Pipex, anyone ever had billing problems?

  antony-332406 16:35 06 Nov 2007

After a 4 year period with other isp's, i went back to Pipex, the reason i didnt stay with them was due to setting up home with a partner.
early this year i moved back to my fathers house, and had pipex reinstalled, everything was great, until......
6 months into the 12 month contract, i got my own place... still within the same area code, but 7 miles away.
i phoned pipex, and told them that i wished to change the address and phone number, but wished to remain with them.
i thought all they would need to do would be to programme in the new details, do a line test and away we go....
no such luck, i was told that they would have to close the current account, set up a new one and then all would be well.

as one can imagine by setting up a new home, my funds have been somewhat depleted, so imagine my shock when pipes attempt to withdraw £120 from my bank account! insufficient funds prevented that happening>

one phone call to pipex later, im told the £120 was due to the closure of my account!
i point out I didnt close the account they did, and i ask what about the bank charges im about to incur? im told that i will be able to claim them back, so im a little happier.
i transfer funds into my bank account, only to find £140 has been taken out, this i have just been told, is this months bill included!
i have asked when i will get the refund and have been told 14-28 days from today, as i have just asked for it!
i asked for the accounting to be sorted out 10 days ago, on the phone call i made about the £120 attempt....

so.. im now stuck, for up to 28 days lacking £140 which i really need to pay other bills... and if i hadnt made the call today, would probably NEVER seen my money back.

btw, i asked to speak to a line manager, and was told there wasnt any around!

any ideas on how i can take this further would be appreciated....

  john bunyan 17:17 06 Nov 2007

This seems a big tarrif. I use Pipex Extreme Solo at £24.99 a month with a month's notice (I think not avaikable to new customers) and am about to change to a midi (8MB) with I think 10 MB download at £14.99. Is it because they charge you for the rest of the year's contract?

  antony-332406 17:27 06 Nov 2007

i think thats it John...
im cheesed off about it for 6 reasons,
1/ i DIDNT ask for the contract to be closed, all i did was moved house!
2/ i wasnt told id be asked for £120
3/ on the 1st call i was told i would have the money refunded asap
4/ on todays call i was told it would be 14-28 days from today, as it was 'only' today i had asked for it!
5/ i wanted to talk to a mananger, and was told there wasnt any available!
6/ why have they taken another months money, off a closed account? <remember we pay a month up front,> so in effect im now 3 months ahead... 1st account, new account, and this month on the old account!

  john bunyan 17:35 06 Nov 2007

splitpin. Seems unfair. So far as a potential customer I found them ok but am thinking of changing to Zen who, I think, have a lower notice period. I can only suggest you try phoning again and maybe pop into your bank who may help by phoning their accounts people to get a quicker refund. Good luck..

  numskull 10:22 07 Nov 2007

I was with Pipex and they had to close my account when I moved house and they did not carry over the loyalty rewards which I had accumulated. I do not remember any billing problems.
I moved to Sky this year and Pipex charged me £72.77 for merely requesting a MAC code despite my 12 month contract having expired. I was promised a refund and after 5 weeks of nothing I wrote to them stating that I would allow 1 further week for the refund to be returned to my bank account or, if not, I would then talk to a solicitor re Breach of Contract.
The money was returned to my account by the end of that week followed by a letter of apology.

  garrema 22:08 08 Nov 2007

I have had some petty but annoying disputes with them rolling over for some while. I resorted to letters and indeed I had a satisfactory outcome in the end (in response to a letter).
The person who seemed to have some decision making capacity was Marc Lee Smith - customer relations.

I am happy now.

Its poor in this age but it seems the very champions of the new age only "get it" when you send a letter. Your silver bullet is the "signed for (recipeint)" with royal mail.
You should do this.
Failing a stisfactory outcome the small claims court -if indeed you have proof- to constest thier mistake.
The call centre phone was just unable to join the dots of the issues I had and emailing them is just useless. Like many emails to organisations- the aim is to dispense with them rather them answer them.

Fight on...

  dunderheid 07:05 09 Nov 2007

When I was with this crowd they didn't deduct my direct debits for six months despite repeated complaints, and then out of the blue they sent me a letter by Royal Mail stating that if I did not pay up instantly they would cut my broadband connection off!

Their right hands don't know what their left hands are doing.

Have a look at the Pipex forum on the "thinkbroadband" web site for more stories of their total imcompetence.

  donki 10:01 09 Nov 2007

Ive been with them for 4 years also, my contract is up in Feb and I will be moving on. Back in January somehow they managed to cancel my direct debit, now im not one to check my bank statements very much so i GENUINELY didnt notice until May so had racked up a bill of £100.

When they did contact me they said I had failed to pay, I explained that I had always paid by DD. They said that my bank had cancelled my DD???? So i contacted the bank and they basically said...... "WOT?? We can't cancel a customers DD". I rang Pipex back and apparently it was a system error back in January during an upgrade and I got an apology, so when I said I would pay the outstanding £100 by switch/meastro payment and set up a new DD. When they tryed to do this i got "sorry sir our systems are unable to take a card payment. I had to wait another month to do this.

Im currently paying £19.99 for an 8meg service, when I test my speed I get at most 3meg. I tryed to explain this to there technical team but apparently the problem must be my router or computer dispite me testing 2 USB modems and my router. So I dont even bother aguing this point any more. I will hold out until Feb then move on, maybe Sky? For the £20 im paying Pipex I can get the same 8meg Unlimited service along with Sky multiroom for my bedroom.

May problems with Sky BB?

  john bunyan 17:33 11 Nov 2007

Having read all the comments I think that I will switch to Zen. At £17.99 (a bit pricy) for 8 meg plus a free back up dial up they get very high reliability ratings and also, importantly, offer a 30 day contract- few others do this, and their call centre is in sunny Rochdale.They reckon I should get a download speed of about 6Mb. My contract with Pipex is also for 30 days notice for 1 Mb but to switch to a faster cheaper service they want a 12 month contract.

  jimmy-greek 17:22 18 Jun 2008

Sorry to hear about your problems with pipex, I have also had problems with them, here part of a letter I sent to Pipex, & still I get no response. How can they be allowed to get away with this!!!!!

Dear Pipex
I moved to above address last August, upon which I ordered basic
Internet coverage from yourselves @ £9.99 a month. After a few weeks I was
cut off as there was a mix up with the standing order and it had not gone
through. This mix up was quickly sorted by a member of your team and I
awaited reconnection within the following week. This did not happen. I called your Company & they told me there was a problem with
the order & they would put it through again. That was back in late November. I waited again the next week, receiving yet another user name and welcome letter. I received four of these letters & still had no connection. This went on until late January after numerous calls to members of your team.

I then received a letter from BT stating that they were sorry I was leaving and sent a final bill (this was in reference to my
telephone line). I spoke to BT and they explained that another
Company had requested a line from my number. I could not understand this as
I had not requested it. BT informed me that the company doing
this was Pipex. After numerous telephone calls to your company I finally
spoke to Martin Carls in Customer Relations, he was very helpful but he
still could not sort out the situation regarding our connection failing
consistently. He then passed us on to his manager Mark Lee-Smith the
Customer Relations Executive, he discovered that
when the reconnection order was placed the phone line was also requested
without our permission, this was why the broadband order was conflicting
with BT and failing each week. He said this was because his
Sales and Connection Team work on a commission basis & this is why the
telephone line was hijacked without consent. Mr Lee-Smith was very
good & sorted them problem out (or so we thought). He apologised to us for
all the inconvenience that had been caused to me over the 2 months that it
had taken for Pipex to eventually sort out the problem. As a form of
compensation he offered us 6 months free internet coverage.

Initially it was satisfactory that I finally had a working internet as I
work from home a lot and this is crucial to me earning a living.

Four weeks ago I went through my quarterly bank statements and noticed to my
horror that £252.12 in total had been taken out of my account by Pipex.

The amounts total - £252.12

I immediately called Pipex and to try to resolve this issue, I tried to contact Mark-Lee Smith or Martin Carls through Customer Relations but they
could not be located. After trying to explain to your Customer Care & Accounts Department that money had be taken from my account and that I had been promised six months free internet coverage, nobody in your entire company could find any details agreement with Mark Lee-Smith or why the money had been taken out of my account. I was put through from department to department. After agonising hours & days on
the telephone, I still got nowhere until eventually I found out that I had a grand total of 4 accounts with Pipex.

No one seemed to know what they were doing, I tried to cancel all my
accounts with Pipex and take my custom elsewhere. I asked for my mac code
& they said I would receive it in five days. This was three weeks ago. I have called your cancellation team repeatedly and explained the
situation again & again. All they said is that they would not send the
mac code as I owe for four accounts and I would have to first pay
cancellation fees of £218.66 that you now say I owe you for canceling
accounts that I never even opened. My Mac code which I need to apply for
another internet connection with another company has not been sent.

Then I get a phone message saying that I owe more money on my account, Two
email's and two letters from two different accounts reminding me that I owe
money and that you will cut me off by Thursday if I do not pay.

I have been seeking advise from Ofcom & Cisas.

Unless this situation is sorted out immediately (before Wednesday 18th June
2008), you will leave me no choice but to seek legal advise & compensation
for the amount of monies taken from my bank account, the inconvenience, time & damage that you have caused my job, & recuperation of the cost on the telephone calls & time spent.

  chub_tor 18:49 18 Jun 2008

Haven't noticed this mentioned in any of the above and I am not sure if it is helpful but Pipex is now owned by Tiscali and since last February Pipex support has been downsized and absorbed into Tiscali support.

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