A long BT Complaint!

This is a BT Customer Services complaint detailing a full length complaint addressing a number of issues with poor BT customer service. This highlights what many of you have been experiencing.

Dear Sir / Madam

On the weekend of 15-18th February 2008 I moved into the above mentioned flat. Just before I moved I phoned the 0800 800 150 number to arrange for the flat to be installed with a phone line and to change my billing address. I followed the numbers through to get to the change of address department. I spoke to an Indian lady whose name I did not take down. She did not understand what I wanted to do when I explained that I wished to change my address. I find this appalling when you consider that she works in that specific department.

At one point she actually said to me “please speak slower there is a technical problem.” After spending a large amount of time speaking to her and on hold several times she told me that everything was fine and that the new address had been input on the system. I then asked the lady if I need to get a new line installed or if I can just plug my phone into the line and expect it to work. On hearing this she thought that I wanted to leave BT and I had to explain that this was not the case. When I eventually got through to her as to what I meant she said she did not know and that I should plug it in and find out.

Around two hours later that evening I was woken up by a phone call from an Indian gentleman (again I did not get the name) asking me if I wanted to change my address on your records. After providing my address again the gentleman informed me that everything was ok and that my new address was now my official address on the system.

The next day I phoned the 0800 800 150 number again to arrange for a new line installation. This time I spoke to a Welsh lady who was much more understanding of what I wanted and was able to help me, however I was on hold three times for around ten minutes each time. She also informed me that my address had not been changed on the system and she went ahead and changed it for me (or so I am led to believe). This lady arranged for an engineer to visit my property on the 29th February. I questioned if I had to be in my flat on the 29th February and was informed that I would have to be as the engineer would need to enter my flat.

However, when I moved into my previous flat in September 2007 (Flat 46, Block 2, The Hicking Building, Queens Road, Nottingham, NG2 3AN) I arranged for an installation of a phone line with yourselves and was given a date and on that date my flat mate sat at home all day expecting an engineer to call around. Once I had got home from work I called the 0800 800 150 number to explain that an engineer had not been around and after waiting in a queue for over an hour I was told that the engineer activated our line from an external location. This was a complete lie to me as I have since been informed that they need to enter the premises. That weekend I went out to purchase a phone to check the line.

I plugged it in and nothing, there was silence. I phoned the number again and after waiting for around an hour again in a queue I was informed by another lady that I must have purchased a faulty phone. So at my first opportunity, I exchanged the phone at Argos and again plugged it in, and again, silence. I then proceeded to call back and explain that I must have a problem with my line. Now I can’t remember the exact details here due to it being 6 months ago, but I was informed that an engineer would call on a specific date.

I received the text on my phone that morning explaining that everything was underway, but they never came and I had to rearrange. Overall, it took me just over a month for you to sort out my phone line, a month that I was paying line rental for. I did not bring this up at the time as I did not deem it worth spending a considerable amount of time on the phone just for a months line rental, so I let it slip.

On the 29th February I received a phone call from the BT engineer around lunch time informing me that he was on his way around to my flat. However, I had been called into work and so I was unable to meet the appointment. I was not expecting to be working that day when I agreed for the engineers visit. When speaking to the engineer I offered to give my flat mate a call and to see if she would be in that afternoon. I did this and she informed me that she was not going to be at home that afternoon, so I called the engineer straight back and apologised for not being in and for wasting his time. He then said to me that it wasn’t a problem and that he would call the day after in the morning (1st March).

The next day the engineer did not call but I received a phone call from BT customer services department. Unfortunately I missed the call and as soon as I noticed a missed call on my mobile I dialed back to hear a message that explained that I had received a call by BT and that I would be called back. This call back never happened, so on Wednesday 5th March I phoned the 0800 800 150 number and requested a new appointment for an engineer to visit. After spending a while on the phone I was told that because it is a home move they could not arrange a visit and that the services department would call me within 24 hours with a new appointment. This never happened!

Then on Saturday 8th March I received a phone call from a gentleman asking me if I wanted a new appointment. He looked at my profile on the system and explained that because it is a home move he would speak to the services department and call me back within 15 minutes. This never happened! The next day I received another phone call from a lady who said exactly the same thing to me and that she would call me back within 15 minutes. She called me back about 30 minutes later and told me that she was unable to book the appointment and that I should call the 0800 800 150 number. Which sends me back around in a loop to the 5th March.

I was away that weekend so when I returned on the Tuesday 11th March 2008 I phoned up the 0800 800 150 number and explained what had happened. The lady was apologetic and promised me that I would receive a call from the service department within 24 hours with a new appointment time. Later that day I received a phone call from a gentleman named Ragav in the WLR3 department. Ragav kept going on about how I missed an appointment already and was therefore implying that the blame for all of this was my fault. He explained to me that I would receive a call by the end of the week (16TH March 2008) with an appointment time for the engineer.

I was extremely unhappy with this as it is contradicting what I was told earlier that day. I spoke to Ragav’s manager who again mentioned that it was all because I missed the appointment on the 29th February. He explained to me that I would receive a call at least a week from then (18th March 2008 onwards). I find it appalling that a member of staff tells me one thing, then I receive a phone call telling me something else, then two minutes later that gentleman’s manager totally contradicts what I have just been told. Ragav gave me the order number VOL 0118725430248 but this means nothing to me.

As soon as this phone call was over I was calling the 0800 800 150 number again to try and sort this out myself as this WLR3 department were completely wasting my time. I spoke to a lady and requested for a new appointment. Where she informed me that she would need to speak to the engineers and that I would receive a call back within 24 hours. I explained to her that this was totally unacceptable and that I would not wait for a call back and to book me an appointment and that she could speak to the engineers once the call was over. I did not accept her offer as BT were completely wasting my time by not calling me back when they said they would, and then when they did contact me they were completely unable to help me and pretty much told me to sort it myself by phoning back. I was given the slot of Friday 14th March 2008, 8am-1pm.

Again my flat mate stayed at home all morning expecting for an engineer to call around. I did not receive the text that morning and again, no engineer turned up. Just after 1pm on my break at work I phoned the 1800 800 150 number and ended up speaking to a lady called Maureen in the customer services department. She kept apologising to the point where it was so patronizing as she was saying it every 30 seconds. She explained to me that no engineer had called because on your system the appointment was made, but it wasn’t on the engineers system, due to it being a home move. She promised me that I would receive a call within 24 hours from the service department with a new appointment time. This never happened!

Then on Saturday (15th March 2008) evening around 5.15pm I spoke to a gentleman called Harish from the customer services department who again wanted to blame me by explaining that I had not made the first appointment on the 29th February. Harish put me on hold three times for a period of around 10 minutes each time, just to find out why the engineer had not visited the day before. I explained to him what Maureen had previously told me but this was unacceptable and I went on hold. He promised me a call back by the service department by 8pm that day. This again did not happen! I asked to speak to a manager towards the end of this phone call and after being put on hold for several minutes I was informed that a manager was not available to speak to me and that I would have to call back if I still wished to speak to one.

Just after 8pm I got back on the phone to BT. I ended up following the numbers through to some department who did not deal with ‘GB’ account numbers so I was forwarded to a gentleman called Amrinder. After explaining the whole story once more I was informed that Amrinder was from the Billing & Enquiries department in Aberdeen who obviously could not help me as he was from billing. He then proceeded to forward me to a gentleman called Richard who I found out was also in the billing and enquiries department after I had explained the story once more. Richard forwarded me to a gentleman called Kumar who claimed to be a senior sales advisor in the WLR3 services department. Kumar again mentioned how it was because of my fault in missing a previous appointment (29th February, 2008) I had struggled to rearrange it, and not because of the incompetence of the BT staff in arranging me another appointment. I was at this point informed that I would receive a phone call from the service department with a new appointment time within 48 working hours. He explained that he himself would call me on Wednesday 19th March 2008 in the evening to confirm everything was sorted. I also requested to speak to a manager but was informed that they were in a meeting and unavailable. Kumar then explained that he would get his manager, Sandeep, to call me on Sunday (16th March 2008). This never happened! So I have little hope of receiving a phone call by Kumar tomorrow evening, or of receiving a phone call with a new appointment time at all.

Instantly I phoned back to the billing department to question if I was being charged for this month, and I ended up speaking to Amrinder again. He said I was not being charged for this and explained that he would waiver my first months line rental once its all sorted. At this point I also mentioned that I wanted the one from October 2007 revoked and I want my money back. He said this was fine and that on my next bill it would show a credit of two months free line rental (£28.90). He gave me the reference VOL 0118852450699. I did receive a call on Sunday 16th March by a lady called Rahini. She asked me if I was wanting a new appointment and there I was thinking that everything was sorted until she informed me that she could not help me.

I find the quality of your customer service absolutely disgraceful and I currently have no hope of getting this sorted. I am seriously considering moving to another service provider such as NTL, as I have had nothing but broken promises, lies and problems from yourselves. I have a full time job and I’m also a part time student and have recently had some coursework in, and having no access to the internet because of the failure on your behalf I have really struggled, it has been the greatest of inconveniences. Not only that, when I eventually do arrange to get an appointment sorted I am going to have to miss a day of work so that I can be in when the engineer is visiting.

You have completely wasted my time and wasted my money. I am expecting compensation for the line rental back in October 2007, the money that I am going to miss out on earning as I now have to take a day off work for the engineer and for my phone bill as I have spent many hours in total on the phone to you from my mobile. I also want the £125 line activation fee wavering, and the activation fee from my old flat revoked as charging me that after the quality of service you have provided me is absolutely appalling.

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  • Last week I made an appointment between 1pm and 6pm to have a landline fitted to my property. I took the afternoon off to wait for the engineer. As I arrived at the property at 12.30pm I noticed an OpenReach van sitting outside my property – I though great he is here waiting already. So I ask if him was here to deal with my property, he said “No”. Which was fine because it wasn’t 1pm yet.

    I then went inside and waited. At 2pm I received a phone call advising me that the engineer had been and couldn’t get into the building and had tried contacting me. This was not true because I had been in my flat since 12.30 (I even have witnesses – the other OpenReach man that I spoke too and my neighbour!). I was told that I would need to make another appointment, which would mean taking another half day off work, which I thought wasn’t good enough because I had been in waiting for the engineer and he hadn’t shown up! Customer Services kept saying that the engineer had turned up, that basically I was lying to them about the issue. While on the phone to BT I had seen 2 OpenReach vans drive by, one even slowing down to look at the building address! I was on the phone for an hour and at one point put on hold for 20 minutes, which did not help my blood pressure! At one point I was standing outside hoping the van would drive past again!!

    At 4pm I saw an OpenReach van pull up outside another property, I ran downstairs and ask he if he was here to deal with my property (a blind hope that BT had actually done something!!), he said “No” but was prepared to go out of his way and do it after his first job, however he needed a job number from BT. BT would not give him a job number to complete my job, he had to contact his manager for him to contact BT again and ask for it. This took sometime but eventually he got the number after about 20 minutes.

    What I don’t understand, and hopefully you can enlighten me, is that the engineer didn’t show up and I was called I liar, why couldn’t they send him back to re-do the job? Do you normally call customers liars? I’m guessing a customer taking time off work means nothing to BT and it doesn’t matter that I would loose money for taking another half day off work because I’m a contactor!!! Would BT reimburse me….I think not!!! I am paying £125 for a serve that is absolutely shocking!! I plan to take this matter further to the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman and Watchdog, unless you can give me suitable answer and ensure me that this will not happen to any other people. Money and time may not matter to BT but it matters to the little people.

    I have now been told that I have made another appointment for the 17th to get the line activated – which I haven’t. I have no idea how they made this information up!! Why do I need to wait until the 17th for the line to be activated when the line work has already been done??

  • 28 mins I just spent on the phone to them about a line activation for a flat I’ve moved into. I made the order online and expected it (from an email they sent) to be activated yesterday. Well it wasnt so I rang up turns out I had to make a £25 deposit. Nobody, not in one bit of correspondence, from BT told me this was needed. I mean was anyone planning on letting me know? Anyway 28 mins just for that, spent about 5 on hold before I just put the phone down. Rang back got and automated message saying it’ll be connected on thursday, I’m not optimistic.

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