Former Giganet UK Broadband Customers Suffer Cancellation Woes

Some of Giganet’s former customers have this week complained that they’ve suffered incorrect billing and cancellation problems after switching away to a different broadband ISP on Openreach’s UK network, which should normally be a smooth and largely automated migration process.

Switching between ISPs on Openreach’s network is normally a fairly easy, Gaining Provider Led (GPL), process. Under Ofcom’s rules (General Conditions), both providers are required to ensure that the switch takes place with minimal loss of service and to ensure that the customer is not required to contact their old provider for the switch to be put into effect.

NOTE: The current GPL switching process typically takes at least 10 working days, starting from the date the gaining provider notifies the losing provider (i.e. this gives customers a chance to stop the switch, such as if it was started without their express consent).

In short, the customer merely needs to contact their new (gaining) ISP to begin the switching process. Both the new provider and old provider must then send a letter to inform the customer about the switch. The letter from the old provider must include details of the services that will be switched, when, and services which are not affected, and any charges that apply if the customer is leaving their contract early.

One crucial point is that the losing provider in this process can only charge the customer for any charges that are incurred up to, and including, the date on which the contract is automatically terminated. The losing provider generally cannot charge in respect of any remaining notice period that the customer is required to provide in order to exit the contract. ISPs are also required to ensure that their conditions or procedures for contract termination do not “act as disincentives” to consumer switching.

The Giganet Issue

However, several Giganet customers recently informed ISPreview, via our forum, that their experience has been somewhat different. The first part (i.e. contacting their new ISP and switching service) went smoothly enough, but Giganet never sent them the required notification of switching (letter) and only later did the customers realise that they also hadn’t cancelled their old service, which resulted in incorrect billing.

Example customer complaint 1:

“A month later, I realise my service wasn’t cancelled, so opened a ticket. They ignored the ticket for a few weeks (great customer service). Finally when I phoned them, they took my cancellation request, but refused to backdate to when I switched ISP and basically told me I should have read the Terms and Conditions.”

Example customer complaint 2:

“I’m in the same boat having jumped ship from Giganet to Aquiss. Giganet didn’t cancel when I migrated so I’ve overpaid for at least a few weeks. Guess I should be complaining to them!

Also, their cancellation process seems woeful. They opened a support ticket containing no text whatsoever. I received a returns bag in a envelope with no letter or anything. I only worked out it was to send their router back since I remembered the name, but how’s the average joe supposed to know what to do? They then closed my support ticket, again without writing any text on it. They’ve not sent me a letter, final bill or, obviously, a refund.”

The Managing Director of Aquiss, Martin Pitt, similarly told ISPreview that they were “supporting about 3 dozen (at least) examples from customers who have moved to us (Openreach to Openreach based), where Giganet have continued to bill them. In all cases, but one, we can see that a perfect transfer [of the service itself] took place.”

The suspicion is that Giganet might not currently be firing on all cylinders, particularly as their retail broadband base is due to be migrated to Cuckoo as part of the recent network consolidation of Fern Trading’s various brands (here). Nevertheless, consumers still have a right to expect at least a functional level of competent customer support, which should include adherence to Ofcom’s rules and consumer protections.

The good news is that, after raising the issue with Giganet, ISPreview has been able to confirm that those who made the original complaint have now received a proper service cancellation, apology and refund for the wrongful billing. Aquiss has similarly confirmed that all but three of their affected customers have also received a similar outcome, while those left outstanding are being urged to chase the issue.

A Spokesperson for Giganet told ISPreview:

“As soon as these issues were brought to our attention, the customer support team carried out a thorough investigation. We can now confirm that, from our records, we’ve resolved any outstanding cases.

There is no evidence to suggest that this is a widespread issue, and the team apologises to any customers who feel they may have experienced a problem when switching broadband providers.

Giganet support requests are processed regularly, and the team will continue to be on hand to help with any other customers that are experiencing the same issue.

If any customers are affected in the future, they should contact the Giganet support team directly via”

Ofcom recommends that any former Giganet customers still in this boat should first open a complaint with the ISP and, if still unresolved, be prepared to escalate it to the company’s Ofcom approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme, which in this case would be the Communications Ombudsman. But hopefully the last step won’t be necessary.

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