BT’s Line Takeover are a sham

Here is a BT Customer Services complaint about BT line takeover…

Dear Sir

Having had a a lot of Grief with BT recently, I found your BT Customer Services Complaint website. It is intriguing that the first article on the page, by a Majella Foley, is both so similar and yet the complete opposite of my problem.

I have just moved to a new address and the previous occupants seem to have done a runner and left the country without paying any bills. I have unpaid notices and bailiff letters from them. They also never canceled their BT line.

Now I’m there, and I want to use the line. So I place an order with BT for the new line. Line currently active at that address, they say. So it will take 11 working days while they attempt to contact the current BT account holders to ask them if it’s OK to take the line over.

They will do this, I am sure, by either (a) attempting to phone them, on the line which is active at my flat or (b) writing to them, at my address.

Nobody will respond, and so BT after waiting 11 working days will determine they’re actually not there anymore, and reallocate the line to a new account holder, namely me, at the same address.

When I point out the futility of this, and additionally point out that they were chinese students and have left the country (I’m 99% sure of this, seeing as they did a runner without paying bills), ask to speak to someone else, get transferred all around the houses i’m eventually
put through to someone who promises that it will take just 3 working days to transfer the line.

When nothing happens 4 working days later, I phone up to check on the order progress. The Order doesn’t exist, they have no record of my previous call, the Order reference number they gave me over the phone previously ‘doesn’t exist’, and they have to start again. Another 11 working days, after 4 have already passed.

The following day (today), BT Customer Services phoned me up to confirm that this means it will take 11 working days, from today. Which now means that it will take until the 30th, when previously promised for the 27th, and before that the 19th. I’ve been in the flat since the 1st and the previous occupants left well over 2 months ago. BT’s Line Takeover policies and procedures are a Sham.

Comments 0

  1. I have just moved to a new house. the previous owner never told BT there she is a widow and the account is in her dead husband’s name. BT will not transfer the line to me until the dead man closes the account. I cannot get a line or broadband until the widow produces a death certificate. BT are happy to take the widow’s money and provide a dial driven handset which is wired into the wall. but they will not cancel the line.

  2. Normally, a line should become activated within 11 working days if either consent is given from the previous owner of the line for it to be taken over, or if the previous owner cannot be contacted. BT should be able to get your line up and running asap.

  3. Oh so like myself….but mine’s even worse.

    I ordered a phone service at the beginning of Jan 09 as I have been here since April 08 and the previous tennant had an active line. I was told this would be an active line takeover and that the phone would be available for me to use on 23 Jan. NO SUCH LUCK. I started receiving letters to my address in the name of the Pub next door (who, have had a line connected to MY GREY BT BOX running to THEIR property NEXT DOOR.

    BT HAVE NOT activated my line – it is DEAD when you connect a phone to it. The cable to MY HOUSE has been physically DISCONNECTED and a new one routed next door.

    Everytime I call BT and quote the account number they have given me (and I may add – have set themselves a direct debit from my bank account) which is THE ONLY WAY I can reference my account with them BECAUSE the NUMEROUS VOL order numbers and phone numbers they have quoted me DONT EXIST ON THEIR SYSTEMS.

    BT essentially will not listen to the fact that I have opened up the grey box attached to MY WALL (one customer de(rep)resentative informed me that I could do this!!! and can see my cable has been cut and a new one routed to next door, but they can do nothing as I dont have an account – Duh – quoted this ACCOUNT NUMBER each time and they have pulled up my details.


  4. Guess what I have the exact same problem. I have been trying to get my line working for more than 6 weeks now and still no phone line in my new flat. I was told that there’s an existing working “business line” there which I can take over. It failed at the first attempt where the order was mysteriously cancel on the day of the take over. Then I was told by someone in BT that they cannot take over a business line as residential and as me to open a new line and pay £125. I phone the sales team, and after 2 days, I heard back from them saying that I should be able to take over the existing line and they refuse to put a new order for me. So here I am back to square one, they said the take over will happen on 28th April. I am expecting it to fail. I don’t know how or when I am ever going to get a phone line!. HELP!

    ps, I have email BT a complaint and guess what?! no response! What kind of services is this? Pity that the cable phone doesn’t cover my area, otherwise, I would’ve have switched already.

  5. ok so i run a residential home and BT have done a working line takeover for one of the residents cutting off the main business number!!! i am in the process of taking BT to court as this has cause maximum distruption to my business and put the lives of my residents in danger as this was a care line too

  6. BT are dreadful. They are B*stards scum.

    What do you expect when they employ an ex- failed barrister – Mark Watson as Commercial Director of BT Vision who used to work for Girlie porn mags.

    What a shower these people are. INCOMPETENT SCUM.

  7. i too have had so much hassle with BT. phoned up asking about handing my account to another person (namely my ex, as i was the account holder, but after separating and relocating, we decided that he would take over my account) after speaking to a lovely operator, i was informed about the working line takeover. as i didnt live there anymore i was unable to just hand over the phone for them to speak to my ex, they said that they would write notes on my account so when he called up they would know what was going on.

    alls hunky dorey, until 3 months later, i check my account and notice BT are still taking money from me through direct debit. i contact bt to ask why, and they tell me that no working line take over has occurred but that infact a new account was opened, and that there are now TWO lines going to the same address!!!! i contact my ex to ask what happened. according to my ex, he asked for exactly what i told him too, a working line takeover, however the woman he spoke to told him that what was actually needed was for him to open a new account. so following her adivse (as BT operators are supposed to be the trained ones on how this all works) he does what she says. and like me is unaware of any problems.

    i of course contact BT again, after numerous calls and trying to get my point across, i am told that they will cancel my account (which i now have to pay £25 to have done) and when i ask about refunding me the money they have wrongly taken, they say that they will refund it for me.

    2 days later i receive a letter asking me to pay £25 for the cancellation……anything on the refund, ha! of course not.
    i call up BT again asking about this, and funnily enough, there are no notes on my account regarding any refund. im also told, if i am unhappy with this i need to write a letter off to complain!

    i go to my bank cancelling any direct debits going to BT so they cannot take the £25.00 out of my account, and also tell them about BT owing me around £75. my bank do a procedure (i forget the name) where they credit me the money and then chase it up with BT.

    a couple months later i receive a letter from BT saying i owe them £100 and that i need to pay otherwise they will get the baliffs on me.
    i am refusing to pay!
    today i receive a phonecall from a debt collection agency!!!! ARGH!!!!
    i cannot believe this company!
    i'm going to go to the citizens advice bureau to see where i stand on this.
    i refuse to pay money for something that was their fault to begin with!

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