Monday, October 15, 2007

Boring Whinge Alert

I have learned through experience to avoid having any dealings with British Telecom if at all possible.

Their touch feely adverts don't fool me - they have consistently given me the worst customer service I've ever experienced, and so it was with massive reluctance that I contacted them to arrange for a new phone line and broadband to be installed at our new home.

I was so confident about their capacity to royally fuck it up fail to deliver that I rang them a few weeks ago to confirm the procedure and the lead times.

I have no choice but to go with BT - they haven't yet fully unbundled the local loop at my new exchange, so essentially they are the only provider. I added a few days to the theoretical lead times they gave me, and placed my order last week.

I was charged £107 to book the installation of the new line. And another £300 'deposit' because, for the reasons above, I haven't been a BT customer for years.

I was sent a strange email with details of my broadband installation, giving a phone number to be activated. Strange as I don't yet have a line at the property. I rang them and was told "Don't worry - it's just a holding number, they can't process the order without the number, when your line is installed it will be a different number ... nothing to worry about - everything is fine!".

I was promised a phone call within 48 hours to confirm my appointment. It never came. My 48 hours expired late on friday, by which time their offices were closed until this morning.

This morning they told me that my order hasn't been placed for a new line. They have charged me but they haven't actually booked an install. They were going to just 'switch on' broadband on a line that doesn't exist. They were wrong to reassure me about the weird phone number - they should have realised that there was a problem when I flagged it last week. They lost my credit check and can't find most of my details. The account is compromised so they need to start a completely clean order. This means we are starting again. I can expect a phone call in 48 hours to tell me when they might see fit to install the line. It will not be on friday, when I have arranged to be in Yorkshire for the purpose. I will not be in the house again until we move on the 5th November. The satellite can't be installed until after the phone line. By the time BT give me a call to book an installation the window for booking a satellite install in the first week will be gone.

The girl who broke all the good news to me was cheerful and helpful. She took it rather well when I said "You are the worst company I ever have to deal with, and I know it's not your fault, but believe me, if I had any other option I would never give you my business in a million years." She simply said "Yes, I know. Sorry!".

The reason for the screw up, apparently, was that even though I kept telling them my address was not the one they were finding, but had "Cottage" on the end, to distinguish it from other half of the barn, they put the order through for my next door neighbour's address. Finding that address already had a BT line but not broadband, 'they' decided to revise the order accordingly, and down-graded it to a broadband-only order.


The only thing that is calming me down is looking at Badger's stunning photo of cows in the mist she took on the way home last night ...


Anonymous Sarah said...

Hi Stray,

I know this won't make you feel any better - but I deal with BT every day in my job. They are no more helpful to businesses than they are to home users.

I feel your pain - particularly the address problem. Get a single letter wrong in the place name and they refuse to provision an order (if it's realy important to you); get an entire address and postcode mis-match and they'll go ahead and do the work at a different site (if it suits them).

You can't win. Just try and stay calm, for your health's sake!

15 October, 2007 14:21  
Anonymous Daisy-Winifred said...

How about an ad on Freepost Yorkshir version with desperate and need in it:0)
They are truly a delight to deal with as I know but there are trees mountains and long distances here that permit them to be fu*k-wits to trapped cutomers but I delight now in playing them at their own game and have to say its themthat have the breakdown not me.

Good luck. Just enjoy the visit to your new home and be glad they can't mess that up.

15 October, 2007 17:04  
Anonymous Daisy-Winifred said...

Duh freecycle I meant, those bloody pain meds!

15 October, 2007 17:04  
Blogger Beanz said...

Don't look at Badger's comments. I may have spoiled the moment with my cow-chasing thought.

15 October, 2007 17:26  
Blogger Ms Melancholy said...

The next problem will be actually locating the address. Those villages in the Dales are like Brigadoon...they only come out of the mist once every 5 years. Let's hope it coincides with a BT engineer x

15 October, 2007 20:49  
Blogger But Why? said...

Our last ICT chap spent so much of his time on the phone to BT trying to get problems fixed that when we moved offices we took the opportunity to get a support contract with a 3rd party who now do any necessary BT dealings for us. This has apparently been a Very Good Thing, and I noted that a few months after the move he seemed to have more hair on his head than was previously the case...

16 October, 2007 06:46  
Blogger John said...

And to think I was intending to ring BT tomorrow to get a full package installed. Oh how the tides have turned.

17 October, 2007 01:06  
Blogger KindaBlue said...

Ah, good old BT: possessors of the most maze-like menu-driven switchboard in existence, which dumps you mercilessly back to the dial tone if you happen to press the wrong combination of options. It's like a choose-your-own-adventure book where there's no way to avoid the goblin.

17 October, 2007 13:25  
Blogger Stray said...

sarah ... god! I feel your pain! The irony is that this is a premium business account, the main thing I am paying for is "faster installation and responsive problem resolution".

Grrrrr. How many bloggers do you think it would take to bring them down?

DW - lol! Yes, perhaps I am simply not crying hard enough. Do please please coach me in playing the game ... I am currently at a total loss.

beanz - ah, we all wanna chase a little livestock from time to time ...

Ms M - don't! Yes, I'm sure they will find all sorts of excuses not to attend the appointment should I ever actually get one ...

but why? - I think you have a duty, as a scientist, to investigate the obvious link between early-onset-balding and frequency of contact with BT.

John - I am glad to have saved you from a fate worse than death! I wonder how many people have committed suicide due to frustration with BT? I bet they couldn't even ring the samaritans ...

Kindablue - yes! yes! perhaps this is all a big horrible sitcom ... maybe I will wake up to find it was all a dream?

17 October, 2007 13:41  
Blogger But Why? said...

Perhaps I could approach BT's competitors for funding? I would however worry that I may subsequently get death threats from the likes of the makers of Just for Men and the rest of the male-hairloss-insecurity industry?? xx

17 October, 2007 18:03  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

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02 November, 2007 12:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here’s a Broadband Video that will show you how to check availability by postcode, how perform a broadband speed test and where to find broadband forums to answer your questions. There are also offers for BT Broadband.

Here is a broadband beginners guide and below are common broad band questions;
What is Broadband?
Types of Connections?
Connection speeds and download limits
How to compare ISP’s

12 December, 2007 14:01  

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