Taking over a new phone line

  jtt 10:31 01 Feb 08
Locked

I've bought a house (completion day, ie I get the keys) is next week. I want to use Talk Talk as my phone and internet provider. They tell me that I first have to get the line activated. It was working until a few weeks ago before the current owner moved out, but Talk Talk tell me that it is no longer active.

I phoned BT and they said that to activate the line, I have to accept a 12 month BT contract (ie pay 12 months of BT line rental) and if I cancel this before the 12 months are up, I will incur a cancellation charge (up to £70).

Are they actually allowed to do this? Is there any way that I can switch go with Talk Talk without paying one year of BT line rental or the £70 charge?

I don't want to take my current phone service in my old house with me (it's by Virgin Media). I can't take the phone number with me either (and don't particularly want to) since it is in a different exchange area.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:46 01 Feb 08

Are they actually allowed to do this?
Yes

Is there any way that I can switch go with Talk Talk without paying one year of BT line rental or the £70 charge?
No

Unless you are with a cable firm (Virgin) then to get online with most ISPs you need a BT phone.

Satellite / 3G card would be far more expensive.

  jtt 14:22 01 Feb 08

Thanks Fruit Bat.

I suspect that the reason for the charge is because the previous owner disconnected. I know someone else who moved into a new house where the line hadn't been disconnected, and switched immediately to Talk Talk without having to take up a contract with BT first.

  Woolwell 15:15 01 Feb 08

You may need to ask the person who did the conveyancing for you about this. One of the questions asked of the seller is whether the phone is disconnected or not. You should have seen the reply. I suspect that the question is asked because of the problem you have described.

  Stuartli 15:54 01 Feb 08

I can't see why BT can't be co-operative in this case as it will still receive the line rental, but from TalkTalk rather than you.

  laurie53 19:58 01 Feb 08

BT co-operative?

Now there's a novel thought!

  ayrmail 20:34 01 Feb 08

Having bought 3 houses in the last 6 years only one had the BT line disconnected they told us it was going to cost £140 to get it reconnected they reconnected us but charged us nothing and they only put a time limit of 3 or 4 months to stay with them as we said at the time we where not sure which BB or phone company to go with.
I would have thought that they couldn’t make you sign up for a year that would reek of unfair competion, I’m sure they can charge you the reconnection fee but maybe you could explain this to talk talk and they may help you out, cant do any harm to ask.

  bluto1 23:01 01 Feb 08

Work it out. Isn't it cheaper to pay £70 at the beginning of the year than line rental to BT for the whole year.
Unfortunately, yes, they can do this.

  jtt 12:29 05 Feb 08

Thanks everyone for your comments. I have gone with BT, but will very soon cancel and pay the £70.

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