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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69361
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I used TalkTalk as a web/telephone provider for many years.

Customer Question

I used TalkTalk as a web/telephone provider for many years. Due to poor service I decided to change providers and opened an account with another provider. Due to a misunderstanding Talktalk were not notified of the change for some 2 months and when they continued to charge me through my direct debit agreement I phoned up and found that I needed to cancel the contract. I told them that I wished to do this and they advised that a cancellation charge would be applied. In turn I advised that I would challenge this. Since then I cancelled my Direct Debit arrangement and they have now referred me to a debt collection agency. How can I escape from this contract ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

How much is the cancellation charge please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I dont know as they did not tell me


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok.

We're you locked into contract or were you outside of the initial period?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For JOMO1972


 


This is a difficult one as the initial contract was with Tiny world who were bought out by talktalk years ago.


 


All I can think is that the TalkTalk operative simply was not listeneng when I stated that I had already signed on with a new provider and that I no longer wished to continue with them.


 


The debt (presently amounting to some £69 and increasing at £32 per month) has been handed over to Roxburghe debt collectors who state that they are now the appointed agents and I should not contact their client.


 


To complete the picture:


 


I started with the new server in March 2013. At this stage my Talktalk landline was disconnected.


 


Following telephone discussions with talktalk on 11th June I made my last payment to Talktalk on 24th June.


 


Since then they have billed me for July and August.


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. I understand you want to tell me everything. I really just need the information I asked for if thats possible?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


OK, after raking through my records I found a letter dated 23 April 2012 thanking me for 'staying with Talktalk for the next 18 months'. It would appear that I stayed with them by default because I did not pull out at that stage.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

What was the nature of the poor service?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My main complaint was that they were unable to bill me electronically to my smallworld email address so I had to pay £1.90 extra each month for paper bills (even though payment was by direct debit). I spent hours on the phone with then trying to get them to send the advice notice to my small world address and not to a talktalk address that I never used. This situation had existed for years.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. Thanks.

Can you give me 30 mins to consider this? There's no need to sit online, you will get an email when I respond.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the information and I'm sorry for the delay. This dropped off my question list.

You have two options here. Neither are sure fire winners and it depends how much risk you want to take.

You could challenge the fact of the rolling contract. They have been criticised by the OFT in recent years. However, the OFT guidance is not law and you need to be aware of that. They complained that rolling contracts were unfair because they rolled over without informing the subject. A deal has been struck whereby companies will generally notify of the rolling date. Which ever way you look at it though they did do that here. You could still argue that its unfair under UCTA and so void. There has been some very helpful case law relating to gyms. That contract did involve a much longer rolling period though.

Failing that, you could argue that the service is so bad that they have repudiated the contract. In truth, it would be irresponsible of me to tell you that have a strong chance of that. Things have to be pretty bad before you can show repudiation.

The truth is that they won't sue you even if you leave unlawfully. For this sum of money its not worth it. What they will do is add a default to your credit rating. That may be important to you or it may not. It depends on your position. If you have a good credit rating then you could probably live without a default.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

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