Case Studies - Billing (including roaming)

Unfair price increase?

A customer was given 30 days’ notice of price increase.

Holly had been with her broadband provider for approximately 12 years. Holly’s provider advised by email that, along with all other broadband customers, they were giving her 30 days’ notice that the price of broadband rental would increase starting next month.

The provider said the rental increase was due to the cost of managing copper connections being higher than other types of connections (for example wireless and fibre connections).

Holly complained about the increase, noting it was unfair and that she saw it as a penalty. Holly and her provider were unable to reach an agreement, so Holly submitted a complaint to TDR and a Resolution Practitioner was assigned.

The Resolution Practitioner received formal submissions from Holly and her broadband provider. After discussions with both parties, it was clear that neither Holly nor her provider were willing to negotiate. In cases where parties cannot reach a mutual agreement, TDR can make a binding decision on the matter.

TDR’s Resolution Practitioner noted that Holly believed the price increase was not fair and a punishment to those customers that were unable to utilise other connections such as fibre or wireless broadband. However her provider’s Terms and Conditions allowed them to increase their charges by giving one month’s notice to the customers involved.

As the customer had agreed to the terms and conditions of the contract, the Resolution Practitioner confirmed that the provider could increase the price of Holly’s broadband.