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54 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 58695 17-Mar-2010 12:05
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Hi all,

I have a dispute with my previous ISP.  I was with Snap but switched to Slingshot in January.  When I made the change I (rightly or wrongly) assumed that it would automatically close my account with Snap.  I was mistaken on this and I have been charged for two more billing periods since and Snap seem unwilling to reverse these charges.  See the excerpt from their response below:

Quote:
We have checked and we have not received notification for the change of provider or a requested to close the account. We have checked the connection and the connection show as being active.

We have requested the provisioning team to close the connection.

As we have been charged for the connection and the connection was active we are unable to refund you.

We have set your account to close and cleared all the current charges.
End Quote


Now I am out of pocket to the tune of $140, do I have any other channels to go through to correct this?

Regards
Rossco

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  Reply # 308248 17-Mar-2010 12:50
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pico: ...When I made the change I (rightly or wrongly) assumed that it would automatically close my account with Snap.  I was mistaken on this and I have been charged for two more billing periods since and Snap seem unwilling to reverse these charges.  See the excerpt from their response below:
...
Now I am out of pocket to the tune of $140, do I have any other channels to go through to correct this?

The key point is that you "assumed"...

Let me ask you this:

-  When you change Insurance companies, do you assume that the previous one will stop billing you?
-  Or do you cancel the Direct Debit authority with your bank?

It's the same with internet providers.  As soon as the new service is up and running, you should call the old one by phone to cancel your account.  Don't just send an e-mail and hope that it gets there.  Call them and wait until you receive an assurance:  Yes sir, your account is now closed...

Various ISPs including Xnet IIRC, make a point of saying in their FAQs to make sure that you cancel the account with your old ISP after joining them.

So, while you have my sympathies over the $140, really, you only have yourself to blame.

Another question comes to mind:  You have now received 2 monthly bills from Snap after supposedly cancelling your service with them.  Why didn't you do something after the first monthly bill arrived?





67 posts

Master Geek
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Reply # 308257 17-Mar-2010 13:06
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Another question comes to mind:  You have now received 2 monthly bills from Snap after supposedly cancelling your service with them.  Why didn't you do something after the first monthly bill arrived?


Yes, I wondered about that too.

I guess it's like any service you subscribe too, they won't act unless instructed to. They would presumably have a clause in thier terms of service about this (which of course most people don't bother to read). Chalk it up to experience i guess!

149 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 308263 17-Mar-2010 13:22
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It's a fair call on their part. Part of your T's&C's would state that you have to give them otice and that they will pass on any outstanding charges on your account that you are liable for. This will sometimes include a break fee, a remaining month of billing and anything else that has been stipulated in the terms.

You should never assume that an account has been closed until you receive a final bill, and if you DONT receive a final bill you get on the phone and get something in writing to say you are no longer liable for any charges.

In this case you'll have to pay the $140 unless they at some stage sent you something in writing that you requested the account be closed.



54 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 308264 17-Mar-2010 13:24
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The big difference between an insurance policy and an internet provider is that two insurance providers can provide a service simultaneously as they are not mutually exclusive. Two broadband suppliers cannot provide their services simultaneously on the same line.

As for why I didn't notice that I had been billed twice, when you receive your invoice via email and are billed on your credit card its quite easy to miss.

836 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 308270 17-Mar-2010 13:32
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When you transfer a UBS connection from one wholesale partner to another then the billing ceases to the loosing party so they shouldn't incur any actual cost for the wholesale service for the same period that the gaining party is billed for from TCNZ Wholesale.

Unless TCNZ Wholesale billing has changed since I was last involved 18 months ago or TCNZ Wholesale have made a billing error.

Anyhow, you were required to cancel as part of your contract, you did not so end of story as far as your claim to any refund. Anything Snap do is at their discrestion and totally an act of good will on their part in not only managing and possibly investigating your claim as well as the refund.



54 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 308277 17-Mar-2010 13:43
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I realise tihs is a losing battle (apart from doing something pretty dumb like seeing if the bank will reverse the charges) but I thought it was worth finding out.  I see that Snap now have a check box on their sign up saying you agree to notify them in writing 30 days prior to terminating but I don't remember that being there when I signed up.  I might be wrong.  And I know that they have a clause saying that they can change their terms and conditions at will but there has to be some limit on whats acceptable there.

I guess it really is back to Snap's discretion as to whether they would honour that.  They haven't.  Its a shame really for a business that relies on word of mouth advertising, they won't be getting a recommendation from me anymore.  And I probably won't ever use them again.

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  Reply # 308284 17-Mar-2010 13:52
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It's a common mistake but it's your fault.  I've made this mistake myself once in the past, forgot to ring Xnet to cancel my account after moving to Telstra.   

Practically every ISP has in their terms and conditions a clause that says you must notify them directly to cancel your account.  It's a matter of personal responsibility it's also sort of common decency to cancel your account with your previous provider.

Unless Snap are feeling particularly kind hearted or they didn't actually get charged by Telecom Wholesale for the 2 extra months, then I don't see how it's fair that you should expect them to take a big loss and waive the fees for your mistake.

Question, did you move from Snap ADSL (UBS Telecom Wholesale) to Slingshot Next Big Thing or Just Broadband (Naked ADSL on Red network)? I wouldn't be surprised if winback notifications between providers don't work in these situations and can't be relied upon.




836 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 308301 17-Mar-2010 14:24
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I pretty sure they do, my last lot of project work was specifically around provisioning automation with TCNZ Wholesale....was a long time ago in a land far away now however so I may be mistaken

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  Reply # 308302 17-Mar-2010 14:25
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I made this mistake on my parents connection when i moved them from XNET to Slingshot.

In the past, we were always told NOT to cancel your internet connection with your current provider as then it wouldn't be classed as a transfer, but a new connection.

All of a sudden, everyone is expected to know that they have to advise their old ISP that they are changing.

How can Telecom charge both wholesale providers for the same line at the same time? Any half intelligent person would assume that Telecom couldn't charge for two lines at the same time and that when the connection was transferred to the new provider, Telecom would automatically stop charging your old ISP for your line.

So what if it's buried in your contract? I still think it's wrong and an easy mistake to make.

Snap should give the customer a refund and then contact Telecom and ask for a refund from their end - simple.

Snap aren't doing that and it makes them look bad - i will never use them, just like i will never use XNET.


836 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 308305 17-Mar-2010 14:37
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Whats the point in have a contract in the first place then?

Who pays the cost of you being lazy and not having to common decency (and contractual obligation) to inform your last provider your wish to terminate your services with them.

Handling all this to sort out a mess because you didn't do what you were supposed to do takes up time, and time as they say is money.

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  Reply # 308311 17-Mar-2010 14:46
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Fraktul: Whats the point in have a contract in the first place then?

Who pays the cost of you being lazy and not having to common decency (and contractual obligation) to inform your last provider your wish to terminate your services with them.

Handling all this to sort out a mess because you didn't do what you were supposed to do takes up time, and time as they say is money.



If you actually read my post, you would understand and be able to answer your own question a lot better.

I have switched ISP's for myself and others many times over the past 10 years and have never run into the problem that i ran into with XNET. I was always told NOT to tell your old ISP to stop your service as this would close the connection and result in being without internet for a week or two while they setup a brand new connection. This process has obviously changed....

There must be a way for the ISP to get a refund from Telecom if they really tried.

Time taken to resolve an issue with a customer = good customer service, which is something the smaller ISP's should be trying to sell themselves on.


836 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 308320 17-Mar-2010 14:58
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I did read you post, hence my original response.

My question: "Whats the point in have a contract in the first place then?"

You still have not answered this - contracts are there to define things such as how and when parties may terminate the contract, if you are not going to follow it then whats the point?

You were told something in the past from previous ISPs, great but that might not be the process now as you acknowledge yourself.

The ISP shouldn't be billed by TCNZ Wholesale if things work correctly. They can ask for a refund if they were billed but all this takes time. As to time taken to resolve an issue with a customer...well if you have terminated service with them then I guess you are an ex-customer huh :P

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  Reply # 308321 17-Mar-2010 15:00
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Actually it's fairly logical/simple.

Don't cancel before you switch ISP, do ring up and close your account with your old provider after you've completed the switch.

Anyway Ralph from Snap is usually pretty active on these forums, if you message him he may be able to give you an official reply about whether anything can be done.

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/user_public.asp?user_id=36632


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Ultimate Geek
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Snap Internet

  Reply # 308328 17-Mar-2010 15:15
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Hiya,

In some cases we may refund customers if they honestly forgot to tell us they were moving to companies and after the transition was completed we incurred no extra cost. In this case, your new provider provisioned a new connection instead of transitioning the existing one. Our service, if you were to switch over the copper pair attached to your internal jack points would still be there and working (well, until we RQ'd it earlier today).

Snap was still providing you service and still incurring the full cost of the port fees in order to do so. This is why Snap (and all other ISPs) require notice from our clients when they disconnect, not because we failed to see the winback, but to ensure both you and us cease being billed for the connection.

I hope this clarifies what happened here, it can sometimes be quite a nasty situation.

Cheers,

Ralph.




Snap

0800 BROADBAND (276 232)
www.snap.net.nz

@SnapInternet on Twitter
Snap Internet on Facebook

Our Social Media Team:
^RO Ricky - Technical Lead
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  Reply # 308337 17-Mar-2010 15:37
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I've never had to inform the old ISP that I was changing. I just submit the request and the new ISP handles everything for me.

Case in point my recent move back to Telecom, Telecom transferred the account over and advised that they would inform Orcon.

As they have always in the past everything was handled, same was with Orcon when I moved to them a couple of years back from Telecom.

Orcon and Telecom also refunded me the part months when I moved. I guess I'll be sticking with Orcon and Telecom ;)

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