Complain to BT by telephone is a nightmare!

Like many BT complaints sent in to this website, when customers want to complain, they pick up the phone and try to resolve the complaint with BT customer services and in many cases this is often where the problems start. This complaint letter is another example of this that was sent to BT….

Dear Sir

I am hoping that you will be able to help me. Strange though it may seem, I am writing to ask you if you are able to arrange for me to receive a paper telephone bill so that I may pay it. I have tried to make this happen but to no avail, as you will see from my experience outlined below. I do not intend to pay for two quarters at once so I would be grateful if you could help me.

I would telephone BT, but as you will read, there is no point in doing this.

1-5 July 2009

  • 1/7: lost broadband connection for third time
  • 2/7: engineer confirmed fault at exchange; on by 4.00pm, off again by 8.00pm
  • 3/7: phoned BT and was assured I would be called with update – no call, no broadband
  • 4/7: phoned BT and was told exchange problems would be checked and I would be phoned back; received call within 20 mins; told of problem in area and would be fixed in 48 hours
  • 5/7: broadband on early evening

21 August 2009

  • concerned about high monthly payment
  • phoned to discuss; arranged to cancel free daytime calls
  • informed monthly cost £12.50
  • offered broadband Option 1 for £12.72 per month and new hub
  • accepted new deal

21 September 2009

  • no broadband connection on old hub
  • no connection on new hub
  • phoned helpline
  • suddenly broadband worked!

4 October 2009

  • two payments of £28.50 (original direct debit amount for anytime plan) taken on 1 September and 30 September
  • changed to £12.50 per month on 21 August
  • cancelled monthly direct debit
  • informed I was in credit by £113.40 and this would be transferred to my account in 5 working days
  • asked to pay by quarterly with paper bill

6 October 2009

  • phoned re high charge for broadband
  • told I was on Option 3
  • operator did not know when or how this happened
  • was told someone “probably clicked the wrong button”
  • confirmed I should be paying £12.72 per month
  • discovered I was being charged £1.50 per month on my phone to cover calls to mobiles
  • explained this was not asked for, nor necessary as I have free calls on my mobile
  • was told broadband would be changed to Option 1, charges backdated to 28 August, when ordered (ref: VOL 011/24282581799, and cost for mobile calls cancelled (ref: VOL 011/24282830513)
  • this phone call lasted 30 minutes

20 October 2009

  • broadband cost at £12.72 per month = £38.16 per quarter
  • phone costs £12.50 +£1.64 (charges) = £14.14
  • £20.96 taken from bank account
  • phoned to ask why
  • eventually told credit of £113.38 given on 5 October was wrong
  • should have been £92.53
  • so difference of £20.96 taken without notice or permission
  • apologies made and told manager would phone to apologies
  • explained that I found this very worrying
  • offered one month free line rental (£11.25)
  • asked again for quarterly paper bill
  • no phone call from manager
  • checked broadband while on phone as bill was £55.40 not £38.16 as agreed
  • had taken £45.72
  • was told “they” had taken the difference between £55.40 (original cost) and £12.72 (new cost)
  • was assured I would be credited with £4.52 and next bill would be £33.64 and then £38.16
  • still on Option 3 told change not completed in “back room”
  • ref: VOL 011/24282581799
  • call lasted 50 minutes

3 November 2009

  • 7.00pm no broadband
  • not resolved after 45 minutes on phone
  • was told fault on line

11 November 2009

  • bill checked; 
  • no refund

4 December 2009

  • now have £23.83 carry forward
  • asked to receive paper bill quarterly
  • was informed this would cost more
  • replied that at least I would only have to phone once every three months

18 December 2009

  • received late payment letter, though no bill received
  • refused to pay extra charges, as no bill
  • paid bill with card
  • asked for paper billing
  • was told I have to change this myself on line
  • tried but not possible

5 January 2010

  • tried again to switch to paper billing
  • affirmed quarterly payment
  • gave login name
  • gave mother’s maiden name
  • asked why it has taken so many attempts; no answer
  • informed this request would be confirmed by email
  • request was confirmed by email
  • checked and no longer able to access bill on line

21 January 2010

  • received second late payment letter
  • said I do not expect to pay late payment charges
  • phoned to ask why as request for paper billing confirmed by email on 6 Jan 10
  • now 4/5 time of asking
  • informed I was still down on system for paper-free billing
  • explained I can’t do this as can’t access
  • then told there was a problem with the system
  • late payment letter sent “robotically”
  • told manager would set up paper bill on another system and I would receive it at beginning of next week
  • next bill due on 7 April
  • now 8 February and still no bill

I would like to say that I am sorry for the length of this letter and the time it must have taken for you to read it.  However, since I have spent so many hours on the phone trying to sort it out, I’m sure you’ll accept that I have no sympathy at all for the waste of your time.  At the moment, I have not invoiced your company for my time, but I am seriously considering doing so.

I will not be telephoning BT again about this matter – I really do not see the point.  Your operators may always be exceedingly polite and helpful, but since all I have heard seems to be lies and tales of total incompetence, the training they receive is obviously useless.

I look forward to receiving a bill, as I have no intention of paying a double bill on 7 April.  If there is a problem and you cannot manage to achieve an itemised paper bill by the end of February, I would be grateful if you could let me know so that I can begin to make arrangements for an alternative provider.

I look forward to hearing from you very soon.
Yours sincerely,

Pat Newman (Mrs)
Sir Michael Rake
BT Complaints

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  • I agree about BT being a nightmare! For 3 months I tried to cancel my websaite hosting I keep being told it is done and get a number for the cancellation after waiting an hour and a half on the phone to speak to someone of course. Again you find it has not been done and have to repeat the phone calls all over again.

    I have now spent roughly 18 hours waiting on the phone trying to get to speak to someone – getting very tired of hearing how busy the line to cancel things is (take note BT this should tell you something about what is happening).

    Today three months later I have just received a phone call telling me this is still not cancelled! I have been waiting for a refund and also COMPENSATION for all of the chaos I have put up with!

    Why does BT telephone ME to tell me it has not done something? Why not tell the relevant department they have not done it yet?

    I asked for a manager to telephone me to deal with this and I keep being told sorry we appologise but ring 0800 800 871 option 2! BT should try ringing this number and spend the hours the rest of us do and get cancellations numbers and still find it is not cancelled then they might understand.

    Get a grip BT get your business in order or risk losing ALL of your customers to rivals who do care about their customers.

    I am fed up trying.

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