08-Jan-2013 13:10

A masterpiece of strong understatement & penetrating rhetoric

We very recently won the contract to carry calls and line rentals, for a Berkshire-based Building Company, for x 5 lines.
Their current provider (not BT) decided to ‘hit’ them for early exit & penalty fees, even though they'd been clients - seemingly without contract - for over 14 years… [& with just 9 weeks to go anyway...] of penalty fees of £1950 +vat! This is on billing of about £150’ish per month!

We advised the client (without taking liability) that it's pure bul*sh*t and they should fight their corner as this company is quite well-known for being unfairly ‘’hard’’…

The resulting letter is brilliant - we love it!
Although the English ain’t the best, it’s an absolute masterpiece of strong understatement and penetrating rhetoric, I reckon. We may just print it off, stick it in a frame & use it as a dart board... :)

Have a read and a chuckle & let us know what you think...

"3rd January 2013

Dear Sir/Madam

Customer Ref: xxxxxxx

I am writing with regard to termination fees recently charged to the above accounts.

After 14 years with xxxxxx we have decided to change telephone provider. This is for a number of reasons not relevant to xxxxxx

When I ordered my new provider SimplyFone to take over the lines, I suddenly received phone calls from xxxxxx intimidating me with special offers to stay with xxxxxx - offers which were not going to be offered to other customers until the New Year.
They further informed me that each line on the two above accounts would be charged £150 per line cancellation fee. I was shocked.
The operator told me that my contract renewed for one year in August 2011, and in August 2012 I was sent a letter in the post saying if I did not cancel ‘the contract automatically renews for one year’.
I never received this letter.
All your communication is by email or an average of five tele-sales calls a week offering me broadband at a rip-off price. Why the letter now?
I then received emails to with the £150 demand per line.
Further emails followed with even more surprises demanding in bold, intimidating numbers £450 per line and £300 per line for each account on the respective accounts.
Can’t make up your minds of how much to take advantage? £150? £300? No, let’s make it £450. Actually your final demand and charge has now reached £1950 + vat.

So, is this how xxxxxx treats customers who have been customers for 14 years and never missed a payment? Why would anyone in their right mind cancel a contract which would be an average of ten times cheaper just to leave dormant and pay the line rental? Extortion comes to mind.

I suggest xxxxxx send me some proof of the contract they claim I signed and any proof of the letters sent to me regarding this account.

I also recommend that a very sensible cancellation charge is suggested if it is in fact required contractually as xxxxxxxxxxx has no money or assets and it would be a shame for xxxxxx to spend so much money going to court for nothing.

The content of the response received from xxxxxx will determine to whom I forward it; Trading Standards, Office of Fair Trading, Which? and The Times Newspaper come to mind.

Oh, and a copy to my solicitors who have already offered you free advice by saying you should look at the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

I look forward to your early response on this matter.

Yours truly,"

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