Complaint to BT CEO Ian Livingston

A customer sick to death of not getting anywhere with BT customer services writes this complaint to CEO of BT, Ian Livingston. Not sure where it will get him but we will include on this website and in the report that will be sent for investigation. Email us your BT Complaint to share on this BT complaints website and in the report that will be sent for investigation.

Dear Mr Livingston,

I apologise for escalating my complaint to you and your senior colleagues, but unfortunately my experience with BT’s customer service teams has left me feeling like this was my only recourse. I have recently received a bill which included a charge which I am disputing, and so far my enquiries have provided a less than satisfactory response.


I have been a happy BT customer for around 17 years, and although I did switch to Talk Talk about three years ago to take advantage of their competitive pricing, I quickly realised my error and was delighted with the speed and efficiency with which BT welcomed me back. Again, I recently moved house and was very pleased that the appointment given to connect the property (it had previously not been a BT customer) was the afternoon of moving day.

The engineer arrived as agreed, was polite and courteous and very professional in his manner. When he asked us where the BT socket should go, I explained that we used broadband in the living room, and also on the second floor where my wife has a home office. He expressed concern that the BT Homehub may not produce a strong enough signal to reach the top floor, and that we might need to get an extension put in for that area. I asked if he would be able to do it while he was on site, and he explained I would need to call BT to see if a job number could be generated for him to carry out the work.

I duly contacted the sales team at BT and was quoted £70 for the work, and was given an order number which I passed on to the engineer. He installed both sockets and we were very satisfied with his work. I was also pleased that we had decided to get the work done there and then as the BT representative I had spoken to on the phone informed me that if I had to get it done at a later date it would have cost a good deal more.

Some weeks have passed and we have now received our bill (number M006 MJ). On this bill is the £106.52 (plus VAT) for connection, which I am happy to pay. Also is the £60.87 (plus VAT) for the extension socket which was as advised and again I am happy to pay this. However there is also a charge of £108.69 (plus VAT) for “Visit charge for BT Retail” which I am disputing.

I called Customer Services and after explaining my issue I was transferred to the Faults department. I explained why I was unhappy and was then transferred back to the Customer Services Department.

There I explained the issue to a third person who gave me a new number to call – 0800 234 6035. I called this number and had to hold for ten minutes before explaining my issue again, whereupon I was put on hold, then told I was being transferred to someone who could deal with my enquiry. I then got the engaged tone, and then the dialling tone – I had been cut off.

I redialled the 0800 234 6035 number and this time had to hold for 18 minutes before my call was answered. I again explained why I was calling, and then was transferred once more. Finally I explained to the sixth BT employee why I was querying my bill, and was told that the charges were correct.
I still struggle to understand why a visit charge would need to be levied when an engineer is already on site, but that is not my complaint.

My complaint is that I am now being asked to pay £169.56 plus VAT for something I was told by the BT Sales contact I spoke to would only cost £70. If I had been told that this price did not include an extra £108.69 plus VAT, and that the total cost was going to be nearer two hundred pounds, I would not have placed the order.

I am deeply dissatisfied with the customer service I have received when trying to rectify this matter, especially as I have recently signed a new contract with BT, an organisation I have never had problems like this with before. My clear wish here is to have my account credited with the £108.69 plus VAT as this I was not advised of this charge before agreeing to the work.

I trust the detail I have supplied in this letter is sufficient for this complaint to be investigated, but should you have any questions please email me. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Comments 12

  1. account number em21564007 a1 taxis, i went on holiday and for got to pay my phone bill, and got cut off,fair enough,but as soon as i got back from holiday i paid my phone bill in full,bt told me my taxi phone will be back on in 24 hours,that was 4 weeks ago,i have rang bt up every day on my bt mobile at eight pence per min,and put on hold for an hour and half, every day, and all they tell me is it will be put back on in 24 hours, and now bt tell me i now have to pay 91 pound for the service i dont have.

  2. I have had FOUR different numbers in 15 days and only been informed once of the change. My friends and family cannot reach me and the number i requested to be ported to my new B.T. account STILL has not been ported. Innumerable calls to B.T end up with empty promises the matter will be resolved. Wish now i hadn't moved from my previous providor.

  3. We have had on-going problems since signing with BT. Already this month,we are awaiting a broadband eng. for the second time. I loathe talking to the outreach centre in India. They have no clue what we require and continually ask the same questions parrot-style as if they (and probably are) reading from an instruction card.
    My husband had to press 20 plus buttons to reach someone this moring. who at the end of the day was less than useless.! (the call lasted approx 2hrs. with no satisfaction) Why, when we are in need of jobs in the UK are we subjected to dealing with a failure of a "service" thousands of miles away ??…..BT's greed for profit.!!!!! I expect to speak to someone who speaks and understands my language and it should be our right as paying customers to get a realistic service. An engineer DID arrive yesterday….NOT THE ONE WE NEEDED !! wE REPORTED OUR ALL TOO OFTEN, BROADBAND PROBLEM only to be given a telephone engineer who could not deal with it. We shall leave this joke of a service a.s.a.p and will expect a large reduction to our £60p.m. bill. I am now going to dose myself with a pain-killer as my blood-pressure has been sorely aggravated. SHAME ON YOU BT. You deserve to have ALL your shabbily treated customers leave.
    (Lady) P.A.Pembury

  4. we joined BT vision back in Nov 2010 for the 1st time and were happy untill a few month down the line when were having problems watching programs and using the internet. i contacted a enginner who was a friend thinking it was our signal or tv but everything was in good working order and also contacted BT customer services and they sent out one of their enginners. he came out and said the fault must be on their side i rang up the technical side they done some tests and tuning etc it started to work for a couple days and then it got worse to the point we weren't able to watch tv or use internet for just over 2wks i was never of phone complaining another enginner came out and said the same so did some tuning work to the connection box and appoligised shortly after that the internet was working but BT vision programmes were still faulty now and then.i complained again and was experiencing bad customer services when on phone. with tv viewing still poor i refused to pay for the couple weeks were i wasnt being provided a service due to their fault. and as if this wasnt bad enough then came a bill through the door for phone calls for over 13hrs to number which didnt exist and best of all the 01665 712238 number (my old number) which never had a phone connected to the line for years as i used my internet phone which had a diffrent number. i rang and questionned this and told the lady (who was very rude) that this was impossible as i never had a phone in that landline and it was also physicaly impossible for 13hrs from 6pm till 9am. basicaly i had to pay even tho they should be able to tell on their computers or technical signals etc that no phone has ever been connected. after numerous complaints to managers about all this and bad customer services being dealt with from horrible people being told many different things speaking to every deaprtment and countyr and being promised on great deal of occasions i would get a call back but never have yet i have havnt gotton any futher. i was trying to cancel my contract and got told i never had to pay a cancelation fee but i am recieving charges nearly £900 from debt collecters and threatned with legal action for all this carry on BT's fault and horrible customer services. this has been goin on for nearly a year and is very stressful and i have been ill with stress and worring as i am in my 1st trimester of pregnancy and all this is not any good for me or my baby. i stopped paying my bill in september after telling BT to cancel my services they were not going to let me even tho a reprensitve told me to cancel my direct debit from you and was told from another no cancelation fees would be charged. this is still going on now and i have been doing all the calling and chasing and i no longer a customer , offered to pay for octobers and septembers internet phone bill but that was all because that was the only service which was being recieved. but unfortunatley im debating about that now it has been a horrible experience and stressful making me ill and i am really hoping you can set an example to your collegues and future customers that BT is worth the service. please will you help me get this awfull deal dealt with and contact me asap.

  5. I have just joined BT – wish I hadn't. My phone is not active, I can not connect to broadband BUT BT are still charging me for this even after two engineers failedt o show up and wasting two days of my annual leave.

    I can express how angry and upset I am. BT state in all their confirmation emails ( Ha! They are a joke!) that we need to give them one days notice to change an appointment to let their engineers know. How about BT give us one days notice that their engineers will not show up?

    DON'T JOIN BT, I never thought I would find a company worse than SKY but BT win by a mile!

  6. I have been with bt for 43 years and very happy till 2 years ago. i cancelled my broadband but have been charged every quarter. Like other users I have had people in India reading from a card saying nothing but "give us the money" they are rude and lie to you all the time. Now and again I would get a nice Irish lady but everything she did was undermined and reversed. It is the worst company I have ever dealt with and would not recomend them to anyone in fact when asked what I think of bt I tell them.

  7. BT have made 3 Previous appointments to connect me to a bt phone and internet service. on 2 occassions no one turned up. and on each occassion a new order had to be issued and the down payment of £135 had to be paid back into my bank account. on the third time an engineer turned up and fitted a new cable ,but he could get no connection. so when bt got in touch with me, yes they had to cancel the order, return the £135 to my account and re-issue the order which means I have to now wait till the 6TH Jan 2013.as my first order was placed in September 2012 you might say I'm not very impressed with BT, I am 78 and my wife is 74, I forgot to mention that bt in their wisdom disconnected my phone with Virgin so we have to use mobiles, G Griffin

  8. If BT is monitoring this post – look what happened to all the call centres for all the Banks & Insurance Companies.
    Now, they advertise the Call Centres are all UK Based.
    Customers were fed up of the lip service and no action.
    You may have a customer base today but time is coming & you are seriously going loose the good will from the customer.

  9. We have been BT customers for many years I know we are sometimes late with our payments we have always paid our bill both me and my husband have now spent 2 days on the phones to your company to get an extension to pay our Feburary bill all we want is an extension until the 15th March and we have been told that until payment is received your services terminated my husband is on the phone at the present moment hoping to get this extension and after nearly 2 hours on the phone has been successful in getting We are on benifits and we are struggling to keep ontop of our bills Why do you only allow 2 or 3 extensions per account and this is all they will allow because the computer says no surely a company that makes as much money as you, are in a position to grant customers extensions on their payments especially if they pay these bills when they say they will surely a 10 day extension would not cause you financial ruin.
    account GB 08589742

  10. I have to agree! I wish I had stayed with sky. Endless problems.. but the worst is never getting through…speaking to recordings that put the phone down. Their service is just getting worse. BT 'broke' my extension socket and after holding on to help it seems that they feel that it is in order to only phone me in 10 – 12 days to make an appointment to fix it. Clearly they are understaffed! T

  11. I am chair of a voluntary organisation that supports mental health carers.
    We are on the point of collapse due to lack of funds.
    I discovered last week that there was an outstanding bill of £750.- which we can just pay but that’s not good enough. I asked to have our account cancelled but that would cost us another £600.- as we would be terminating our contract as we had agreed to a new contract in april. That can’t be true was my argument I am sure the last Chair didn’t agree to that! She went back to the phone conversation with the previuos chair and told me he had agreed to it. Next I phoned the previous chair and he told me that he hadn’t agreed to pay outstanding charge but was told he could not terminate his account till he payed the outstanding money! He was in the same situation as I am now “No termination of account till the bill is payed”
    It is a real catch 22 ! Please can you help me to resolve this? We are willing to pay the£750.- but that’s all we can pay!

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