One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘What’s the best way to complain to, or about, BT?’. So to help you out, we have put this page together.
Complain TO BT
The first step in your – hopefully short – journey to getting your problems resolved, is to contact BT itself.
If you’re here reading this article, it’s likely that you’ve already tried doing that. But if you haven’t yet, we must stress that you DO need to go down that route first.
BT publishes its own Complaints Code of Practice which you can download and read here. http://www.btplc.com/Thegroup/RegulatoryandPublicaffairs/Codeofpractice/CustomerComplaintsCode/Complaints_code_of_practice.pdf
If you have already been in touch with BT:
- Have you exhausted all the available channels through them? There’s more than one way to get your voice heard.
- Did you communicate with them as effectively as you could?
This article will help you check that you’ve done everything that you should, before explaining what your next options are.
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BT Complaints Channels
Complain to BT, via their website online chat service, email, postal address, phone numbers or social media links. Here you’ll find all the contact details that you should need.
Why not consider contacting BT’s CEO, Gavin Patterson, via his email email@example.com
What’s the most effective contact option?
We’d love to hear which channel of communication has worked most effectively for you. There are pros and cons of using any of the above complaint contact routes. Why try them all if necessary.
From experience, if you phone BT you can get stuck in a long queue, or passed from pillar to post and sometimes ultimately just cut off. However, when you are talking to someone, that person may feel more obliged to deal with your questions efficiently because they can hear the tone of your voice.
Using LiveChat can be useful as you will get to save and print a copy of your conversation with them. But it can sometimes feel impersonal and again you may sometimes get cut off – especially if you’re already suffering from a faulty BT broadband connection.
Emailing or using online contact forms can result in delays and then being sent standard, unsatisfactory, template replies. Likewise, if you send a letter. If you use any of these three options, try to give as much information as you can in your first correspondence, to avoid them coming back to you with further questions. i.e. remember to include your account number, name, address, exact details about your complaint and what you want done about it.
Some users have had good responses via Twitter, or through the BT forums, but obviously it’s not possible, or advisable, to give away personal account information on a publicly viewed website. However, sometimes you can get through to a contact who will help make things happen a bit quicker for you. Social media can be viewed as a useful starting point for complaining. BT put resources into trying to mitigate any damage to their image by demonstrating that they respond quickly to complaints. However, their Facebook page seems to answer most queries by directing you on to the BT website Live Chat option.
Top Tips for Complaining to BT
- Keep things calm and logical. Never lose your temper.
- Have all the facts of your case to hand and paperwork/digital evidence to back up your claim.
- Keep notes of dates and times of when you contacted BT.
- Write down any complaint reference numbers you are given.
- Try to get the names of people you contacted*, the call length and how much it cost you in charges and/or the value of your own time. You may have a case for reimbursement later on.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for your problem to be escalated to a more senior manager or even go right to the top and contact members of the BT board (contacts here: http://www.btplc.com/Thegroup/BTUKandWorldwide/BTRegions/England/Regionaldirectorsandboardmembers/Directors.htm ) or the CEO (see our article here about the effectiveness of contacting Gavin Patterson).
*Sometimes BT staff are only permitted to give their first names.
Complain ABOUT BT
Once you have raised your complaint with BT, you have to wait up to 8 weeks before you can take that complaint to the next level.
The Ombudsman for Communications Services is an independent organisation and its job is to work as a mediator between customers of certain firms in the telecommunications industry. You can ask them to get involved after giving BT 8 weeks to sort things out. Their website is here: https://www.ombudsman-services.org/communications.html
That 8 week limit may reduce if BT issues you with a ‘Deadlock letter’ which you can then pass to the Ombudsman at the point you’re requesting their involvement.
You will not be charged for this dispute resolution service and you should be entitled to a conclusion within 6 weeks, unless your case is particularly complicated.
You can raise a case by using this link: https://www.ombudsman-services.org/complain-now-communications.html They will work on behalf of residential customers or small businesses.
N.B. You may have heard of Ofcom but they don’t get involved in dispute resolution such as complaints from customers about BT.
Whatever your complaint about BT, your case will seem personal to yourself or your small business. No doubt you will be suffering a loss of service which will be frustrating and potentially serious to your daily life, income or even health. Try not to let the issues overwhelm you and hopefully the above advice will assist you in dealing with things logically and successfully.
We are constantly disheartened to read so many stories about BT’s poor customer service, but we hope you will get things resolved. Do let us know if you have tips to pass on to others in a similar situation or if you have success stories which you’d like us to publish.