This BT customer service complaint was detailed on the thisismoney website and we wanted to share it with visitors of BT complaints and include it in the report that will be sent for investigation along with all comments on this website. Email us you complaint if you want your complaint to be included in the report that will be sent to BT, Watchdog and Offcom.
Paul Harris, journalist of thisismoney (pictured right) was left hanging on the phone by BT customer services
They didn’t say exactly where the call centre was based, but I swear I heard a tiger roaring in the background. The chap’s accent was hard to understand at first, and he had just as much difficulty comprehending mine. But I wasn’t going to let him go. Not after so long.
It had taken more than 40 minutes to get to this stage, and he was the first human being I had managed to contact, unless there was actually a bloke playing ghastly music down the phone each time I was ‘transferred’.
Every other part of the process had been a push-button… please hold… your call is in a queue… we value your custom… nightmare. I lost count of the number of times I keyed in my telephone number. Followed by a hash. And a star. And a sigh.
But I really should have known better. I had done a very stupid thing. I had tried to ring BT.
You’d think that of all the people in Britain who might have got their telecom system sorted, British Telecom would have been pretty near the top of the list. The clue’s in the name, you see. But you’d be wrong. For in the world of communications, where the idea seems to be to make it as difficult as possible for your customers to communicate, BT is king.
Of all the services that need to be contacted when you move house (and the Harris family are serial movers) this is the one I have come to dread most. They get things wrong. They don’t listen. They don’t do what you ask. Things don’t happen on time, or at all. Worst of all, they’re a phone company that doesn’t seem to like answering the phone.
Not that I’m unused to this sort of frustration, which, I guess, is probably being mirrored right now in thousands of homes across the land. I had, after all, done telephonic battle with Sky TV, when we discovered that some obscure code was needed in order to make the TV work.
I trained in unarmed combat with British Gas after travelling 250 miles to keep an appointment the engineer didn’t; held on the line until hell froze for the water company to find someone with a brain in customer services; noticed I could hum every bar of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons while holding for Netgear’s alleged ‘customer support’.
But this was BT. This was different. This was a fight to the finish — at my expense. The thing is, you’re kind of handicapped when the reason you’re ringing is because the phone doesn’t work. So I called on my mobile phone.
At least that way I could walk around the house with the handset on loudspeaker, even if the pay-as-you-go card was going-as-I-paid.