O-bit Telecom is reporting a rise in customers seeking advice on getting out of expensive leasing contracts mis-sold by unscrupulous telecoms companies.
Businesses are being tied in to over-priced deals for their phone systems, lines and calls. The telecoms vendor providing the calls then goes bust, leaving the company without a telephone service but with an ongoing debt of thousands to the liquidator.
“We’ve seen a substantial rise in this sort of activity over the past year, particularly as customers are trying to avoid upfront costs on phone equipment,” states Dave Breith, CEO, O-bit Telecom. “On the face of it, it’s an attractive deal, so it can be easy to fall victim. But thankfully there are ways in which businesses can protect themselves.”
Advice from O-bit states:
Never ever lease telephone lines and calls; always pay for these as per your normal monthly use.
Understand the cost that you are going to pay for the equipment before you sign the contract. A simple Google search to benchmark the price will help you identify if the cost is reasonable.
Ensure you have full visibility of the total cost payable over the contract term.
Ask the sales person to point out any specific terms in the agreement you do not understand.
Ask who is underwriting the lease. If unsure, phone them directly and clarify that you are getting a fair deal.
But if your company is already stuck, what should you do?
Speak to the leasing company and explain the situation. Any reputable company will listen fairly – we know of many who have overturned the lease.
The FSA regulates these activities. Report back to them if you don’t like the response from the leasing company.
If you have signed for calls and lines, then you are likely to be in the position of paying for something in the lease that is no longer being provided. No leasing company can charge you for services that you are not benefiting from.