A small niggle, but a niggle nevertheless

Here’s another case of what I regard as dishonesty.

Until we succeeded in prising a Livebox out of Orange.fr, despite them insisting for the last four years that it would not work for us (it does), we routed our telephone calls through Phonexpat. For the benefit of anybody who doesn’t already know, with a Livebox, as well as broadband Internet you get free phone calls to landlines in most parts of the world. Without the Livebox, your calls will by default route via France Telecom and you have to pay for them all. However, if you choose to have your calls routed via Phonexpat, they are considerably cheaper.

Having acquired and installed the precious Livebox, I contacted Phonexpat to say that as delighted as we had been with their service, it was no longer of benefit to us, and would they be kind enough to cancel it. A very quick and polite reply came back, saying that under the terms of their contract we had to give one month’s notice, which I duly did on 22nd May. Phonexpat confirmed that the contract would expire on 22nd June.

Yesterday – 25th June – our calls were still passing via Phonexpat, so I wrote to them to remind them that we had cancelled the contract. Ah yes, came the quick and courteous reply:

“The cancellation request was launched on the 22nd of June. It usually takes a few days to be cancelled.”

Now, why wasn’t the contract cancelled on the 22nd? Why was the cancellation request only launched (by Phonexpat) on the 22nd when they know that it takes a few days to be cancelled? Why don’t they launch the cancellation request in good time so that the cancellation comes into effect on the date when the contract expires?

It isn’t a huge issue – we’ve probably only make a handful of calls since 22nd, but it’s a shame, after giving us excellent service for several years, that this now leaves a slightly sour taste in my mouth, because it is another example of an organisation employing “small print” tactics to squeeze more money out of customers. Our calls are still routing via Phonexpat. 😦



3 thoughts on “A small niggle, but a niggle nevertheless

  1. Leaves a nasty taste, doesn’t it?
    Why should it take time for the cancellation to come into effect? They’ve had a month’s notice, after all.
    I suppose these firms reckon there’s a very small chance of you taking legal action against them….

  2. Yes, I suppose if they can get a few extra euros out of several thousand people every year, it’s worth their while, whilst who could be bothered to pursue it for a few euros? Still, a shame.

  3. What a shame, but telecom companies are notorious for behaving badly after contracts have been terminated. In fact, has anyone ever not had a problem in recent history?

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