I have a client who has posed this question to me. He's having a bun fight with a provider presently. All will remain nameless in this exercise.
So way back in early 2016 my client changed the focus of his business, which saw him relocate to a fibre only development. Among the services sought for his new premises was phone (with a requirement for an analogue line for fax) and internet. When reviewing options at the time, he was steered to Provider A.
Liking what he saw in their offering, he signed up to them for 3 years in late May 2016. They were also assured that all would be ready to go for a July opening day. The client eventually moved into the premises in July 2016 in readiness a delayed August July. However after all sorts of
excuses issues (mostly Chorus related from what Provider A has explained), the client eventually got all services delivered live in late September 2016.
Since then they have experienced equipment failure of routers, handsets and complete loss of cloud PBX service. With the services needing to be routed to cell phones.
With this experience in mind they decided at the start of this year to reflect and review their involvement with Provider A. They scouted for alternatives and decided on Provider B. In May 2019, ahead of the anniversary of the 3 year contract with Provider A, they provided the required 60 days written notice to terminate services.
At the close of July, Provider B picked up the reins. They visited site, and with my assistance, disconnected and packaged all equipment belonging to Provider A. Provider B equipment was installed and within an hour all services were fully functional. There was a glitch with the monitored alarm, but that was because I reinstated a cable to the wrong socket. No fault of either Provider.
To the grist. Provider A have billed my client, through a debit order (meaning they have his money), for services through to end of September AND a full 'early disconnection fee'. When queried, they argued that the contract only came into effect when all services went live in September 2016 AND NOT when the contract was signed in May that year.
My understanding has always been that a contract period begins from the date of the signature being inscribed, not when the service is delivered.
Is my client right in feeling somewhat aggrieved?