2010 BT Broadband Account Complaint

Here is a complaint emailed to us regarding a new BT Broadband account setup and the poor customer service they received from British Telecom.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to express my deep frustration and disappointment with BT, having decided to return to BT in order to be able to obtain a new broadband account with a provider other than TalkTalk, with whom I have been for the past several years.

On enquiring, I had been assured that the transition would be smooth, fast and painless. In the event, everything went badly wrong and I have been caused a great deal of upset, not only personally but also financially.

Having had two phone lines in my flat for a number of years, I simply needed these to be brought back to BT from TalkTalk—a simple enough task requiring no more than the flick of a switch at your end. However, BT somehow managed to get the two lines mixed up, so that my business line became my private line and vice versa.

In addition to this causing great confusion to all my clients (I work from home full-time on a freelance basis), it has also upset my accounting completely, as my business line is deductible, but my private line is not.

On discovering the mistake (and this was purely by coincidence, incidentally), I immediately notified BT of the mix-up. However, instead of what should have been a very simple response and brief processing time, I ended up being relegated to numerous call centres and operatives in India, none of whom seemed humanly or linguistically capable of comprehending the elementary concept of two lines being switched over, and hence the need to switch them back.

After wasting about two hours of my precious working time on the phone in the run-up to Christmas, the order to reverse the two lines was therefore placed and I hoped to have the situation resolved within the week.

However, to my surprise, the lines went dead after a few days, only to come on line again about a day later—leaving me incommunicado for at least a day—and imagine my surprise to then find that the two connections now had completely different numbers. In fact, I was only able to ascertain what these numbers were by ringing my mobile from each of them in turn, and then ringing back. And imagine my embarrassment and anger when I then found that one of the numbers was already allocated, to something called Greenwich College in South London, a number still listed online apparently.

As a result, I was not only pestered by people ringing the above establishment but also completely and utterly unable to receive any calls from my regular clients or those trying to contact me through my regular phone number listed on the web and business cards etc. for work purposes.

Again, I reported this to BT straight away, giving them full details of the original numbers and the numbers which BT managed to conjure up out of nowhere to replace them. Again, the same circus with incompetent and robotic call-centre operatives in India.

And so, after about one more week of vanished calls, lost income and radio silence from friends and colleagues, I finally got my original numbers back.

So, to recap, let me impress upon you the inconvenience and distress which this moronic and totally avoidable error on the part of BT has caused me as a private individual and sole trader:

  • People trying to reach me on both my numbers were unable to do so and had no referral, just the unobtainable tone
  • I was also getting unwanted calls on one of the lines 
  • I had no idea what the numbers were and it was left up to me to find out
  • There was at no point any guarantee of when I would get my two numbers back
  • Your call centres were generally useless and highly time-consuming, taking at least 6 redirects and 1 hour just to get them to understand the basic and original problem.

Please note that in addition to all this, I have been completely unable to install my new broadband system (despite this being the sole reason that I decided to return to BT in the first place) during this period, as the sockets for the two lines are in different rooms. As a result, I have been paying the new provider for a service which I am entirely unable to use and, given the need to be online for work purposes, I have incurred great expense having to resort to a mobile WiFi (dongle) system and paying for access on a daily basis.

I trust that you will now deploy the necessary resources to confirm that it has taken approximately a month and a half to reinstate my telephone numbers, as the letters I received from you date from the middle of November last year.

I look forward to hearing your comments and proposals as to how you can compensate me for all the time I have wasted and earnings I have lost as a result of this incompetence.

Yours,
Tim Davies

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