uSwitch: BT's switching penalties 'staggering'

26 March 2007
Home phone customers who choose to leave BT before the end of their 12-month contract will face higher penalties than ever before, switching service has claimed.

Switching to an alternative landline provider will now cost customers the same as their outstanding line rental instead of the current maximum fee of £18.

This means customers leaving with ten months still on their contract could pay over £100 for leaving BT, even if they are paying the lowest tariff of £10.75 per month.

Meanwhile, customers on the more comprehensive packages priced at £14.70 and £20.70 monthly will suffer proportionally.

Last month, BT attracted criticism for imposing a £4.50 charge on customers who pay by cash or cheque instead of through direct debit.

This fee hits one quarter of all the providers' customers - 5.5 million people nationwide, according to uSwitch – and can hurt less wealthy customers who pay on an ad hoc basis.

BT's customers are now "damned if they do leave and damned if they don't", Steve Weller, head of communications services at, claims.

"It's staggering that BT has decided to penalise customers by introducing a raft of new charges," he added.

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