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BT Criticised Over Rolling Contracts Practice

The cable operator giant BT has drawn some serious criticisms over its automatic contract renewals, which implies that the customers coming to the end of their contracts would automatically registered for the next year if they don’t inform the operator about their unwillingness to carry on with its services.

Under BT’s new rolling agreement, which was introduced in April last year, the subscribers of the operator will automatically get registered for another year if they don’t inform about their intention of leaving its services.

However, if subscribers somehow get re-registered with the same package, they have to pay as much as £180 in order to pull out from the services.

The issue has been brought into the light by the rival ISP TalkTalk, which even urged the telecom regulator Ofcom to rule out such contracts.

Quoting the impacts of such rolling contracts in the wake of ongoing credit crunch, Andrew Heaney from TalkTalk said in a statement, “We believe that rolling contracts are a sharp practice at any time, but particularly so in the current credit crunch and with given the riches available in the market”.

He further went on to say that with the rolling contracts BT “cynically” places all the burden of cancelling the contracts on its subscribers, simply knowing that they tend to forget to do so.

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Our Comments

"Rolling contracts" is not a crime and is something many companies do. For example, if you take a trial at say, Lovefilm, and don't cancel your account before a set date, Lovefilm starts billing you. In truth, many users will find rolling contracts to be more convenient. However BT's almost certainly wrong when it charges their users for leaving the company after the mandatory 12 months.

Related Links

BT accused of 'sharp practice' on rolling contracts (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

Outrage as BT customers locked in for another year (opens in new tab)

(PC Advisor)

BT’s rolling contracts questioned (opens in new tab)

(Tech Watch)

BT customers warned to take note of rolling contracts (opens in new tab)

(Broadband Genie)

BT attacked for "cynical" broadband contract renewals (opens in new tab)

(PC Pro)

UPDATE TalkTalk Issues Warning Over Rolling BT Contracts (opens in new tab)

(ISP Review)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.