BT cuts off online poker player losing potential winnings of over $16,000

A BT customer was playing online poker last week when he suddenly got cut off without prior notice by BT resulting in his $16,000 potential winnings being lost! Here is the full complaint…

Dear BT complaints

Why can BT send copious amounts of useless emails to its users about nothing, but when it comes to things like “planned works on the broadband networks” (i.e. cutting us all off) they don’t have the simpe courtesy of emailing users in advance.

I enjoy spending a couple of hours playing poker online at night. Last week I was involved in a couple of small competition when broadband died. Checked through 150 to be told “planned works on the broadband networks” was being carried out. Slightly peeved I gave up.

Last night I was involved in a *big* poker game, i.e. there had been over 11,000 entrants, I had spent over 2 hours getting into the last 1,000 and was stting extremely well in 3rd place.
Then BANG, broadband dies.
Thinking, “oh! poo, not again?” (or something similar) I check status and got “planned maintenance blah blah blah” again.

The position I held in the game would have paid $16,496.00 !!!

While I can’t guarantee I would have finished in that position, I am dang sure I would have done a dang site better than the $37.90 I ended up with because I couldn’t continue to play!

So I reiterate, why can’t BT email its broadband users in advance when they *know* they will be shutting it down? Has it come to the stage where we have to phone the status line *before* going online and asking “Muuum, can I go out to play today?”

What would be the position if I paid £5,000 to enter a poker competition and then lost it due to the above issues?

Disgustedly yours

A $16,000 poorer broadband user (when you let me)


I was contacted later by phone. Apparently they couldn’t read all of the email (due to my using double quote marks”, lol). Anyhow, I outlined the main part of the complaint and was told that it is Openreach that performs these “planned maintenance blah…”. I asked, “surely they let you know when they are going to shut down your broadband network, affecting millions of your customers?”, their simple reply was “no!”.

Having heard this, there would also be no point in calling BT’s status line as there would be no mention of the shutdown until it happened. This has happened now about 4 nights out of the past week.
The operative told me they would pass my concerns on to Openreach (holding my breath…..).
I went to the Openreach website. You can’t complain there…

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