with the necessary pre-contract information.
  • You were charged an early exit fee upon cancelling your contract.

BT has committed to contacting both current and former customers who meet these criteria within the next five months. Refunds will be issued directly to billing or bank accounts, or by cheque where direct payment is not possible.

How to Check if You’re Affected To determine if you are eligible, review any paperwork or emails you received when you signed up. Look for a document titled “contract summary” or “pre-contract information.” This should include details about the price, contract length, service speed, and early exit fees.

If you believe you qualify but have not been contacted, you can reach out to EE through their online complaints form, by calling 150 from an EE phone, or 07953 966 150 from other phones. Plusnet customers can call 0330 1239 123 for broadband services or 500 for mobile services, or email Plusnet.

What Does This Mean for Current Customers? If you’re currently with EE or Plusnet and didn’t receive the required pre-contract information, you will be given the opportunity to cancel your contract without penalty. BT has a three-month window to make these offers, so keep an eye out for communications from them.

Industry Impact and Consumer Advice This situation underscores the importance of transparency in telecom contracts. Companies must provide clear, comparable information to help customers make informed decisions. Telecom analyst Paolo Pescatore suggests that such regulatory actions will continue to shape the industry, urging companies to avoid pushing boundaries in their marketing campaigns.

For consumers, this is a reminder to carefully review contract details before signing up. If you’re unhappy with your current provider, consider switching to a service with better terms. Use tools like Broadband Unbundled and Cheap Mobile Finder to compare options and find the best deals.

Final Thoughts BT’s failure to comply with Ofcom’s rules has led to significant repercussions, including a £2.8 million fine and the requirement to issue refunds and penalty-free exit options. This development highlights the importance of regulatory oversight in protecting consumer rights.

For more detailed information on this issue and how it might affect you, visit the Ofcom website.


FAQs

Q: What should I do if I haven’t been contacted but believe I am eligible for a refund?
A: If you think you’re eligible for a refund but haven’t been contacted, reach out to EE or Plusnet customer service using the provided contact details.

Q: How will I receive my refund?
A: Refunds will be issued directly to your billing or bank account. If this isn’t possible, you will receive a cheque.

Q: Can I cancel my contract now without penalties?
A: If you didn’t receive the required pre-contract information and are still with EE or Plusnet, you will be offered the chance to cancel without penalties within the next three months.

Q: How can I ensure I get all the necessary contract information in the future?
A: Always request and thoroughly review the contract summary and pre-contract information before signing up for any service.

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