BT Phone company voted nation’s worst in customer service

No suprises that BT were today named and shamed as having the nation’s worst customer service. A study of 5,000 people revealed the communications giant are almost twice as bad as second place British Gas when it comes to dealing with issues and complaints. Sky were third, followed by Virgin Media and Vodafone. Other corporate colossals to feature in the hall of shame were HSBC, AOL, Barclays, O2 and HMRC.

Today a spokesman for internet market research firm said: ‘For many, having to deal with customer service reps can be very stressful, and everyone dreads having to make the call. ‘If you are already having a nightmare with the service, and you want to make a complaint, the last thing you want to do is then have to deal with rude staff.

‘Having polite and efficient staff in call centres can really make the difference, and I’m sure it helps keep hold of customers.’ The biggest bug-bear for consumers was the automated systems which means it can take several minutes to get through to a real person. Other irritations include being passed around different people and having to keep on repeating yourself.

Foreign call centres with staff who struggle to understand the English language also featured in the list as did rude staff and having to answer endless security questions. BT also came top for the longest holding times, with 18 per cent of people voting for the company. Again British Gas was second and Sky was third. Those who took part in the study believed on average they spent around 23 minutes on the phone trying to sort out problems each time they called. Just over 11 per cent said they regularly spent 30 minutes on the phone to companies.

Phone and utility companies were rated equally as bad as each other in the study, closely followed by banks and retail organisations. It also emerged six out of ten people have switched companies purely due to a poor level of customer service. And one in three become people have been involved in an angry conversation with someone in a call centre when frustrations boil over.

Among the horror stories which emerged were a man who fell out with BT because an Asian call centre operator said his mild Scottish accent was unintelligible. A couple were tricked into a package they didn’t want by Orange and were then fobbed off when they tried to cancel during cooling off period. Virgin Media refused to change the bill into the name of a jilted husband because he didn’t have his ex-wife’s permission – but were more than willing to give him extra services without her permission.

Sourced from Daily Mail [Link]

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  • Got a letter from Nigel (Nigel Stagg, XCustomer Services Dirfector) telling me I can continue to use Unlimited Evening & Weekend Plan on a renewable 12 month contract BUT IT DOES NOT TELL ME ON WHICH TELEPHONE NUMBER !! Sure it gives me THEIR Account number for me – but does than mean anything to me ? NOT without looking it up.

    I have more than one BT Line at home – or RATHER DID HAVE – as this stupid letter has so enraged me I'm cancelling one line straight away!

    IT MAKED ME MAD that BT can't even print my telephone number on any correspondence or BILL. My BRAODBAND Bill doesn't even tell me the line number also.

    No wonder the share price has collapsed. As for Nigel – sheer imcompetence!

    Alexander Moffatt
    CB11 4JX

  • B.t claim recent survey brings them tops for companies old customers would most ikely desire to switch back to!..what utter and complete hogwash!..

  • Does anyone else find b.t foreign advisors highly argumentative and arrogant and very rude?..i have found if you dont do as they want..or say they just cut your phone line off!..b.t have said that they are not allowed to do this as they dont have the authority but they they have pointed out though that if i dont co-operate they will have me cut off..i had said i'd rather try to resolve any issues and they had said' no we'd rather cut you off!'.
    i cant believe the arrogance..and utter rudeness of these people..who clearly say they dont want to get matters sorted.They also refuse to allow you on most calls to speak to a manager…as they are worried that it will reach ears that can get them in trouble.
    I had rang b.t with a complaint..which i was able to substantiate with recordings..i explained that i could not burn these to disc, but offered to replay them to a manager, the advisor proceeded to argue with me for 15/20 mins..insisting he was right and that and b.t could not offer any help regrading a complaint unless i burnt the recordings to disc..i again politely tried to explain i was not being awkward..but really could not burn them..the foreign advisor would not listen….i then gave this man clearly had not been listening for the last 20 mins and continued to argue.Why cant these advisors stop haggling with customers.. we are not in the market place bargaining for coconuts.!!!They seem to take their heritage and apply it to the way they treat customers..customers in britain are not the same as market customers from foreign cities!..When will they have the training or ability to understand this?

  • If you decide to change a b.t option plan keep in mind they place you on a new 12 month contract each time you place a new order..btw they dont actually tell you they cancel you existing contract and put you on a new one until you actually agree to switch plans…then you cant switch back without being placed on yet another 12 month contract!
    However i did ask, when i switched from option 1 to 3 if i would be placed a new 12 month contract they said 'no'..their excuse was that the overseas call centre advisors are giving customers regular misinformation but unfortunately because they are overseas b.t have not control over their work practices.

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