A very lengthy BT complaint from one unhappy BT Business Broadband customer!
On the 30th September 2009, Mr Jonathan Jarvis, on my behalf, placed an order with Barrie Hartley at BT Plymouth Sales Department to transfer the above two lines from Le Tour Ltd to Cornell Express Ltd. Whilst this transfer was taking place it was decided to change our internet provider from Zen UK to BT Business Broadband. (Takeover Reference 24125921433 )
Our telephone number holds 3 lines and the other line is a fax line. It was explained to us that to do the work and keep full uninterrupted internet access in the office they would take off the feature line on the 9500 number and temporary put broadband on there ( the feature lines being taken off as you cant have 3 lines and broadband running together down 1 line ). As soon as the broadband was enabled on 9500 we were to cancel Zen UK on the 3100 number freeing this up to apply BT Business broadband to it. On completion of BT Broadband being added to our 3100 number, BT would take the broadband off the 9500 number and replace the feature line thus leaving us with the same service as before but now using BT as our new ISP provider. We also initially booked an engineer to install the router.
This wasn’t really acceptable as we would be left with one incoming and outgoing line, amongst three staff who are regularly taking simultaneous calls, also we would have to cease our daily telephone marketing strategy so as not to block incoming client calls from around the world, but as it was the only way it could be done and we were told it would be completed by the following Friday (9th October) enabling the broadband by the 12th at the latest (worst scenario) so we took the gamble and used the divert facility to divert second calls to a mobile
On approx the 12th October having heard nothing from BT Mr Jarvis tried to contact Barrie Hartley in Plymouth for a status report but was told by a business sales rep they couldn’t transfer him but he would look at our order.
He then told Mr Jarvis that our order was ‘ stuck in their computer system ‘ and no work had been initiated and nothing would happen if it was left there but he could free the order up but the work would be delayed at which point Mr Jarvis asked for it to be fast tracked as we had an engineer booked for the 15th of October. He told Mr Jarvis he couldn’t fast track it but he had done something to move the job on ( it now transpires that he cancelled the work and raised new orders for the work thus duplicating our orders !! thus causing the chain reaction of events required to fulfil our order to conflict and compound the issue )
On the 15th October, the BT Engineer called to the premises to fit the hub but it couldn’t be completed because he said we needed a BT Open Reach box which would cost us another £100 approximately. We were not happy about extra charges being added half way through a job and contacted “ input” who said this was not the case. The engineer left our office with the job incomplete as well as leaving the router with us not boxed and without an installation disk or any manuals that were supposed to be supplied.
On the 16th October, 09 a client tried to call the business three times and received a message to say that the number was unobtainable but after the 4th try the line connected, this happened a few times that day. So the office reported the fault only to be told there wasn’t a fault. On the Monday of the following week Mr Jarvis again tried to call Barrie Hartley to see if the broadband had been enabled on the 9500 number so we could go ahead and cancel Zen UK but to no avail. This time Mr Jarvis was put through to Business Broadband to a Scottish gentleman named Shaun who looked at our order and told him the order was stuck in the system again and that he would get it moving. He said it was a mistake on Barrie’s part and he would email Barrie and his manager Tracey Webber to make them aware of the mistake and get them to phone Mr Jarvis. He also managed to fast track the broadband enabling on 9500 number to be on within 48 hours as until this was done nothing else could be done.
Mr Jarvis received a phone call off Tracey Webber who stated Barrie would personally look after this order until completion due to the problems we had experienced and was given a direct line number. Mr Jarvis contacted Barrie on this number and he said he would keep him informed when the broadband went live. The next 2 times Mr Jarvis called for updates Barrie was on leave and nobody picked up or covered his work !.
Sometime between then and 23rd October the Broadband was enabled which we found out ourselves by connecting the router and seeing if the broadband green light came on !
On the 23rd October 2009 in the evening I tried to connect and setup the broadband with the help of BT Technical Support. I had no user details or passwords, they came on various days during the following week. All addressed to Miss L Marie, Lisa Marie, Abbey Road Centre…… I should congratulate the postman for even getting that to me seeing as it should have said Lisa Owen, Cornell Express. It would not connect. Firstly they said it was because the fault query was still open (even though we were told there was no fault). They closed the query and then said there was a fault on the line and logged the fault. I was told I would receive a reply as to the status within 24 hours. Of course I received no reply whatsoever. I called them and was told it was too late and to try on Monday. On Sunday I received a follow up call asking me how my broadband was…what broadband? On this day we called Zen UK and cancelled our connection,
On Monday I was back on the phone to Faults who said there was a fault at the exchange.
Tuesday the fault was still there and now it was no longer at the exchange, now an engineer needed to call the following day. Zen UK called to say they had removed their connection and the line is now free for BT to use.
The engineer did call and I must say it was the first time in 4 weeks I had any sense from anyone. (Alvin) He told me exactly what I needed to do (completely different to any scenario I or Mr Jarvis had received during any conversation to date) and connected me to the internet via our 9500 number
Mr Jarvis immediately tried to contact Barrie Hartley to inform him the 3100 number was now free to put BT broadband on but he was off on leave again, when he did get hold of him 2 days later he said the order was going through but he could not fast track it ! more waiting !!.
Eventually the line was enabled prior to end of November. Now we needed to drop the broadband off the 9500 so they could re-instate our feature lines which had been off since the end of September, Barrie informed Mr Jarvis this was in process and should only take 10 -12 days !
Come the middle of November having no contact from BT Mr Jarvis contacted Barrie again for an update on our feature lines on investigating our account it transpired that the feature line re-instatement was stuck in the system due to a fault pending and a fault open on our account ??? not raised by us I might add. Also he noticed that we were still receiving broadband on our 9500 number! he was dumbfounded, personally I was not surprised. He then went into the BT system and found 5 different account numbers for the work we had asked for, this is where he realised that a colleague had previously raised new orders rather than sort the system problem out earlier in September thus conflicting requests were raising faults or delaying work in progress.
Barrie then informed Mr Jarvis he didn’t work on that section anymore ( so much for Tracey Webber’s promise ) and that a man called Kevin in Plymouth would now babysit this problem. Mr Jarvis spoke to Kevin who assured me we were in good hands ! this is the last communication ever received from Plymouth or Kevin up to this date !!.
I have copied my email update requests in an appendix at the end of this report with Tracey Webber carbon copied in on most to show you the lack of communication and urgency this problem was causing us. I can forward you a copy of all the calls made to BT and direct lines made from the company mobile along with the costs incurred – it’s just unbelievable !
During Mr Jarvis last attempt to contact Plymouth he was put through to Kaye Morgan in Canterbury who told him there was no request in the system for our feature lines so she asked for credit checking info and put a request on that line .
We then find out that there is a fault on the line / exchange and an engineer will have to come to our office to follow the cabling through to find the fault before the feature line can be implemented. It is the 22nd of December now !
Into the New Year still only one incoming / outgoing line and no communication of when they will be activated.
We now start getting BT bills with various account numbers and wrong company names & addresses not what was asked for or given ! also huge charges for services and yet BT had still not completed our initial order for these services !.
I was not prepared to pay any bill until I knew which invoice was relevant and current from the forest of invoices I have received which at first sight were obviously incorrect.
I decided to contact BT after sales ( Richard Boulton ) to advise them I was more than willing to pay our bills but not until my service was completed as requested in September and I was happy I was paying the correct bills. Mr Boulton sympathised with our plight and on going through all the records on the system it was his opinion that BT had made a lot of serious mistakes and that he assumed I would obviously be sending this complaint to Ofcom.
The beginning of January brought good news our feature lines are up and live on our 9500 number, unfortunately our broadband was then suspended due to a billing problem. I called billing and they said we had an outstanding invoice to the value of £316.46 which is absolute nonsense as we only ordered BT Business Broadband at £25.00 per month !
The billing telesales person then confirmed to me that we were being billed for Web Hosting ! Internet Security ! and other charges unbeknown to me and never ordered.
After telling the billing operator this she put me through to Business Solutions in Newcastle and I spoke to Mark Blenkinsop who took my word for not ordering these extra services and re-instated our internet service pending a check of the recordings of my initial telephoned order placement.
Mr Blenkinsop quickly communicated back to me the results of the recordings and confirmed these charges were put on in error by BT, whilst speaking with Mark it came to light we were also being charged for a feature line on our Fax / Broadband line 3100 can you believe it! I instructed Mark to have the feature line removed which he said he would do.
A week later our telephones in the office stop ringing yet people are ringing in we report the fault and are told it is probably a hardware problem with our telephone system after further delays and loss of service we are told the fault is with one of the feature lines !! not working properly, after a couple of days and more loss of work and money for our company this is remedied.
On the 15th of January at 08.30 we come into the office to find again our internet suspended! I phoned billing who said they will lift the suspension and we will be back on in 15mins. – 15 mins later NO INTERNET . Mr Jarvis then phoned Mark Blenkinsop and after being diverted for 20min by operators he was eventually put through to Business Solutions but Mark was unavailable and he spoke to Julie, Marks colleague. After repeating the whole scenario of problems we have had with BT she checks our account and tells Mr Jarvis, Mark has not taken off the erroneous charges added to our broadband and that she will email her manager telling her his mistake and put our service back on, which will take about 2hrs ! – 2Hrs later NO INTERNET.
Mr Jarvis tried to contact Julie again but to no avail instead he was ferried around the world back and forth to different departments all not willing to take responsibility for getting the company back on-line. It is now 4pm so I decide to call technical support who walk me through re-installing the router defaults as that’s what they think is causing the problem – NO JOY
Then I am told BT are having exchange problems even though our exchange is not on their pre recorded help line of problem areas ?? MORE BUFFLE
At 6pm I am told that they will have to run a line test through their Wholesale Department and because it’s Friday night they cannot do anything until Monday , after a full wasted day of business and 5 hours of being on the phone to BT I call it a day.
To cut a depressing story short on Monday it comes to pass that there is no fault on the line or router but somebody at BT has cancelled the internet service. Now not only is this unbelievable and inaccurate we never requested to cancel it WHY in all of the 5 hours I spent on the phone to them on that Friday via all those departments did nobody see it had been cancelled ? Sales / Billing /Business Solutions / Technical Support etc….Absolute shambles
I would like to point out that every call to you (some of them for up to an hour) has been carried out on a mobile due to the fact that you minimised the number of lines available for use and the working hours lost has been a joke. We have printed off itemised bills to prove this. Also you charged us for the weeks/months of having to use your divert facility but we had no choice other than to use it as you failed to provide us with our standard service.
We are a Worldwide Chauffeur Company whose business runs predominantly via the internet and our websites. We also have clients arriving everyday from abroad so communication is critical and I believe our business has been severely disrupted and caused financial loss and extra expenditure due to BT’s amateur, unprofessional and disrespectful work practice.
At a minimal I would like to see a credit raised immediately for the initial bill so our account is up to date and clear, though I wonder how you will even figure out what that is as I currently have 6 different bills for the same line in my possession. You have charged us for a featureline that we didn’t have, divert charges we had to have because of you and I am looking for compensation for the fact I have had to pay staff for 3 months who have sat around unable to do the job they were contracted to do
I look forward to an urgent reply before your company in its wisdom chooses to disconnect my line again.
Le Tour Du Monde Ltd
Formerly Cornell Express (yes we even managed to change our company in the time you took to put a line back on!!!)