A long BT Internet complaint

This BT customer services complaint regards BT Internet and the lack of service received.

Dear Sir

I’ve been with BT (British Telecom) for years, 8 years in fact! And while most people tell me BT are:

a) Incompetent (see all the BT customer service complaints received) and

b) Essentially cost twice as much as everyone else

My internet service has actually been “up” for nearly eight of those years (that I can tell) so I’ve been (perhaps stupidly) happy to pay a premium. While there have been occasions when things have gone horribly wrong (like the last time they erroneously cancelled an order and disconnected me) I think the final straw has arrived.

Let me explain. Apparently sometime in June, while I was away on vacation and my house was completely empty, someone called BT and told them I was “moving”. From what I can tell and they can tell me, all that the person had to provide was my phone number and address (which I guess is available on some system somewhere), then suddenly, a few weeks later all my phone lines and broadband/internet access was cancelled. No notice. No SMS. No emails. No letters. No correspondence of any kind. Just disconnected.

While immensely frustrating (given the effort it sometimes take to get connections), the fact that it seems anyone can basically disconnect anyone’s BT phone in the UK without identification, confirmation or correspondence is frightening. Worse, for those using Sky, Virgin et al that also depend on BT landlines, they too can be disconnected, almost overnight.

Obviously there’s something wrong with the process for disconnecting and/or moving house, and sure, mistakes do happen, but the customer service (until I found someone in the UK that took the time to look into it thoroughly) was horrible.

After 4 hours on the phone (international calls in the middle of the night), going through a variety of call centers (mostly in non-English speaking countries), they successfully determined that it was in fact all my fault, the reasons being.

1. The account was not paid – even though it was on “direct payment from my bank account”. Pretty weird as they eventually had to admit that last paper and internet statement from the previous 10 days showed £0.00 balance owing (and the account has never been negative!)

2. It was definitely me who told them that I wanted to move – but then they couldn’t confirm my new address to me… funny since I apparently requested it!

3. My internet connection and phone was actually fine – even though when I/they called my phone it said it was disconnected!

4. I’d given my account number and/or permission for someone to cancel my account – errr. no.

In short… there was no coherent story as to what happened and no one could tell me why. The stories actually seemed to get more and more convoluted with each new person I spoke with – and more frustrating. Ultimately it soon became clear that they themselves where confused as well.

The Proposed Solution: Sign up for another 18 month contract, with a new phone number (as that is their current sales deal) – “it could take a few weeks to reconnect”. Once that was reconnected they could then reconnect my internet “in a few weeks/10 working days”. Right… someone, somewhere screwed up and I have to pay… errr… no way.

What amused me the most was that while “every phone conversation was recorded”, when I asked them to compare my voice to the caller that requested my disconnection their response was “it is going to take a while”. How long was a while? Well… “several months”. Of course “I could wait if I liked, or have a new connection/contract started immediately”.

After being disconnected three times and starting the conversation from scratch with each of the 8 or so people I talked with, I finally managed to find someone in the UK that could get things reconnected in a few days – probably won’t have the same phone number, but I could be reconnected.

To my friends that have told me time and time again that have switched from BT… I now completely agree with you – the BT customer service was simply beyond belief (until I found that one person… and spent over a $100 on phone calls).

If it was only possible to use a non-BT provider where I live (without also requiring a BT account), I too would switch.

Sourced from Brianoliver.wordpress.com [Link]

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