Debt agencies chase residents over broadband charges

Debt agencies chase residents over broadband charges

Debt agencies chase residents over broadband charges

First published in News

WYRE Forest people are being chased by debt collectors when they try to stand up to broadband companies over costly cancellation charges.

Even just moving home can land residents with a headache if they try to switch provider, says the district's Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

The advice centre highlights the case of one Kidderminster man, who tried to complain about poor service and eventually cancelled it.

He then got a bill for £300 and was later pressed by a debt collector.

The CAB says its staff are increasingly coming across customers from Wyre Forest being locked into unsuitable broadband contracts and the average cost of cancellation is £190.

The CAB says it can be difficult to access the company websites or make contact to discuss changes.

Charges are also being applied when a customer moves home and cannot continue with the same provider for technical reasons.

The problem is also hitting customers who find that their service is poor compared to what they were promised and decide to change provider.

Wyre Forest CAB manager Kate Bennett said: “Internet service providers should never issue cancellation charges if a customer has had problems with their service.

"One Kidderminster man was unhappy with his provider and tried to complain about poor service but got cut off three times so cancelled and got a bill for £300.

"He told them that he was cancelling and his 'debt' was passed to a debt collector.

"It is unfair that cancellation fees are passed on to debt collectors because of poor service, especially as family debt is a major problem and we need to help people more as mortgage rates increase."

Mrs Bennett advised people to make notes and keep evidence of their dealings with internet service providers if they were facing a problem or switching providers.

She also recommended that, if customers needed to speak to the companies, they should visit the website to find alternative landline numbers to avoid high rate calls.

Anyone facing problems with debt or broadband issues is invited to contact the CAB telephone advice line 0300 3300 650 and the advice service is campaigning nationally to tackle the problem.

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