Check your Terms and Conditions

Do you have broadband, or a mobile phone contract?

If you are still within your minimum contract term, and your provider is trying to put up the monthly price,
then you need to check your terms and conditions.

A lot of contracts allow you to exit your minimum term contract early if they “materially alter” your deal.

What does “materially alter” mean?

Materially altering your deal would end up costing you more money or removing features.

If you have a mobile phone with an allowance of 2000 minutes, and they tell you that this will be reduced to 1000 minutes,
then it will only be materially altered if you habitually use more than 1000 minutes.

Recently BT notified its customers of a price increase with their broadband service.
Would you just pay the increase?

You may not have to: Check your T&Cs for a get out clause.

Case Study

Lets look at BTs terms and conditions. Specifically section 59.

  1. If we change the price, charges or terms and conditions for a service you may end that service by giving us notice under paragraph 24. If you do so then except for any variation made under paragraph 54(J) (a variation for legal or regulatory reasons), if any change that we make to that service under either paragraph 54 or paragraph 55 is to your material disadvantage, then you will have 30 days’ from the date we tell you about the change to contact us directly to tell us you want to cancel your contract. If you do so and then cancel your contract for the service then:

    1. you won’t have to pay any increased price or charge for your service during the notice period, and if you have already paid the higher price or charge we will refund the difference to you in your next or final bill;
    2. if the service is in a minimum term you may end your service without paying any early termination charge;
    3. you won’t have to pay any cease charges for ending that service or any deferred prices for any equipment that would otherwise become payable for ending that service;
    4. we will also end any other service that you take from BT which cannot be provided without the service you’ve chosen to end. Paragraphs 59 (b) and (c) above will then apply and you won’t have to pay early termination charges, cease charges or deferred prices for any equipment.

If you were a BT customer and you didn’t want to pay the increase, then you would phone up customer support and reject the price increase.

The agent should be aware of your rights and allow you to proceed with the cancellation of the service, though you may have to go through a few hoops where they will try to retain you as a customer.

However, if you get an agent who is not willing or is not experienced enough to help you achieve this, then you will have to escalate, normally in writing, and be prepared to quote their terms and conditions at them justifying why you feel you are entitled to cancel.

Make sure you take notes of who you spoke to and when, and write to customer services. Make sure to reference any objections the agents had.

You have now served notice.


Whilst building web applications, Daniel also sets up web servers from scratch because he has yet to find the perfect hosting solution. His philosophy is “Why settle, when you can build it better yourself?”

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