BT billed me £70.65 for not making a call

I’m totally disillusioned with BT holding me hostage. I don’t really want or need a BT land line as I have unlimited minutes on my mobile. However I have to have a land line so that I can have broadband Internet (which isn’t with BT).

I’ve been paying my BT bill for years and rarely pick up the handset, It’s normally sales calls if the phone rings – almost without fail illegal spam calls as I’m registered with the TPS.

This month instead of paying my BT bill I did what I should have done many quarters ago and had a look at what I’m being charged for.

BT Bill

£0.00 Call charges

First the good news. The bill happily states “You didn’t make any calls on this line” with a line item of “£0.00”. So how the heck can BT issue a bill for £70.65? Here’s what they ripped me off for.

£46.35 Line Rental

I’ve been on an “Unlimited Weekend Plan” for years. The reason I’m on this plan is that BT claim it’s the cheapest contract they have. I don’t want to make calls on the line so it makes sense to be on the cheapest plan. This part of the bill I can’t dispute, but I only keep the line because I want broadband Internet.

£4.80 Friends and Family Mobile Rip Off

I was on BT’s old “Unlimited Weekend Plan and inclusive Friends & Family Mobile – 12 month renewable contract deal” which is no longer available to new subscribers. The cost was £15.45 per month. Along with the Unlimited weekend plan I received inclusive Friends & Family Mobile (normally £1.60 a month).

Apparently when the year was up I didn’t renew the contract and as I’m out of contract BT unkindly and underhandedly switched me to Unlimited Weekend Calls – Standard 12 Month contract. That meant they unbeknown to me started adding on an additional £4.80 per month to my bill.

I never wanted friends and family. I certainly never wanted to pay for it. I wanted the cheapest contract available and instead BT added on extras. I’m not alone in this either, a quick search on the Internet revealed a ton of unhappy people who BT are merrily billing this charge who, like me, used to have it for free.

£7.50 Unfair late payment charge

I’ve been hit with £7.50 for paying my bill late. The current bill arrived today (23rd July) and I’ll get another £7.50 late payment charge if it’s not paid by the 29th of July. Yes, that’s just six days (days, not even working days) to pay your bill without being ripped off.

It’s worth noting that the actual Bill Date is the 19th of July, so I should have had 10 days to pay. However BT only allow 10 days from the date of the bill to receive payment regardless of how long they take to notify you of what you owe. If you’re on holiday the week your BT bill arrives then they’re going to gouge an extra £7.50 out of you.

£6.00 Payment processing Fee

If you don’t want to pay by direct debit and have BT steal money in advance from your bank account as they stack up extra charges on your bill and for calls that you don’t want to make and won’t make, then they’ll charge you for paying by debit card. The alternative is to set up a direct debit and let the greedy privatised company take whatever they feel like from your bank account in advance, based on your last bill, and fight to get it back later.

£6.00 Minimum call commitment charge Rip Off

My BT bill states:

“The minimum call commitment has not been met. Make 2 or more chargeable or inclusive calls per month to avoid future charges”.

Unbelievably BT are charging me £6.00 because I didn’t make any calls. They don’t care that I could have made a zillion calls at weekends for free, they’re still hitting my with a charge. This is outrageous – I don’t know any other consumer facing company that charges you for not wanting to use their service.

I don’t want to make any calls. The one and only reason for having the line is for Broadband, which is what I told them when they put me on the cheapest contract before they changed me to a contract plus extras after 12 months.

BT Rip off charges

After ringing up to complain BT reluctantly agreed to credit three quarters worth of £6.00s for the minimum call commitment.

BT also agreed to credit £4.80 for a quarters worth of Friend and Family Mobile and said that the credit would appear on my next bill. Bearing in mind that this is billed in advance they want me to pay for something I don’t want, hang onto my money for a quarter, and then knock it off my next bill. If I paid the bill less the £4.80 they’d cut my line off for non-payment.

It was only after speaking to the BT rep’s manager’s manager that they saw sense and agreed to let me pay the bill less the £4.80, leave it as a debit on my account until it was balanced out by the credit in three months time.

Why deal with such a greedy company?

I don’t want to deal with BT but they have me over a barrel. They quite happily want to charge me £70 a quarter so that I can have broadband. Don’t get me wrong I realise I’m blackmailed into a corner and if I want reliable fast Internet I have to pay £46.35 a quarter for nothing more than a rotting piece of copper buried in the ground. I don’t like this but I don’t object to it. What I do object to is when the £46.35 bill turns into a £70.65 bill which to me appears to be pure profiteering on the part of BT.

I totally accept that I should be checking my bills. I’m glad I took the time to review this bill and found out just how much BT were gouging out of me. If you’ve not looked over your own phone bill then take the time to do so and see how much is bleeding out of your bank account into the BT shareholder’s coffers.