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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3695
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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My ISP changed my product offering identical conditions and

Resolved Question:

My ISP changed my product offering identical conditions and SLA's then broke most of them leaving me 1 month without internet access on what was formally a business line (part of the product change). After quite a lot of complaining and negotiating, we reached an agreement for compensation which has not been upheld. What do I need to do to break the contract and move suppliers?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Does the contract have a notice period or an initial term you have to sign up to? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

When I moved to Fibre broadband the 18 month initial term was supposed to apply from the activation date however the service was not delivered until more than 1 month later. This period is due to expire in May 2016.

On the 15/01/2015 I reached an agreement and an email outlining (which I had to ask for) giving 6 months line rental, call plan and fibre service for free. Thereafter it would resume to my initial agreement that I signed up for.

I received 3 months of this agreement and notified them of this issue on 03/06/2015 and detailed costs in an email on 10/08/2015 since which I have had no reply to either email.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you. The issue you have is you have to bare in mind that whatever action you take, if they want to sue you for breach of contract that is their prerogative, you cannot stop that even if their claim baseless. What you can do is argue that the contract should be terminated as they are clearly in breach of the condition of actually providing the service, and the persistent breach of SLAs is a material breach of contract. I would put them on notice in writing that you intend to terminate the agreement forthwith and say that any initial term can no longer be binding due to material and persistent breach in the service levels. I would say to them if they do not acknowledge an accept your notice immediately you reserve the right:(i) Commence court proceedings for their persistent service failings, and recover your losses and costs associated with changing service provider;(ii) Complain to the regulator OfCom www.ofcom.org.uk/Are they ignoring all correspondence at the moment? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

At the moment they are ignoring correspondence.

Would the agreement for free/discounted service be considered a Service Level Agreement as other than that there have been no breaks in service level since the original outage?

Would I need a response to my notice to allow me to terminate the agreement without risk of a breach of contract lawsuit?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you. The agreement to compensate you is not an SLA per say - but if they agreed to compensate you they are obligated to comply with what they offered. The SLA they breached is that they did not provide the service.As I said the main issue is whether they want to sue (frivolous or not) it is entirely their prerogative, if you are in dispute with them then there is always a risk one side could sue. I would suggest that you try and contact them again, make clear you are not happy with the customer service and see if they are receptive to letting you terminate the contract. If you stopped paying today what is the actual monthly amount they would seek from you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The amount billed each month is 41.70 which breaks down as 16.70 line rental, 20.00 call plan and 5.00 for fibre service. It would work out as 375.30 till the end of the initial period/contract term. Should I ask them the actual monthly amount they would seek from me?

If I get written agreement from them to terminate the service and agreement, could they sue for breach of contract after that as I haven't breached anything yet?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you. I would write to them first and say:- They have materially breached the SLAs and any agreement with your self;- This has had a detrimental and adverse affect on your business causing you to suffer loss;- You do not feel that the relationship can continue you any further, and as they have quite disgracefully reneged on your settlement agreement you must terminate the contract;- Ask them to confirm that they immediately accept this termination and say if they do not you reserve the right to:(i) Complain to OfCom;(ii) Sue them for the loss you have suffered in the county court.If they insist on you paying a termination ask them to confirm what they are expecting but say it is without admission of their claim. You can then negotiate down what ever claim they make and once you have agreed a figure say that it should be offset against the three months you are owed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

Thank you very much for your help with this. I will take those steps and hope I get to move my service soon.

Many thanks,

Stephen

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, No problem. I wish you the best of luck. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist any further. Any feedback is gratefully received. Kind regards AJ
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