ANYONE WHO’S CONTRACT WAS ROLLED OVER AFTER DECEMBER 2011 SHOULD READ THIS.
My experience with Unicom is again one of being ripped off by a rogue company that takes every opportunity to extort money by what ever means.
Back in February 2012, I was a one man business and had office space rented from another company. This other company went into receivership at the end of January and I had to move out and my business closed down. My 3 year phone contract with Unicom had already rolled over for an extra year and would finish the next month in March. Because I could not give them the 3 month notice that they demanded, they again rolled me over, even after I explained to them the circumstances in which I now found myself.
Through a period of a great many phone calls, letters and emails between us over the following months, they continually harassed me for payment of £240. I had told them that I would be willing to pay up to the end of my existing contract, but they would not accept this and demanded payment for the next full year in addition.
They use what is purported to be a separate debt collection company called Universal Debt Collection. This is in the same building as Unicom and is not regulated by the FSA. They use official sounding terms, but apparently, as I have only recently found out, have no power to collect debts at all.
They sent me a letter at the beginning of December 2012, stating court action would follow immediately if the debt was not paid within 7 days. In spite of already being short of money before Christmas, I decided to borrow the money to pay them, under duress, because i didn’t want to have court fees added to it just before Christmas.
Now then, I recently discovered that rolling contracts had been outlawed by Ofcom in December 2011, and so I complained to Unicom about this, and demanded compensation.
After 2 months of emails back and forth they're final decision, received only today, is that they acted within the Ofcom ruling, stating that in December 2011 Ofcom had said by 31st December 2012, no new rolling contracts should be issued and all existing customers should be offered new terms, not containing a rolling contract. My contract ran over in March 2012
I argued that they should have been implementing this Ofcom ruling with any contracts that finished in the run up to 31st December 2102, and not left until that date had passed.
Unicom’s decision on my complaint, true to form, is that they acted correctly.
I am sending letters of complaint to the Ombudsman, Ofcom and also the TV program ‘Rogue Traders’, as I believe they have not acted within the spirit of the ruling, which was to do away with unfair practices, and have carried on squeezing every last penny out of customers like myself, up until the very last minute.
If anyone else has been ripped off by Unicom in the same way, from December 2011 onward I urge you to do likewise and claim compensation. Remember, Ofcom deemed their practices to be unfair, and so the Ombudsman should look at individual cases (although Ofcom don’t, but you can still complain to them. Its the total number of complaints that they act on, thus, the ruling was made).
Unicom were fined £200,000 in 2015 for a different unfair practice. If as many people as possible demand compensation (you should observe the correct channels first and adhere to Unicom's own complaints procedure) and then complain to the Ombudsman, Ofcom and Rogue Traders on the TV, or even your MP, sooner or later something will be done about these unscrupulous ROGUES because it will be repeatedly brought up.