I exchanged contracts to buy my new home in Pontyberem on 8th March 2010, to move in on 12th March 2010. On 9th March I went on line and arranged a BT package for phone and Broadband. Online the acceptance said the activation date would be 23rd March. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to be told a couple of days later that the phone would be on for 12th March but sadly the date for the Broadband was then set to be 31st March.
I had already done my homework and knew the only line provider for the area was BT and that the Broadband was nowhere near the very speedy Virgin cable broadband I had at that time in Newton Abbot, Devon (take note BT – Virgin were always prompt, reliable, and sorted the only problem which I had in 6 years with them in about 6 hours – you would do well to go and study their ways!). I did not see the point in trying to obtain Broadband from another provider as I knew the line was not yet “split” and thought it would be easier and simpler to get it all via BT – how very very very very wrong was I!
The Hub arrived on Weds 31st March and was duly installed (something I had done for other friends so no problem there!). No Broadband light (not even an orange one) but that did not worry me as I knew the from literature that it could be any time up to midnight. So I went to bed thinking all would be well in my world the next morning – sad fool that I am! Next morning, no change. Blue light for power, blue light for wireless, no light for Broadband = grrrrrrrr!
The first of many calls to BT ensued. Lovely Scottish lady called Alison promised to look in to it and call me back. Which she did (full Marks to Alison, for courtesy, for efficiency, and for plain speaking – you have at least 1 employee who is good at their job, how amazing) and told me that there was a problem at the exchange and according to the records it would be “reviewed” tomorrow 2nd April.
When I pointed out that that was a Bank Holiday she said she did not know whether there would be engineers working in my area or not, because she was based in Scotland and had no local knowledge. However, she promised to keep my file under review and update me. Which she did on the Saturday, well done Alison! But not with good news. Nothing had happened on the Friday and the review date was now 6th April.
She would continue to watch out for me. She rang me again at the beginning of the next week – good news – they hoped to have everything resolved that week. Sadly she was off on holiday now but would ask a colleague to keep an eye on – said colleague appears to have fallen off the planet as no one rang me.
8th April 2010
4 p.m. I get both an email and a text message to say my Broadband is activated and I should now be “online”. But the Hub disagrees – still no Broadband light. So I switch the ADSL filters around – no change. So I move the Hub to another socket – no change. So I move the Hub to yet another socket – no change. So I put it back to the original socket and ask it it re-set, which it does – no change in the lighting arrangements. So I go to bed that night expecting it to activate before midnight and all to be well in my world – silly fool again!
I ring BT again – this time an Indian lady (I do wish you would take note BT, it immediately puts your customers backs up if they cannot speak to someone to whom they do not have to say “would you repeat that” constantly through the call, or do you hope it will get so wearisome we will just give up?).
She asks me what I have done to check it is not a fault with the equipment or the set up and I tell her I followed the manual to troubleshoot. She asks me to hang up whilst she tests the line. She rings me back and says the line is fine, it must be a fault within the house, she will get the engineer out to me, would tomorrow (Saturday) between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. be okay? I accept readily.
I get up an hour early to walk my dogs earlier to be back home by 7 a.m. as the BT lady had said I would have a call an hour before the engineer arrives to say he is on his way. So I wait, and I wait, and I wait, and I wait (and so it goes on). 12.50 p.m. BT ring to see if everything is alright – no it damn well isn’t. The engineer has not been and I have not had any call. I am exacerbated by the amount of time I am wasting and the money I am losing by not being able to work online (I am a self employed and the internet is vital to my work).
She goes off to find out what has happened and then comes back to tell me that BT canceled the engineer’s appointment as they found there was work still needed at the exchange – WHAT!!!!!! And just why did no one think to tell me that I did not have to waste five hours sitting in my home waiting when the sun was shining and the sky was blue and I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE BEEN OUTSIDE IN MY BACKGARDEN DOING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE??? Yet again all I get is “I understand” “I am apologise” “I am sorry” “I understand”. Of what use is any of that. So off she goes and checks again and comes back saying the engineers hope to have everything sorted in next 24 hours.
Well BT I have given you 48 hours and you still ain’t got no blue light lit up on the Hub for my Broadband. 1 p.m. I ring you and after speaking to 3 different people and wasting yet another whole hour on the phone, a senior manager (Indian again) promises me he personally will take responsibility and ensure that an engineer is out to me tomorrow. He will ring me by 6 p.m. Guess what – it is 6.10 p.m. and no one has called. So another call to BT. Ask to speak to that particular manager – he is on the phone now to the engineers and has been on for an hour – he will call me back in 30 mins. Hey guess what – he doesn’t!
Is it any wonder that I am now furious, tearing my hair out (and it was thin before) and actually thinking of taking my phone and ramming it down some senior manager’s throat.
I was given a complementary dial up to use for free whilst this fiasco wobbles its weary way but guess what – that is even slower than the contract mobile dongle I have had to rely on! In this day and age, whilst I watch countless adds for BT on the TV stating how marvelous they are and how State of the Art I am having to resort to a dial up with a speed of 23Kbps.
BT GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER . OR VIRGIN COME AND LAY MORE FLAMING CABLES AND PUT US ALL OUT OF OUR BT MISERY – PLEASE!