Late payment penalties

The concept is simple - if you pay late you pay penalties / interest.

With BT the application is simple too - it is just interest, and based on how much and how late. Simple. Well, it should be.

The issue is that they make lots of mistakes, and the terms allow us to withhold payment of disputed amounts, so we do.

Lets invent an example...

Lets say our January bill is £1100. But £100 of that is wrong, and disputed, so we pay £1000 and dispute £100.

Months later BT finally agree the dispute, and give a credit, lets say on July's bill. So the July bill normally £1000, is less the £100 credit so is only £900.

But as the dispute is finally resolved we need to pay the full £1000 for the July bill, as we have already taken the £100 off our January bill payment. Paying only £900 in July would be withholding the dispute twice.

The issue is that BT get the £1000 payment for July, but the bill is only £900. So they allocate £900 to July, and allocate £100 to the old "under paid" January bill.

Then they decide that £100 of the January bill was paid 6 months late and work out late payment for £100 for 6 months.

Of course, this creates a slight vicious circle, as we are now disputing the late payment charges, and, as per the contract, withholding payment for those charges. BT will take months to even understand the problem with these charges and so take ages to resolve that dispute before applying a credit. Rinse, repeat.



  1. They need to apply the $100 credit against the January bill, not discount the July bill.

    1. We know this - but the dept that handles the payments and bills seems different to the bit that puts things on bills. So the credit finds it way through the system to appear on whatever is the next bill. And the payments/billing dept just see one under paid bill and one over paid bill. Very dense, IMHO.

  2. They really are continuing to lose the plot... I wonder what they'd have done had you paid the £900 stated on the bill.

  3. A place I used to work at actually did not receive a correct BT bill for around two years, every single bill had multiple issues and so none of it ever got paid and these were big bills! They tried to separate them but even the separate bills were never right. Ultimately it meant that BT paid for us to build a network for two years, well more like 3 after they started getting them right. Thanks BT!

  4. Send someone over with the cluebat...

  5. I fear it would need an Army of people with Cluebats

  6. After they accidentally ceased my office PSTN line - resulting in various term penalties, and ceasing the ADSL service as a side-effect, with further penalties - I ended up with a pile of penalty charges, reconnection charges, and corresponding credit notes cancelling them all out again. If I remember correctly, one of the dozen credit notes was for the princely sum of 2p - mailed separately, of course!


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