BT have terms and conditions which cover the Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) services we buy. Until recently there was a very useful term that said that if the install did not reach the forecast speed, then BT would tell us and give us the option to cancel the install (re-instating ADSL if necessary, and refunding costs), or re-appoint to try and get a better speed, or to accept the lower speed.
In practice BT seem to have no means to ask us that question, and so complete the install at the lower speed and we have to complain and dispute the billing if it is cancelled, and so on.
However, it has come to light that a couple of months ago BT changed these terms!
Now, they only have to meet the 10th percentile of the forecast, which is, oddly, below the "Minimum" they state on their forecast, so is some new definition of "Minimum" of which I was previously unaware. They do have a spreadsheet to tell us what the 10th percentile is from that.
They have also changed it so that the only option is to cease the service if we don't accept the lower speed.
This is a nasty change - previously it was clear cut and also very easy to explain to customers. Now we have a much more complex scenario to explain to customers.
What is also annoying is that BT made this change with no specific notice to us that I can find, and I think against their own terms. The terms allow changes if they are to "improve the quality of the Service" or "do not have material adverse effect on performance or provision of the Service". Well, clearly this does not meet those criteria, so I am not sure the change of terms is even valid!
Changes are page 17, over version 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the BTW FTTC handbook. We've written to BT plc to say these changes are contrary of clause 3.8 of our contract.
Update: I have to question the 10th percentile as well, on the basis that it would mean 1 in 10 lines fail to meet this extra low (below minimum) speed, which seems somewhat unlikely.