Questions Of Cash: Why can't I cancel my contract with NTL?

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The Independent Online

Q. I agreed to subscribe to NTL after it cold-called me, but I changed my mind within the 14-day "cooling-off" period. But I am still paying £15 a week to NTL and can't get the payment stopped. MS, Yeovil.

A. According to NTL (now Virgin Media), the situation is rather more complex than you told us. Your account was set up in 2003 and was used by you regularly for a year. Although you sought initially to cancel your account by e-mail, this form of cancellation is not accepted by NTL - which required it to be confirmed either by letter or phone. You did neither of these things.

It was only in December last year - more than three years after you opened your account - that you again tried to cancel the contract. NTL agreed, prior to our involvement, to write-off the £45 balance owed on the account at this time. As a result of us raising your concern, NTL has now offered to refund £400 in past charges - even though it does not believe it is required to do so, or that it is in any way in the wrong.

Q. I paid £495 into my landlord's account using a FastPay point in Barclays Bank's branch in Evesham, Worcs. My landlord claims not to have had this payment credited to his account. Barclays promised to investigate within two weeks, but it has not. ES, Evesham.

A. Barclays has checked its record of deposits at the Evesham branch for the week in which you say you lodged the money - but there is no report of any deposit of this value, nor is there an indication of an unreconciled deposit. You appear not to have proof that you lodged the sum - without this, you will have to bear the loss.

Q. I signed up for a combined mobile phone and broadband service with Orange in July 2006 for £30 a month. I was already an Orange broadband customer - since 2001 through Freeserve and Wanadoo, prior to the Orange takeover - paying £17.99 a month. Seven months after signing up to the new combined contract I am still being charged the £17.99 per month on top of the agreed £30 charge, and I have yet to receive the Livebox modem for my wireless connection. I have spent more than 30 hours on the phone to Orange, without success. AK, London.

A. Orange has now agreed to fully and immediately refund the overpayment and provide you with the promised modem.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. Please do not send original documents. Write to: Questions of Cash, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; cash@independent.co.uk.

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