C1 - Contract Requirements
Contracts for BT’s services must set out certain information and be fair to all customers. We must specify certain key information when entering into contracts and ensure customers can terminate their contract with BT and switch to another provider without difficulty. There are requirements about contract duration, notification of changes to terms and giving customers the right to exit without penalty in certain circumstances.
C2 - Information publication and transparency requirements
We must provide our customers with adequate and up-to-date information to allow them to easily compare the offers and services available in the market. This includes information on our prices, tariffs, terms and conditions, and any charges applicable if a customer decides to terminate their contract. We also need to clearly set out the charges that apply to premium rate services, non-geographic numbers and personal numbers, and explain how premium rate services work. This explanation can be found on our customer websites.
C3 - Billing requirements
Our customers should only pay for the services they receive, and they need to be able to control how much they spend on the usage of voice calls and data services through access to billing information. Where bills are unpaid, we should treat customers fairly and give warning ahead of disconnection. We must publish the measures we take to effect payment, and our billing systems must be approved by an Approvals Body (BABT), our policy can be seen on our customer websites.
C4 - Complaints handling and dispute resolution
At BT, our complaints procedure is accessible to all customers, and we have a Complaints Code of Practice which sets out how we deal with complaints. This ensures that we identify and record complaints, inform customers how their complaint will be dealt with, and set out the resolution clearly. We are also members of an alternative dispute scheme, Ombudsman Services: Communications, where customers can take a complaint if they remain unhappy with the way we have dealt with things. We tell customers about this scheme on the BT, EE and Plusnet bills.
You can view our Complaints Codes of Practice on our customer websites.
C5 - Measures to meet the needs of vulnerable consumers and end-users with disabilities
At BT we’re committed to treating all our customers fairly and with respect, ensuring we always consider the specific needs of our customers with disabilities and/or whose circumstances may make them vulnerable – due to circumstances such as age, physical or learning disability, physical or mental illness, low literacy, communications difficulties or changes in circumstances such as bereavement. In line with our obligations, we provide access to free Directory Enquiries for those with visual impairment, a Text Relay service for those with hearing impairment, a Priority Fault Repair service for those who qualify, third party bill management and bills and contracts in accessible formats. In addition we have a wealth of information and advice on how we can help customers get the most out of the products and services we offer, whether it’s helping to keep in touch with friends and family, keeping on top of bills or watching the latest blockbusters. We publish BT’s Vulnerability Policy at the ‘BT Including You’ site. EE’s and Plusnet’s policies can also be viewed on their customer websites.
C6 - Calling line identification facilities
Wherever technically possible and economically viable, we will provide customers with the facility to identify the person calling them, allowing people to decide whether to pick up the phone or let it go to an answering service. Where technically feasible, we will prevent calls being connected where no diallable Calling Line Identification is provided (except for calls to emergency services, which will always be connected).
C7 - Switching
Sometimes, customers tell us they’ve been transferred to another phone company without their knowledge or consent - a practice known as mis-selling or slamming. This General Condition prohibits underhand sales and marketing activities, and applies to domestic and small business landline and broadband customers.
At BT, we have effective systems in place to ensure customers can easily change their service when they need to. This applies to landline and broadband services for customers deciding to leave BT for another communications provider, those moving home, or those who are simply changing the services they receive from us. We will always give accurate information about the services to be provided and that we have the customer’s consent to make any changes. Where a customer is switching away from us, they will receive a letter which clearly sets out the details of the switch, any early termination charges due and the impact of the switch on any remaining products and services. Customers can switch simply by placing an order with a new provider; they don’t have to contact the losing provider if they don’t want to.
We must publish a copy of this General Condition on our customer website.
C8 - Sales and marketing of mobile communications services
We must observe certain obligations when selling and marketing our mobile call and text services to domestic and small business customers, whether selling directly or via third party retailers. Customers must be given accurate and comprehensive information about their contracts at point of sale, and records of all sales must be retained. We also need to ensure we give our people (including those working for third party retailers) the right training to make sure our customers are sold the right products and know exactly what they’re buying – including the details of any sales incentive offers. A summary of this General Condition is available on our customer website.