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UPC Contract
 
# 1 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 13:50
 
 
Some time ago I contacted UPC and asked for a price reduction as they were charging me nearly twice the price they were advertising. They refused to do anything for me, so in January 2012 I told them I wanted to close my account. I was transferred to the customer retention team who agreed to provide broadband and digital TV for 44 per month incl VAT. I agreed and they went through a whole rigmarole to ensure I understood that this was a fixed contract for a defined period (12 months) and that I could not change it once I had agreed to it.

As soon as the next bill arrived it was for the original amount, i.e. far more than 44. A battle ensued for a couple of months, and they eventually reduced the bill to 44, which then increased immediately with an increase in VAT.

All well and good till yesterday when I received the following email

Someone said :
Unfortunately, due to factors outside of our control our costs have increased over the past year. As a result we have to make some changes to the price of your UPC services which will come into effect from your next bill in August 2012.
Increase to your bill

Digital Television and Broadband : 2.11 inc. VAT per month

Auto Pay allows you to pay your bill by Direct Debit which is the most convenient way to pay your bill. As you do not currently avail of Auto Pay a payment administration fee of 3.75 per bill will be applied from August.

So the bill will be increasing by nearly 6 per month, which is an increase of 13.3%.

If we agreed a fixed contract for a defined service, for a defined price and for a defined period, how can they come back now and increase the price in the middle of the contract? This is especially galling as they warned me of the penalties I would incur if I downgraded or moved to Sky during the contract period.

Surely I have some consumer rights here?
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# 2 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:03
 
 
My parents got the same letter so presumably everyone's bills has increased. Nothing you can do about that. You could set up a direct debit and save yourself the 3.75.
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# 3 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:04
 
 
I got some promotional letter from them recently and the price increase notice was on it also.

There TV and broadband service is reliable but there customer service is not. I had to fight tooth and nail with them to get a refund of €40.50 which arrived yesterday. Some of the staff in their call centres don’t know their arse from their elbow!
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# 4 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:13
 
 
Someone said :
My parents got the same letter so presumably everyone's bills has increased. Nothing you can do about that. You could set up a direct debit and save yourself the 3.75 .

I raised that very point with Shaggy last night, but I may as well have been talking to the wall
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# 5 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:14
 
 
Someone said :
My parents got the same letter so presumably everyone's bills has increased. Nothing you can do about that.

I don't get how they can force me to make a commitment not to change a contract that's set in stone, but then they change it themselves on a whim. Surely it's a two way street?
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# 6 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:16
 
 
There's likely some small text in the terms that allows for occasional price increases that are applied to all customers. It would be different if they were forcing you to pay for new channels or services that aren't in your contract.
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# 7 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:20
 
 
I got the same notice. The increase to my bill is €4.73 per month which is massive I think. Here it is:

At UPC, we want our customers to have nothing but the best and with our Fibre Power network we are in a unique position to deliver on this promise. Over the past 12 months we have continued to invest in enhancing and improving our products and services so as to provide you with the best Digital TV, Broadband and Home Phone services in Ireland.

In the last year we have:
_tick Increased our Broadband Speed:
From June we increased our Broadband speeds, enabling us to continue to offer the best Broadband in Ireland.
_tick Launched On Demand TV:
From May we launched our On Demand TV service with over 1,300 hours of the best TV series, movies at the touch of a button and the RTE Player and 3player on your TV. For more information on this exciting service and to find out when it will be available in your area go to www.upc.ie.
_tick Made improvements to our Digital TV service:
We have improved our channel line-up by adding even more channels including; RTE Two HD, RTE One +1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, Oireachtas TV.
_tick Introduced a Remote Record app:
This allows you to set recordings for your Digital+ service via the internet or a smart phone. To find out more visit www.upc.ie/remoterecord.

Unfortunately, due to factors outside of our control our costs have increased over the past year. As a result we have to make some changes to the price of your UPC services which will come into effect from your next bill in August 2012.

I replied telling them that we have not actually received the On Demand service and they can shove their Oireachtas TV up their ass!
This is the 3rd or 4th bill increase we have gotten over the last couple of years, we are paying €10 more per month now than at the beginning. I'm going to look into other tv/broadband options.
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# 8 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:22
 
 
One of the main reasons they are increasing the costs is to do with the new "On Demand" service that they are rolling out across the country, also most other companies require that you have a direct debit set up for payment and UPC are no different they are trying to cut down on admin costs by sending out the bill in the post and having to print off the bill, you have a least got a choice to change to direct debit and save a few euro's each month, if you are not happy with them you can always lodge an official complaint with Comreg and let them advise you what is the best course of action to take in this matter.
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# 9 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:22
 
 
I think in terms of value and what you actually get they are the best. We had to get Sky for TV which is great but our broadband is Magnet and it isn't as fast as I would like.

And it 40 quid a month.
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# 10 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:23
 
 
I think you're probably right, but it strikes me as a bit unfair. I've emailed them to decline the new prices.

No doubt I'll get a very positive response.
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# 11 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:25
 
 
Someone said :
As you do not currently avail of Auto Pay a payment administration fee of 3.75 per bill will be applied from August

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# 12 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:27
 
 
Someone said :

I raised that very point with Shaggy last night, but I may as well have been talking to the wall

If bills were paid on time, I'd have the money in my account for UPC to take the money out.


Reply
 
# 13 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:27
 
 
My broadband which is probably a lot slower than yours costs €52 a month so you're not getting a bad deal. I don't pay for TV mind, I just use Freesat as I can live without the Irish channels pretty much.
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# 14 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:28
 
 
Someone said :
you have a least got a choice to change to direct debit and save a few euro's each month

Kind of but not really. If I switch to direct debit I won't actually save anything. If I don't switch I'll incur an extra fee. I don't see why I should agree to a cost saving measure if it's not going to be passed on.
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# 15 : Friday 20-7-2012 @ 14:48
 
 
Its bad form is what it is.
€4.73 increase, and this is not the first increase like this either.

They tell me they have improved the digital quality, thats great but my TV is a big old 32" in every direction model.

They tell me about the on demand service, thats great except its not available in my area.

They tell me they have increased the broadband speed, thats great but the speed it was at was good enough, i dont actually see any benefits for what i use the computer for.

They tell me about a remote record app, thats great but my phone is not capable of doing this, it barely makes calls.

So why cant they just leave me where i was? Ive already had a previous increase in the charge for these extras that i did not ask for or did not need.


It might be a good deal, but its not as good as the deal im getting at the moment before the price increase, and not as good as the deal i got when i signed up initially.
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