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Landmark Court case may see end to unfair bill charges [Updated]

# Mar 30, 11:21 AM by Mick

A British solicitor is set to sue BT over unfair bill payments that are levied against people who do not pay by by Direct Debit. Ros Fernihough, 62, feels she and many other people, are being wrongly penalised because they decide to pay their bills by cash. Most companies, including Virgin Media, add what they call an administration charge for non-DD payments, claiming it costs them more to process such payments.

Fernihough, is said to be bringing the case under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999 and will be heard at Walsall County Court.

We reported last month, how a study done by comparison website, uSwitch.com, heavily criticised firms who charged, over the odds – for paying by cash or cheque.

Virgin Media charge customers around £60 a year for those who do decide to pay by cash or cheque. BT charge £18.

The lawyer makes a crucial point when she says:

“On a 10 pound note it says ‘I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten pounds’, not ten pounds plus a £1.50 handling fee.”

Should she win her case, it could see the end of unfair charges, as the judge has ruled her case is of significant importance to millions of people.

Source: Sky News.

Update:

Ros Fernihough has lost her case against BT, The case was dismissed after district judge Michael Ellery decided BT had no case to answer.

This now means companies can still continue to levy ridiculous charges that these companies claim, costs more to process non-DD bill payments.

It’s been suggested that these charges are in place to cover shortfalls with late payments or people who just don’t pay their bill at all, but why should honest payers, who pay their bill on time subsidise the non payers? It’s so wrong.

People who do pay via non-DD payments, on time – should at least be offered a reduction, say £2 off the next bill for paying it quickly.

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