Unfair Telecoms Contracts
Posted On 22th July, 2019
Are you being held hostage by your Telecoms provider?
Businesses that make a habit of signing up to long-term contracts offered by the majority of telecoms companies, often unaware of the contract and/or renewal terms, are likely to be doing their organisation more harm than good for two big reasons:
VALUE: Telecoms is rapidly evolving so long-term contracts can restrict a business’ ability to keep up with new technology
COST: Whereas resources such as fuel seem to constantly rise, telecoms prices are reducing all the time, so being locked into a long-term agreement can result in unnecessary expense.
Can I get out of my current contract?
Ask for a signed copy of your contract and go through it carefully to ascertain what services are included in it, when it is due to be renewed and whether the company does so automatically.
If your supplier is providing a sub-standard service and failing to deliver on their promises, then you may be able to give notice to terminate the contract under a ‘fundamental breach’ (a template letter can be found here).
If the level or extent of the breach is not ‘fundamental’, but ‘minor’ or ‘material’, you may still have cause for legal action against your supplier for damages and/or loss of profit, which may convince your supplier to relax the contract terms and allow you to exit the contract. Always seek expert legal advice because court disputes are lengthy and legal costs should be weighed up against the likely damages awarded.
If you do not have grounds for a breach, then you are likely to have to pay early termination charges, but most providers are open to the negotiation of early settlements.
Can OFCOM help?
A telecoms supplier must be authorised by OFCOM and be a member of an ADR scheme, which, like the Ombudsman or CISAS, designed to assist dispute resolution between customers and suppliers. You can check which scheme applies to your supplier here .
This service is free to you – your supplier will need to finance the investigation – and may enable you to reach a compromise, or persuade the supplier to relax the terms of the contract in order to avoid an ADR investigation.
SO… our advice is never commit to long-term contracts – they always benefit the supplier rather than the customer. If you want to talk more about your company’s current contract, click here to get in touch.