Gigaclear contract - no way out?

Greenfingers

Standard Member
Gigaclear fibre broadband is available at our address and I am interested in their basic 30Mb/s package, but don't want to commit to their 18 month contract, partly because I am worried that the Covid situation may delay the installation and there seems to be no way I can cancel the contract after the statutory 14 day cooling off period.

The order process is as follows: You request an 18 month package either by phone or email, then they reply with a confirmation of your order, after which you have 14 days to change your mind as per statutory consumer law. They estimate the installation date is about a month later, but neither the installation or activation date are stipulated in the Order Confirmation. Therefore, where do you stand if, for example due to a full Covid lock down or for any other reason the installation does not go ahead?

Imagine that after say 2 months you were still not connected. In order to get internet access, it is likely you would need to sign a contract with another provider and having done so, you would not then want to be tied into 2 contracts and would therefore no longer want to continue with Gigaclear.

Looking at their T's and C's, it seems that you could potentially be bound by their terms for eternity, because even though they never even started providing a service, you are tied into the contract until 18 months after the service goes live!

I emailed them this question, but didn't get a reply. Am I missing something here?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Very few houses only have access to broadband with a long term contract, almost everyone can get some form or other on a rolling 30 day contract.

Assuming you're buying this for personal/home use then you've got all your normal consumer rights for products and services being satisfactory, done in a timely manner and so on.

And Ofcom have codes of practice, dispute resolution schemes and so on:

If things were to go wrong and Gigaclear weren't being reasonable about it you'd certainly have avenues of redress.
 

Greenfingers

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply, but what consumer rights are you referring to?
Unless the provider has subscribed to Ofcom's code of practice, what is the legal recourse to their code of practice?
 

psychopomp1

Member
Surely the 18 month contract starts after they've installed the cabling & from the day your service goes live? In which case i would have throught you could pull out anytime before then without any penalties.
 

Greenfingers

Standard Member
Surely the 18 month contract starts after they've installed the cabling & from the day your service goes live? In which case i would have throught you could pull out anytime before then without any penalties.
No, the 14 day opt out clause commences on the day they confirm the order. According to their terms, after that you are bound by their T's and C's, which means you are then stuck in the contract.
 

psychopomp1

Member
No, the 14 day opt out clause commences on the day they confirm the order. According to their terms, after that you are bound by their T's and C's, which means you are then stuck in the contract.
So they're saying the 18 month contract starts once you place the order, even if the actual service goes live x weeks or months later? That makes no sense...
 

Greenfingers

Standard Member
I did read up on the CAB and Ofcom websites and it appears that if a contract clause is unlawful, then it is not enforceable. Like you say, probably best for a Solicitor or or legal specialist to verify the situation, but that could cost a few quid.
 

Mr X

Distinguished Member
If it's the financial outlay you are worried about, I can totally understand that and can't help with that.

If it's about quality and services, as a Gigaclear customer for nearly 3 years I can only say how pleased I am that I went with them.
I have a 1gb up/down connection in a rural location and in 3 years I have just one occasion where we lost connection for 4 hours and even then the text notifications and updates were so informative. Other than that it is totally rock solid with speeds as promised.

On the few occasions I've had to contact customer service I've always got through and had great service but I guess they have limited customer service right now due to lockdown.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
With a surge in home working ISPs are chronically over loaded, 3-4 months isn't rare at the moment for installs.
 

Greenfingers

Standard Member
Thanks for all the replies. Other people in our village use Gigaclear and are pleased with the service and I do like the idea of a stable, reliable connection. Apart from our slow ADSL BT line, they are the only fixed line option for our rural community. A couple of days ago I did actually sign up for their cheapest package for 18 months, but whilst reading the T's and C's, I realised that there is a distinct possibility that Covid 19 may cause delays to the connection and I could potentially be stuck without the service and a contract costing hundreds of pounds.

Lots of people seem to get on fine with using 4g internet providers instead of having a fixed line. Also, plenty of these ISPs offer 30 day contracts. I am now thinking this is the best option for the time being - particularly since it provides a virtually instant solution without the need for an engineer's visit (something my wife is strongly against).
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
With 4G it is shared access so if a number of people are using it in the same cell your speeds can drop.
Hopefully not too many as they won't be wandering around looking at Facebook instead of where they are going.
 

Greenfingers

Standard Member
Yes, perhaps it will be faster than usual if everyone is at home using their fixed line internet!

But seriously, I think I'll give this a try. Thanks for the help. I may well start some threads with questions about 4g routers, VoIP services and so on.
 

Greenfingers

Standard Member
An update in case anyone is interested:-

Gigaclear came good in the end! The installation went ahead just 6 weeks after placing the order, which was only a couple of weeks longer than planned.

Just as well, because I was getting fed up with using the Three data SIM I had been using for the last month. The 30 day Three rolling contract has proved impossible to get out of, due to them providing no manned Customer Service phone lines, no options for sending emails and no method of cancelling a contract. DON'T GO WITH THREE if you are ever going to leave - the only way to end a contract is to request your PAC/STAC code and then use it correctly, which I did, but they have still failed to acknowledge it and overcharged me.

Gigaclear, on the other hand have been flawless so far (apart from confusion about the install date). I ended up going with their 100Mb/s package and it is a revelation to have web pages loading almost instantly all the time. We seem to see around 95Mb/s download and upload consistently, so no more hours wasted watching the "TLS handshake", "contacting......." and "downloading data" messages!

The only thing I don't like is their Linksys Velop router, because it only has one ethernet port available and I want six. Suppose I could go back to the BT smart hub and a 4 port switch.
 

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