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My ISP has notified me that my Internet service package "will no longer be available" and that they will upgrade my service to a new package, at a higher price. When I signed up over 5 years ago, I signed a contract agreeing to a specific service at a specific price and I was locked-in for 24 months, lest I be charged a penalty for early breach of contract. I'm still using the same service although I am now free to leave without penalty.

Under EU consumer law (or Croatian law for that matter), can I demand that my original be grandfathered? Assume that I do not wish any change of service, and that I obviously do not wish to pay more for an upgrade I didn't ask for.

If possible, please provide relevant links or references.

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    Why wouldn't they be able to increase their prices? Do you feel that they should still be providing your with internet access at 2013 prices fifty years from now, for example? – David Richerby Jul 10 '18 at 17:47
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    @DavidRicherby If there exist customers out there willing to pay 1990 prices for 1990 speeds I would be happy to oblige them. Even more so for 1970. – Sam Jul 10 '18 at 19:27
  • @Sam That would however still put little money in retaining the networking infrastructure. So it is actually quite important people pay a decent amount for the networking. That said, prices were never that cheap and for a connection that old, it should be fine. However back then it was mostly phone anyways :-). – Mathijs Segers Jul 11 '18 at 10:16
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When I signed up over 5 years ago, I signed a contract agreeing to a specific service at a specific price and I was locked-in for 24 months, lest I be charged a penalty for early breach of contract

As the original 24-month fixed term has expired long ago, the service provider is no longer obliged to provide the service at the original terms. They may terminate the contract at any time, and equally you are allowed to quit any time as well.

The notice you have now got is essentially a termination notice combined with an offer for a new contract. You can accept it, or give them a counteroffer, or walk away to another ISP.

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    "...or walk away to another ISP." Unfortunately, for many people this is simply not possible. – barbecue Jul 10 '18 at 23:16
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    A large retailer, especially a regulated one, is very unlikely to authorize employees to accept or even negotiate on a counteroffer without (slow&expensive) legal review. However, they frequently do give customer-facing employees a (dynamic) list of specific pre-defined concessions/bonuses they can give customers under defined conditions. Phoning customer service and asking 'what special deals do you have today that I qualify for, or could qualify for?' will almost always produce some offer(s) better in some respect(s) which you can then consider and possibly accept. – dave_thompson_085 Jul 11 '18 at 2:43
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Contracts are bidirectional.

  • If you chose to leave them during the contract period - you would be subject to penalty.

  • If they chose to change the details of your plan during the contract period - they would be subject to penalty.

The contract has expired for both of you - giving you the power to leave and them the power to close your plan.

If you wish to avoid this in the future, then the only option is to lock yourself into another contract. Even that would only delay this sort of surprise by the length of said contract however.

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That should be rather straightforward: The rules for how to get out of the contract are part of the contract, for both parties. So reading the contract (including generbits stated in some other document referenced in the contract - "AGB" in Germany, not sure what it's called in your country; in english it's probably "general terms and conditions") should clear up the question. If your consumer laws are anything like in my country, then unless the other party does gross misconduct (also, what this means exactly should be spelled out in the contract), then you have no way to get out.

You can always, of course, appeal to your provider, and just ask them nicely (maybe more than once until you get the right person). If they do not budge, it's time to go looking for a new one. Often, providers make an extra special offer when they recieve your cancellation; if, after sending that in, you get a call by somone trying to offer you something, tell them plainly what you want, and see if you come to an understanding.

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