Latest BT complaint emailed in from a dissatisfied customer suffering from persistent extortion by BT for a period of 15 months.
In September 2007 I complained to BT regarding the failure of my BT broadband line. They sent an engineer round to check my equipment and stated that a charge would be made if a fault was found. The engineer found no fault yet a charge of £100 appeared on my next bill. The fault persisted and, after warning BT that I would not continue paying for a non-existent service, I canceled all my three accounts, telephone, broadband and security and engaged another service (Talk Talk).
BT continued to demand the £100 and refused to acknowledge any of my (5) letters to their complaints department. Instead, they set a debt collection agency onto me. I took my complaint to OTELO who, in July 2008 found in my favour and ordered BT to pay me the paltry compensation of £50.
BT failed to pay within the set time of 4 weeks and it was only after my MP wrote to Tim O’Sullivan, BT’s head of UK Public & Parliamentary Affairs, that a cheque was grudgingly supplied. There was also a letter from Lawrence Vousden to reassure my MP and me that everything was now OK – BUT IT WASN’T.
OTELO’s report had also instructed BT to cancel ‘any outstanding charges’. It is important to emphasise this in view of the three separate direct debit accounts. BT continued their extortion by continuing to chase me for the Security payments.
Once again there was no response to my letters and, once again, the debt collection agency was brought in. Once again I had to go to my MP for assistance, Eventually, on 16 Feb ’09, a letter was received from Lawrence Vousden containing the blatant lie that the security account was not included in OTELO’s report. He then rubbed salt in the wound by stating that the account would be cleared as a gesture of goodwill from BT!!
At the end of it all I have a file containing 100 items. The £50 compensation ordered by OTELO barely covered the cost of postage! OTELO could not be persuaded to take further action so I started to institute court proceedings against BT using the low claims procedure on the court service website. However, I was eventually informed, after spending about £200, that I could not hope to get compensation for the approximately 100 hours spent as it was all in my spare time!
I think it is absolutely scandalous that BT can get away with such shabby treatment of a customer. I have a theory that it is a deliberate policy of BT to ignore customer complaints as, with the reluctance of OTELO and the courts to impose punitive penalties, it is a far cheaper option than employing people to sort out the complaints.
John M Hartley