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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My mum is elderly and is being pestered by Talk Talk for £444

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My mum is elderly and is being pestered by Talk Talk for £444 which she does not believe she owes. Who can we go to?
Thank your for your question. I will try to help with this.

Did she have a contract with them?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, In a nutshell she started with Talk Talk almost 3 years ago. Then in August 2012 she decided to go to a company called Talk Time. Talk Talk then contacted my Mum and said they would match the price of Talk Time and as a bonus offer her £10 a month less for a year. So 2 days after applying to Talk Time she cancelled with them. Everything was fine and she even received 2 x lettesr from Talk Talk on 3rd Oct stating they had been successful in stopping the transfer and thanked her for staying with Talk Talk.


On 23rd October she received 2 x letters from Talk Talk saying she was leaving again. This was not true so she was told by the adviser to ignore any letters. On 29th October my mum had Youview installed by Talk Talk and another new contract was set.


On 22nd November all her TV, Phone and internet went off. The phone and TV came back on 4 hours later but no internet. So she contacted them yet again and was told She contacted them and was told that she was moving house and she was not taking them with her, again this was untrue. So they told her they would have to start another new contract and all new equipment would be sent but the internet would not be on until 6th Jan 2013. She said she already had all the equipment so did not need new but was told just to keep the 'old' equipment as it was hers and new would be sent.


Feeling very unsure of what was going on with Talk Talk she decided 2 days later to go to Sky and cancelled with Talk Talk on 24th November. She was told by the adviser that it was all cancelled and she was to ignor any further correspondence.


On 24th December she had an E-mail to say she owed £444 for breaking her contract. But in essence they broke the contract by switching everything off on 22nd November and she only cancelled 2 days after the 'new' contract was made. She is at her wits end and so upset. I hate to see her like this.


Hope this all makes sense.

So, in short, she cancelled and they say she was mid contract?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

She only cancelled on 24th November after a new contract had been set up 2 days earlier on 22nd November. When everything was turned off by Talk Talk on 22nd November because she was, according to them, moving house and not taking them with her they in essence cancelled her contract by switching everything off. She had never made and call to say she was moving house. She isn't moving house. When the phone line came back on 4 hours later, which in itself is a bit strange, why would it come back on 4 hours later if she had cancelled, she rang them and was told there would have to be a new contract set there and then. So she did.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.



sorry not sure what has happened. My page says my question has been opened to all experts. What happens now.



The reason you are experiencing delay is that you posted before I had responded which pushes the question to the back of my list.

I do understand that you want to tell me everything but I need to narrow this down into relevant facts.

Was she locked into a contract when she cancelled? Just yes or no is fine.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.



Yes she thinks so



Just to be clear, this was a renewal of the old contract with Talk Talk? It wasnt a completely fresh contract in November?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.



According to the person she spoke to it was a new contract.


Dont worry about what they said.

They had been her providers previously?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Yes for almost 3 years


Was the cancellation only verbal or did she follow up in writing?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


It was verbal over the phone. She has the date and time of the call she made to Talk Talk


It depends what she wants to do about this. The truth is that its very unlikely they will sue for this sum of money. It is possible they could but it would not be worth the manpower and there is a risk they would lose anyway. What they may do though is add a default to her credit rating. There are things you can do about that but the practical reality is they are hard to remove. It doesn't much matter unless you need to borrow money though but obviously that can affect things like mobile contracts etc.

In relation to the point that you are trying to make, its not the best point you have. You are trying to argue that the contract was repudiated by Talk Talk. Overall what seems to have happened is that they have been generally inefficient which does not amount to repudiation. A supplier really does have to fail to provide for a very long time before the contract is repudiated. The closest you can come here is that they did fail to supply for a short time. The truth though is that its not really long enough to amount to repudiation of contract.

However, this is a distance sale so there are other options. Its not really clear whats happened contractually and I suspect Talk Talk can't reliably say either. If the contract was new then she has 14 days to cancel it although the cancellation should really have been in writing but then you could argue that they accepted her verbal cancellation and they cannot deny it.

If its a renewal then cooling off rights don't apply unfortunately.

Its quite unlikely that you would get that far though anyway as they are not going to sue. What they will do is send some generally unpleasant debt collection letters and maybe add a default.

You can report them to the Ombudsman but the truth is that its a bit of a waste of time usually.
Remus2004 and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

That's Great.


So basically if she ignores it she will be ok.


Thanks so much for your help. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Probably thats right.

They may add a default.

But even if they went to court the worst that would happen is that they would get judgment and she would seek a variation order allowing her to pay about £10 every two weeks. Courts don't make people pay sums they can't afford.