Friday, 19 December 2008

Recent Article Found on Ecademy Website

In a letter to Hutchison 3G UK's Group Managing Director, 3's long-standing customer, Bill Warry wrote to 3's Group Managing Director, Canning Fox (as well as to Customer Services) to give seven days notice of intention to sue for breach of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

In his march 08 bill from 3, Bill Warry was charged for over 100 calls to 3 International Directory Enquiries at £1.915 a time although he had not made a single enquiry to them - ever. Customer Services explained that they had inserted 3 International Directory Enquiries as a default at the top of his contacts list and that the call button must have been pressed accidentally in he pocket, and that there was nothing they could do about the charge.

If 3 had not deliberately entered this 3 Premium number at the top of Bill's contact list the cost of 100 plus accidental calls would have been zero because they would have easilly fallen within the allowance of his price plan. Bill claims that 3's unsolicited action of inserting 3 International National Enquiries as a default at the top of his contact's list is "Unreasonable" as defined in the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

Bill has notified OFCOM of 3's behaviour and is about to contact BBC's Watchdog and the Consumer Association. He is also preparing a press release on the matter for the mainstream media.

Here is the letter written:

Mr Canning Fox
Group Managing Director
Hutchison 3G UK
Hutchinson House
5 Hester Rd
Battersea
London SW11 4AN

Cc 3 Customer Services
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd Account No 9273342742
PO Box 333
Glasgow G2 9AG 4th April 2008



Dear Mr Fox,

Having subscribed to 3 for approximately two years on a low-cost tariff, I was shocked to receive my March 08 bill in the amount of £311.01 with over 100 calls (sometimes 4 within a minute) to 3 International National Directory Enquiries at £1.915 each.

I pointed out that I had not made a single enquiry to 3 International Directory Enquiries. 3 Customer Services said that they had made 3 International National Directory Enquiries my default in my contacts, that I must have repeatedly pressed the button accidentally while the phone was in my pocket and there was nothing they could do about the bill. I said they could apply some common sense and credit an obviously inappropriate billed amount. They said they were not prepared to do this.

I enclose two blogs that I have written on the subject. I have reported your behaviour to OFCOM and I am sending out Press Releases next week to "Watchdog", the "Consumer Association" and all the mainstream press.

I have never had such a problem before. Some companies strive for "a quick buck", some companies choose "long-term good customer relations". It is possible that Hutchison 3G UK Ltd is in the former category in which case making a 3 premium number a default, must be producing many quick bucks for the company.

However, I believe that introducing this unsolicited premium number as a default to your customers' contacts list is contrary to the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. I hereby give 7 days notice that if you do not promptly credit the charge of £233.84 plus VAT for unsolicited premium rate calls, I will be taking Hutchison 3G UK Ltd to court.

Yours sincerely,


W.N. Warry

Article links: http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=102006 & http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=102089

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Surely this should have been addressed to Canning Fok - not Canning Fox. What a poor start, how can he be expected to be taken seriously?!

LCharm said...

Probably an honest typographic error. Keep your comments constructive!

Captain Hornblower said...

No Prizes for guessing where the previous two comments came from,especially the Anon . I have been with 3 for 2yrs, and have never come across a more arrogant, or obtrusive organisation. I have to change networks now as there is no coverage at my new address. I have had to spend hours on the phone to get my PAC number, and as yet becuse of there obstructive behaviour, have yet to get my phone unlocked.

Sick of 3 said...

Typical 3 here. There is something about this company which leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth - arrogant, disorganised, not customer focused, incompetent. Mobile broadband is as bad as it was when it was first launched because 3 have refused to improve and the regulator which is supposed to act in the interests of the customer has failed in its duties. Awful company and easily the most disliked and poorly thought of in the UK - stay well away from these cowboys.

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