BT Slamming Complaint

Here is another person that has been a victim of phone slamming.

Dear BT

My service provider has been Sky for the last 3 years. My line rental has been with BT which has always been between £11 and £12 per month. I have always been with Sky as the deal I have had has always been easier and cheaper for me than anyone else.

This morning I opened a bill which came from BT and found to my absolute horror that I have been changed over to BT for my land line calls. I have always been a satisfied customer of Sky and ‘never’ once felt even tempted to be with BT because of the poor customer service reputation.

When I contacted BT at 11:58am to find out what the hell is going on, I was put through to a man called ‘Anand Babu’ who emphatically informed me that I placed an order on line with them to go over to BT for my calls. Firstly, I have never even been on the BT website, and I have never requested a change over. When I asked them to forward me an agreement between myself and them to prove the order, they said they could not do it. I then cancelled my direct debit with them whilst we were on the phone and informed them that I would take the matter to a solicitor. I was told ”well that is up to you”.

I am absolutely livid because i have never ever ever ever made an order to do this. I then demanded to speak to his superior to get the matter sorted out. I did not take the name of the woman because after informing her of the same action i would take to get the matter straightened out she put me ‘on hold’ for almost 10 mins and then hung up on me. They also informed me that Sky authorised the change over! I was looking at my sky account online as she said this, and I catagorically informed her that i was looking at my ‘current sky subscription’ which is: Sky tv 2 pack, Broadband Everyday, and Sky talk unlimited.

The last bill was paid on the 20th of April to Sky for this subscription, and informed her that if Sky had authorised it, how is my current subscription still live, why have they have neither written to me or contacted me regarding the alleged change over. It was here that she put me on hold and then after almost 10 mins she hung up the phone.

After this woman hung up the line, I contacted Sky to request that they get my calls taken back to them as my service provider. The gentleman at Sky informed me that they did authorise the switch over as they are bound to do so by law when another company requests the switch over.

He then kindly assured me that the practice of ‘Slamming’ is what I have experienced with BT and this is fraudelent. Given this information, I made another call to BT customer services at 1:30pm that same day and spoke to Lalita Singh.

I asked for her to put me through to Anand Babu as I had spoken to him earlier that morning, which she refused to do. I then demanded that she put me through to her supervisor as I was becoming very perplexed that everyone up to this point in BT’s customer service department were insisting that I had requested this order of a change over. No one could give me any documented proof of the alleged agreement between BT and myself and the alleged order and so was put through to Sameer Gupga who said that he would wave the charges for the calls. I have emailed my complaint also to Ofcom, and spoke to an advisor who is assisting me with the complaint about this illegal process of Slamming.

Although I felt some relief, I do feel that I had to make a follow up call this morning (26/4/2010) to get cast iron assurance that the matter will be straightened out. It was today only that I visited the BT website for the first time ever so that I could find a complaints number or email address. I have spoken to your customer services team member ‘Nikita Gupta’ who has been the only person up to this point that showed me any real support or assurances, and has been of any help to me.

She has assured me that bill number from 19/3/2010, and bill number from 20th April will be wavered-refunded, and only line rental will now apply. I feel it is not my obligation to pay for calls from 4/3/10 until 11/5/10, when I return to Sky. What has happened is illegal and a violation of my rights. Is the refunding charge request that Nikita kindly made, including all the calls to be wavered until I return to Sky. Out of ALL of the customer service staff at BT, it is shocking that only ONE person helped me. As a result of her help, she deserves an enormous thank you from her superiors.

This has been terribly distressing for me, and I have no faith in BT anymore. I had never been confident of your services in the past from witnessing ‘firsthand’ other peoples experiences with you, and this has just destroyed any faith of ever recommending BT to anyone. It has left me feeling very vulnerable that I could fall prey to your gross misconduct again.

I would be grateful to I receive a full written apology from you, and a cast iron guarantee that you will never ever do this to me again.

Yours sincerely

Miss E J Northwood

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  • I woke up on Thursday morning to find that my telephone (B.T) had been cut off. I telephoned to find out why as I have not missed any payments as I pay by Direct Debit. Customer Services told me my telephone bill was not paid, so I contacted my bank and they asssured me that the payment left the account on the day requested by B.T and showed me the Debit on screen. So I rang back and pointed out that I had been into my Bank and they assured me and showed me on the screen that the bill had been paid. The person I spoke to told me that the money had come through but it had been returned to my acount. Why? The Dircet debit had been cancelled. By whom? Not by me.

    It turns out that 3 days later the money did come back into my account. So I rang back again and asked if they could check and see if my balance was available. I was then told I had an outstanding balance of £129.00 which is impossible I don't pay for calls except premium number (which I don't use) and mobiles. I have a great cross network deal and unlimited texts with my mobile phone provider so I don't call mobiles from my landline. The Call Centre operative double checked and told me that he was sorry I actually had an outstanding balance of £20.00. I questioned this as my Direct Debit for £37.00 had not been paid so that couldn't be right. I suggested that he work it all out and call me back on my mobile phone as I had no working landline. The return call never came.
    The next day I spoke to someone else and went through the whole thing again. This person informed me that my Direct Debit had been cancelled and again I pointed out that my Bank had paid the money but B.T had sent it back I have not cancelled my Direct Debit. I can't take back money that has been paid to B.T three days earlier there had to be some sort of Computer error. I was put on hold while he spoke to his superior and came back to tell me that if I set up a new direct debit my phone would be put back on and could I give him my Bank details? I explained that B.T already have my Bank details as they have a Direct Debit in place and I don't have my details with me as I am now having to use the Phone Box at the end of the street.
    He asked me for my Mobile Phone Number and promised to call me back within 30 minutes. I waited six hours before eventually calling back and had to go through the whole thing again with another call handler who did take my Bank Details and told me that as soon as they get the mandate in place they will request the payment which would be on the 10th or 11th of May, when it arrives my phone line will be restored with a reconnection fee.

    The worst part of all of this is that I am Disabled and living in a flat which is Alarmed to the Local Authority Wardens and because it cannot connect to a working Landline the Alarm keeps going off. So, I stay in a B&B at a cost of £30.00 a night. By the time B.T authorise my line to be reinstated I could have paid out £400.00 the sake of a £37.00 bill.
    I am registered as Chronically Sick and Disabled under the 1970 Act and Section 29 of The National Assistance Act 1948 so I should never be cut off.

    It would have been easy enough to make a phone call or send me an e-mail or letter to warn me of the impending restrictions.

    Has anyone apologised or offered to reinstate my line as a matter of urgency because of my medical conditions? NO!

    Alan B.

  • BT disconnected us after confusing our address with a new house recently build opposite. They tried to blame Talk Talk (as did we in the first instance). We were told that to get a new line, we had to place a new order. We did. 19the May reconnection date. They then cancelled our broadband account because we did not have a phone line, even though one was on order. No phone line connected on 19th May – they cancelled the order and don't know why. We placed another order, which will now take longer as they say that there is no space on the telegraph pole! Our neighbour (a BT engineer) says this is false. BT blame the 'system', but cannot do anything about it. They give us 10th June as a reconnection date. They turn up on 11th June – they'd sent us an email changing the date!! We now have lost the number we've had for 13 years and which has been with the house for still longer – they have to wait until everything is done to give us our old number back. They contact us to inform us that this is done one week later (a full 7 weeks after they initially disconnect us!), but they have given us the wrong number. They have also disconnected our broadband connection! They actually admit to this error and reconnect our line quickly but we have to wait for our broadband to be re-ordered and re-connected. This takes 5 days. We are now waiting for our original number back. Throughout this, I have spoken to 26 different operatives, been cut off 4 times, been passed around customer service like a ping pong ball. At one point (6 weeks in) I asked an operative to tell me what was written on our account about our situation – he said nothing!! No record of any previous calls or contact from us! The fraudulently took our phone line, and have taken no remedial action whatsoever to reinstate it, other than to process our order as they would for any customer. I am fed up of hearing 'I'm sorry to hear about your inconvenience…please be patient with us'!!! We will have been nearly 9 weeks without our phone number, phone line and internet connection. We live in a rural area with poor mobile signals and have to leave the house to make calls! We have elderly parents unable to contact us and children who have been unable to complete all homework. I have been unable to keep up with my internet banking, and my husband and I feel as if we are beating our heads against a brick wall trying to get some committment out of the BT. We have already informed Ofcom and will be pursuing a resolution of our complaint through them. Compensation offered from BT so far for this?…..Wait for it…..£40!!!!! This barely covers half of one mobile phone bill, let alone the 3 days off work etc..! A written apology? Don't be silly!! We won't rest until Warren Buckley (Director of Customer Service at BT) acknowledges our complaint and is seen to be dealing with it appropriately – an explanation of how they can steal active phone lines would be a start….!

  • Miss E J Northwood sorry but you dont have all the facts!!!
    "The gentleman at Sky informed me that they did authorise the switch over as they are bound to do so by law when another company requests the switch over". Yes they do have to let the order be placed, but did the Sky advisor also mention as your calls provider they are also bound by law to inform you the order was happening so it could be cancelled before anything happened?
    Did they also tell you there is a mandatory 10 working days for the order to complete to allow it to be cancelled in case its been slammed or the customer simply changed their mind?
    Sky are not the shining star in this issue in fact they are more at fault as it shows they dont care enough to warrent spending money on paperwork to let you know.
    Sky and most other CPS operators will happily sit and let it happen so every customer thinks BT are at fault, granted you may not have placed the order and it could be something as simple as a wrong phone number inputed by an advisor that happened to be yours, or worst case you did get slammed by a BT advisor.
    The fact still remains your calls provider did nothing to help stop the order being completed,
    A UFT (unfair Trading Form) request would have cancelled the order instantly and stopped causing you this distress, its pretty clear cps operators are happy to let orders complete for 2 reasons:
    1: It makes there acquisition stats look better
    2: Sows a seed of doubt in customers mind about BT

    Also if your calls were with sky and lets say Talk Talk slammed your calls, you would still be sent to BT to complete a UFT would you blame BT then? as without the UFT BT also have to let the order complete.
    I worked for BT for five years and im certainly not defending the company but facts are facts the UFT form was put in place by ofcom to help prevent unwanted transfers.
    Id have a chat with ofcom about the responsibility of your calls provider to protect you as their customer and what they should have done to let you know and in sufficiant time to stop it.
    Then I would call sky back up to complain why they couldnt be bothered to let you know the service was moving.
    Im Sorry if you find this response blunt but facts are facts and laws are laws and ofcom set them all in place dont be so quick to point the finger.

  • 3 Years ago, we had a complete phone and broadband package with Sky. I also paid Sky the line rental. Suddenly and without warning,we began getting bills off BT for the same service. All phone calls to BT telling them I was not a customer, got nowhere. So I Asked Sky to keep all written and phone conversation on record. I then asked the Industry Regulator to sort it out. In between time, We got threats or court action off BT if we did not pay up. We paid up by recommendation off the Regulator who used this as evidence against BT. In due course, we got all our money back plus interest, this amount was judged by the Regulator. We also got an apology off BT, it was a woman.

    Problem solved.

  • I am considering giving up all digital based communications technologies entirely and go back to using my 17th Century quill pen and parchment! At least no one will read my letter during its passage to its recipient, unlike email. grr.

  • How about just copying all teh text from the complaint above on the 25th June 2010. Almost word for word the situation I've been in for 3 weeks!

    20 hours of phone calls by me, and similar numbers by my neighbour (who should have had the new line connected.

    Obstructive, denial, deliberate ignoring of the issue, buck passing between my provider/BT/BTopenreach is scary.

    We can't sort it – we didn't cause the problem will nee to order a new line (my provider – still in that process)
    Nothing to do with us – you sort it (BT)..I wish I could
    ……….- BT openreach (go away we only deal with comms providers)

    AAAARGH. How much money to BT Openreach/BT make from all their competitors who have to pay them to sotr out the problems they caused on the first place?

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