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News Minimum term

11th May 2015: The way we used to charge for broadband customers leaving within their minimum term has changed with effect for all cease or migration orders from today (11th May).

We provide a number of broadband services (ADSL, VDSL/FTTC, FTTP) via various tariff packages. These often include additional features such as a phone line or copper pair, annex-M, enhanced care, usage units, etc.

The previous system was simple - some of these have a minimum term (Home::1 is 6 months, Office::1 is 12 months, Units FTTC is 12 months) and if you leave within the minimum term then we charge for the service and all of the extras associated with the service up to the end of the minimum term. Some services have a 30 day notice period too, and the charging applies to the end of the 30 days even if outside the minimum term.

Unfortunately this simple system does not fit well with OFCOM's new notice of transfer, and the simplest way to resolve this is to change the way we handle minimum terms on broadband related services. Fortunately this benefits you, the customer.

New "early termination fee"

The new system will charge a simple monthly fee for each broadband "line" for the period from the cease or migration date to the end of the minimum term. Where a "cease fee" applies, this is also charged.

Exactly how does it work?

When you request a cease or migration of any broadband line, it will have a date on which the line ceases or migrates. We plan to advise you of the "early termination charges" at that point (this step should be in place before 20th June). Billing continues as normal, which normally means charging for services beyond the proposed cease/migration date. Once the line actually ceases or migrates, at that point a final bill or credit is raised.

The final bill will include any charges or, more likely, credits to bring the service charges for your line back to the point that the line ceased or migrated. So if you have paid for a month in advance (as is usual) and cease or migrate half way through that month, the final bill has a credit for part of that month.

Any early termination fee that applies is the charge for a period from the cease/migration date to the end of the minimum term - that is added to that final bill.

You will also get any excess usage charges, and if applicable, any cease charges, on the final bill if they apply.

If you have already paid more than is due at that point you are entitled to a refund. If you pay by Direct Debit, then this is automatically refunded to your bank account. You need to ensure your Direct Debit instruction stays valid until the final billing is completed and settled.

The early termination fee applies individually to each broadband line, and is based on the date when that individual line was installed (or last regraded).

What about phone lines, and extra features

The early termination charges will apply only to the basic broadband part of the service. It does, however, apply separately to each broadband line. All other services are charged up to the date the line ceases or migrates as normal and no extra early termination charge applies for the extras. If you migrate a phone line / copper pair away, the charging for that will be applied to the date it migrates away.

What about notice periods

The previous 30 days notice will be dropped, and Units tariff will, instead, have a one month minimum term. However, migrations have a 10 working day minimum lead time, and we may apply the same to ceases, allowing you to change your mind if you wish. In some cases, such as ceasing the associated phone line for a broadband service you may cease a line with no lead time, and charges will apply to the actual cease date.

Early Termination Charges

Applied to each broadband service line for period from termination/migration to end of minimum term. You have the right to terminate the contract early, and these charges are to compensate us for leaving early - as such no VAT applies.

ServiceMin termLine typeEarly termination charge
Office::112 monthsAny£75 pcm
Home::16 monthsADSL£15 pcm
FTTC/FTTP£20 pcm
Units1 monthADSL£10 pcm
12 monthsFTTC/FTTP£20 pcm

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