BT Telephone and Broadband Complaint

Dear Sir, it is reassuring to learn from your BT customer service complaints website that I am not the only one, but the incompetence of BT beggars belief. Here’s my story: I have already written to OFCOM and to Sir Michael Rake, the Chairman of BT, marking the envelope ‘Personal Private and Highly Confidential’ to make sure he reads it.

I moved into a house in London with my family on 31 July 2009. Three weeks beforehand I contacted BT to register my intention of taking over the line using the number which the vendors had informed me they were using and would no longer be using after their move out; three days before the move I contacted BT again to ensure that the arrangements were in place and was assured on the telephone that all was in order for me to take over the line on 31 July.

This turned out to be the first lie, for all was not in fact in order: on moving in I found that neither the telephone nor the Broadband were working. I spent an hour in a telephone box talking to BT and they finally claimed that the previous owners of the house had failed to call to disconnect their service. I then called the previous owners and they immediately rang BT to do so again; thereupon the line was connected and the Broadband usable. For the rest of August, all of September and most of October there were no problems.

I received a bill on 19 October for the sum of £62:95, comprising rental charges, payment charge and VAT, in connection with quite a different number which I had never heard of. I spent several hours on the telephone on 22 October talking to several BT officials to explain the circumstances; they were unable to throw any light on the bill but said I could ignore it, and one stated that the line was registered to a company owned by the previous owner.

On 25 October I discovered that the Broadband was not working, allegedly owing to an unpaid bill. I had, however, received no bill whatsoever for the line. I therefore spent another couple of hours on the telephone to several more BT officials. The most helpful of these explained that the line was STILL registered in the name of the previous owner and that he would be responsible for the bills. I pointed out that the calls had been made by me, that the previous owner had telephoned in July and August to confirm his move away from this house and that the responsibility for the calls was mine.

The official then explained that the unpaid bill was for the line rental for three months from 1 August and said that it amounted to £144:10; he said that if I paid for it on the telephone by debit card the Broadband would be restored within 24 hours and the line would be registered in my name. I did so, and by that evening the Broadband connection was restored.

On Monday 26 October, however, I attempted to telephone my daughter who was unwell at home and found that the telephone line was inoperative (‘an incorrect number’). I spent another hour talking to a succession of officials in BT from my office; finally I was put on to a supervisor who, after first addressing me by the name of the previous owner, apologized and admitted that the fault was BT’s but said that the telephone line and Broadband could not be put in my name until 9 November and both services would be inoperative until then; he added, unbelievably, that the previous owner would be liable for the calls we had made since August.

It was thus clear that the officials I spoke to the day before had not registered the line in my name as stated when taking my £144. I was incredulous and told the supervisor that a fortnight’s wait for the restoration of telephone and Broadband service when I had already paid in advance was unacceptable. He said that he would look into it and ring me back on my mobile. He failed to do so; I made one further attempt to ring BT that evening, but the official I was speaking to cut me off.

Every time I have rung BT I have had to explain the whole story again and I am not prepared to waste time doing so again. Each time I have been assured that the fault has been corrected, and each time it becomes clear that it has not. How can one repose any trust in such an organization, or rather disorganization? The truly execrable service, the inexcusable confusion and the continued failure to correct a fault of BT’s own making add up to the worst service I have ever experienced from any body private or public.


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  • I hear you It's an absolute joke it really is. I had a similar problem, eventually being told to fax them all the details for a speedy response and so I wouldnt have to explain myself over and over. I put all the details in a fax including exactly what they needed to do to resolve the problem.

    Finally got the call back yesterday:

    "Hello Mr. Jenvey I am calling regarding your fax."
    "Hello. Excellent, thank you"
    "So… How can I help you today?"
    "Er… well did you receive my fax?"
    "Yes Mr. Jenvey it's right infront of me now"
    "Well then have you read it?"
    "One moment please while I 'process your request'. Please hold for just a moment."

    …hold music for a minute, then line goes dead. Heard nothing from them again. Like I said, an absolute joke.

  • Shocking…

    Yet totally expected. Very similar to my current situation where I cancelled my BT line and BT Internet. Only the line was cancelled and I have still been billed for Internet.

    Indian call centre staff are utterly useless. I have written to BT correspondence at Durham with copies of bank statements and had no reply.

    Who do I contact at Ofcom, as their website is also a waste of time from what I can make out?

  • in August my Husband was admitted into hospital with a third Mini- stroke..After paying a bill in Oct our broad band was suspended.On telephoning B.T. we were told a bill had been sent to us in September.. We never received that or a Red letter,,, we was kindly told that a copy would be sent out and the charge would be waved!!!!! last weekend I telephoned them to set up a direct debit to pay the outstanding amount in 2 installments the first for £56-00 ..The "kind lady" I spoke to decided,,off her own back to take £145-90 !!! this has left me practically broke as we are in between different allowances. we are pensoners . I was promised the over payment would be back in my bank by Monday,,I have had to borrow my rent after never being in arrears for 40 years..They have now told me it will not be back in for 5 working days. the amount of lies I have been told is unbeleivable.. Because my Husband is so poorly and two of my daughters live in Lancashire this is our only contact..I have been upset all day..worrying about how I get through the rest of the week when this so called company owe me nearly £100-0o. I was lied to for two days. Ihope you can get something done,,,roll on when my contract with B.T. ends and I can get an HONEST SERVER

  • BT are crap

    They just take take take take your money, never ever resolve complaints, they think that they are ALWAYS right, but infact BT are the BEST at LIEING THROUGH THE BACK OF THEIR TEETH,

    They make pinocchio look like the most truthful person in the world.

    BT Should change from British Telecommuincations to BS = Bull Sh*tters.

    People should make a stand againt BT, if enough people got together and make a stand against them, then BT would have to change things

    BT can go to HELL for all I care, I do hope that BT gets hit by the Credit Crunch go into Trillions of debt, and then have to close,

  • What can I say – I haven't yet put pen to paper to BT as for the last couple of weeks I seem to have spent every waking hour when I'm not at work phoning BT to try to sort out my broadband and phone line. I've had every line in the book thrown at me, several failed callbacks, texts asking me for MAC codes and more. I'm so tired and frustrated!!!

  • I totally agree, BT are rubbish. I spent about 6 weeks and 14 phone calls, trying to get my Broadband set up. No one knew how to get rid of a tag on the line. I heard so many versions of what I or they needed to do. All crap!!
    I asked to go onto monthly payments several times, but they failed to set it up,then, when they did set the monthly DD, they set the cost at £30 instead of £15.45.
    The staff are totally incompetent, the tell you what you want to hear, but do nothing their end! All full of Bull S***!!
    There is so much more I could complain about but I dont have the energy anymore!
    I also cant wait for my contract to end so I can go to a company who cares.

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