If my ISP has repeatedly failed to keep their end of my contract with them, do I have a legal defense to refuse to pay off the balance of my bill?

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If my ISP has repeatedly failed to keep their end of my contract with them, do I have a legal defense to refuse to pay off the balance of my bill?

The internet has consistently been less than half the speed advertised and it goes down about once every 30 minutes during the day. I had automatic payments set up and they failed to notify me that it stopped working three months ago. They are now trying to charge me $200 something in late fees. If I refuse to pay, do I have a legal defense that they failed to hold up the contract?

Asked on April 14, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The best way to start ascertaining your remedies with your internet service provider (isp) is to carefully read your service contract with it in that the contract sets forth the obligations owed to you by the provider and vice versa. Depending upon what is to be provided in your contract versus what you are actually receiving in services, you may have a basis for terminating your contract.

If you get involved in a collection action with your provider, you possibly can assert as a defense a breach of the contract by the provider as to you. I suggest that you begin a series of letters to the provider setting forth your position that it has breached its agreement with you and setting forth specific reasons for such an assertion, for example the system going down for 30 minutes during the day. Keep copies of these letters for future need and reference.


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