Any suggestions in £125 BT phoneline installation rip-off?

I am about to let a flat in the same building soon and I phoned up BT to ask about whether I would have to pay the £125 phoneline installation charge for a choice of 2 properties that I am considering to move into. Unsurprisingly, they said both of these flats would have to pay the £125 phoneline installation charge. Yes, the building had been fit with BT sockets when it was built 4 years ago and I understand that if none of the previous tenants had ever paid this BT installation charge before, I would have to pay this. But I don't believe any of the previous tenants never paid this installation charge. I ask people in 4 different flats in the building and all of them had to pay that installation charge when they moved within the last year. More importantly, the flats have had at least 3-4 tenants that lived there before.

I will have no problem pay £125 phoneline installation charge IF everyone has to pay this after the previous tenants cancelled their contract with BT when they move out. But BT is ONLY supposed to charge people that amount if they are the FIRST person that wants to use the phoneline. I know some people will say that it is likely that no one has ever had a phoneline in their flats before so they have to pay. But personally, I doubt that and think there is something wrong with their phoneline checks. One of the flats' tenants also said he personally saw their previous tenants have a phone in that house while the other 3 moved in only after the previous tenant left so they have no idea.

I feel being ripped of by BT forcing this charge on me and cannot do anything about it! I only use the phoneline for ADSL internet and does not have cable internet in my area. So I will be forced to pay this charge eventually. So hoping someone can give me any suggestions in what to do.

24 Comments

Banned

wasnt there a deal on the deals about this, will see if i can find it

Original Poster

Thanks for that deal. It'll come in handy if they force me to pay that installation charge. Although have to sign a minimum 18 months contract and also must make 10 chargeable calls or inclusive calls per month.

But still looking for suggestions to avoid being forced to pay the installation charge.


Edit: Just read that post and it is not for me. Its only for customers coming over from cable companies. Since I'm moving to a new flat, I can't get that deal

Banned

you wont get away without paying it

I did twice lol but I was crafty

BT did something like this to my mother, check if it is an outstanding bill by the previous tenants rather than a connection charge, if not see if you can get cable, i may be mistaken but doesn't sky do a free connection if you connect to them for 12 months>? if so that may be the best option.

Original Poster

Sky is not an option for me since I don't watch tv and only want to use the internet. only adsl is available in my area.

Banned

so if it has already been paid for by a previous tenant you dont have to pay anything for connection?

Original Poster

sassie;2121965

so if it has already been paid for by a previous tenant you dont have to … so if it has already been paid for by a previous tenant you dont have to pay anything for connection?



I don't know whether there is a reconnection fee or not. But that £125 connection fee I talked about in the OP should only be imposed on the first person that activates the BT phoneline in that house/flat.

Banned

Slash;2121998

I don't know whether there is a reconnection fee or not. But that £125 … I don't know whether there is a reconnection fee or not. But that £125 connection fee I talked about in the OP should only be imposed on the first person that activates the BT phoneline in that house/flat.



well if the connection fee is gonna be £30 then it dont matter does it, maybe look into what is already being offered rather than fighting with them

Original Poster

sassie;2122014

well if the connection fee is gonna be £30 then it dont matter does it, … well if the connection fee is gonna be £30 then it dont matter does it, maybe look into what is already being offered rather than fighting with them



That special £29.99 deal is only available to cable customer switching to BT. Since I am moving into a another flat and have no cable service available in my area, I could not get that deal and hence will have to pay £125.

Banned

whooops sorry about that, only flitted over it, again sorry:oops:

I got away without paying mine, there was a socket in the property but needed connecting up the street. When they come in and said we would have to pay £125 we told them no, as we booked the engineer to see if it would cost or not before deciding. Well engineer phoned them and they bypassed the fee so we got connected for free.
It was also classed as a installation fee because certain work needed doing so not a straight forward reconnection.

Original Poster

amcol;2122046

I got away without paying mine, there was a socket in the property but … I got away without paying mine, there was a socket in the property but needed connecting up the street. When they come in and said we would have to pay £125 we told them no, as we booked the engineer to see if it would cost or not before deciding. Well engineer phoned them and they bypassed the fee so we got connected for free.It was also classed as a installation fee because certain work needed doing so not a straight forward reconnection.



So do you suggest I find an engineer to come verify whether the phoneline had previously been connected or not? BTW, how much would it cost?

Even if someone connected the line in those flats before it all depends on whether the lines were stopped or ceased when the tennents moved out, if they were ceased the equipment between there and the exchange will have been removed hence you have to pay the connection charge again. If its a stopped line you generally dont have to pay for it.
BT isnt a charity you know !!!

Original Poster

jase.2;2122082

Even if someone connected the line in those flats before it all depends … Even if someone connected the line in those flats before it all depends on whether the lines were stopped or ceased when the tennents moved out, if they were ceased the equipment between there and the exchange will have been removed hence you have to pay the connection charge again. If its a stopped line you generally dont have to pay for it.BT isnt a charity you know !!!



I am assuming when you say ceased, it means people did not pay their bills and got their lines cut off by BT? So I guess all the previous tenants all didn't pay their bills? Again, I wouldn't be complaining if everyone who cancels their phoneline will have to pay that £125 to reconnect. It is the fact that all the flats I have asked were forced to pay this £125 which should only have been imposed on the first customer who activates the phoneline in the flat/house.

if you only want it for broadband there are plenty of mobile broadband packages out there. Have a look and don't forget quidco for some extra cashback.

Slash;2122132

I am assuming when you say ceased, it means people did not pay their … I am assuming when you say ceased, it means people did not pay their bills and got their lines cut off by BT? So I guess all the previous tenants all didn't pay their bills? Again, I wouldn't be complaining if everyone who cancels their phoneline will have to pay that £125 to reconnect. It is the fact that all the flats I have asked were forced to pay this £125 which should only have been imposed on the first customer who activates the phoneline in the flat/house.



"ceased" and "stopped" are slightly different:

Ceased means the line is terminated and (possibly) the equipment from the address to the exchange is removed (particularly in high density areas where there is a high demand for equipment or numbers). Generally BT try not to cease lines except where buildings are being demolished etc.

Stopped just means the line is unable to make or receive calls, it's still connected to the exchange. Reinstating a stopped line is usually just a case of switching it on at the exchange, a five minute job.

Hence why reinstating a ceased line costs, but a stopped line is usually free.

EDIT: With reference to your post, it is entirely possible that BT simply doesn't have sufficient data to tell which line(s) are in which flats - their PAF (postal address finder) system is very unhelpful with addresses - particularly with flats.
Could you find out the last active number for the flat and get them to proceed the order with that?

Also, you'll only get charged the £125 if it's a brand new PROVIDE, you have the right to cancel up until the engineer starts the wrok.

hope this helps.

how would they know if u were on cable before u moved to the area?

maddogb;2123266

how would they know if u were on cable before u moved to the area?



unless they stipulated that it's same address only and you need to transfer number of course.

Original Poster

grex9101;2123108

EDIT: With reference to your post, it is entirely possible that BT simply … EDIT: With reference to your post, it is entirely possible that BT simply doesn't have sufficient data to tell which line(s) are in which flats - their PAF (postal address finder) system is very unhelpful with addresses - particularly with flats.Could you find out the last active number for the flat and get them to proceed the order with that?Also, you'll only get charged the £125 if it's a brand new PROVIDE, you have the right to cancel up until the engineer starts the wrok.hope this helps.



Thanks for the definition about cease. The problem is that I will not be able to get the last known number used in that flat since the previous tenant apparently got kicked out. I don't want to knock on every door to ask everyone about this BT installation charge but its the only way I guess to get BT to listen.

Slash;2123295

Thanks for the definition about cease. The problem is that I will not be … Thanks for the definition about cease. The problem is that I will not be able to get the last known number used in that flat since the previous tenant apparently got kicked out. I don't want to knock on every door to ask everyone about this BT installation charge but its the only way I guess to get BT to listen.



No problem.

Think in all honesty, the best thing to do would be to go ahead with the order and if it turns out the £125 charge will apply, just tell the engie not to bother. You may get lucky as one of the posters did and get them to proceed for free at that point anyway,

If there is the box there in the flat present that you plug your phone line in, ask them to send out an engineer to see if it will cost to get it reconnected, it costs nothing to have them out, then once they been up the pole, checked the line etc etc then when they say yes, so no thanks, wots the worst that can happen, they walk away but then its another option you have tried..

Original Poster

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I have scheduled an engineer to come take a look. But most likely, I will have to pay that £125. I cannot just say no to BT since there is no cable in my area.
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