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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 72910
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Jones. . I started a phone / landline contract with OneCom over a year ago

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For Ben Jones.
I started a phone / landline contract with OneCom over a year ago on the understanding that I was going to get a broadband/landline/phone package for £30 per month. I distinctly remember asking repeatedly whether the service was "like for like" the service I had with BT. When the landline contract went live, they wanted another £17 a month for the broadband service which I refused to transfer. Am I too late to get out of this contract which I was really duped into agreeing to or am I committed for the full 36 months? Or do I have a claim that they have not provided the service they promised at the price they promised at the outset?
Thanks in advance.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Ben asked me to look at this.
When did you agree?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just over a year ago.Since I asked the question I've come across lots of horror stories regarding OneCom which, frankly, fill me with dread...However, I do note that OfCom have banned 3 year contracts - see: don't mind paying a reasonable termination fee but I fear that they may try to hold me to the full 3 year term.
Yes, they probably will.
Ofcom do not have the authority to ban anything. They are not Parliament. They are not a competent court. They are not even a court that can be considered persuasive in the UK.
Ofcom are just regulators. All they have done is issue guidance for the industry.
If you agreed to 36 months then the starting point is that you are locked in. If you do leave early then they have a lost profits claim but they cannot enforce the entire contract as you are not receiving the service.
If you are saying they misrepresented the nature of the contract at the time of sale then that might be a ground of escape. You do have to show there was a pretty substantial misrepresentation though to escape completely.
They won't sue anyway. It won't be worth their while. What they will do is instruct debt collectors to write and telephone. They may try to add a default to your credit account although that is harder to do now.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your advice Jo.Regarding Ofcom, if they have no clout, then that surely begs the question why do they exist? If unscrupulous companies, such as Onecom, can flout their guidelines with impunity, then surely they are useless. In fact, they are arguably worse than useless since they give the general public the false impression of protection when, in actual fact, there is none.Like I said at the outset, I did ask repeatedly whether they were offering a "like for like" which the end result clearly isn't so there may be grounds there. I do have legal expenses cover as part of my household insurance so I may go down that route if they try to play hard ball. Like you say, its unlikely that they'll go down the litigation route because of costs/recovery ratio. It'll probably be best to try to agree a compromise somewhere in between.Thanks again and Best wishes for 2016.Regards,Don.