This BT Complaint is a series of problems getting a landline setup which after all is BT ‘s main business and they should be pretty good at it by now! But no, by the sound of it, things are quite the opposite.
My friend and I moved into a new house on June 1st 2010. We had 6 months left on a BT phone and broadband contract and so we transferred that to the new address to save us having to pay cancellation charges. Simple right?…. BIG mistake. Today our phone line is still not active.
The situation so far:
26th May 2010: Contacted BT to advise change of address on 1st June and request line and broadband transfer to new address. Advised it will take up to 10 days to be active. No problems.
10th June 2010: No line so contact BT to chase up. The original request to transfer address had been ‘lost’ in the system and so nothing ever initiated. Promised to start process and advised another 10 days.
21st June 2010: No line, contact BT. Line test done remotely, agree an engineer will need to come out. Charge of £127.99 which will be added to monthly bill. Date booked for: 23 June 2010 between 8am and 1pm.
23rd June 2010: 9am Engineer arrives, does some work down at switch, comes back to flat, tests line on handheld device and confirms it is working and should all be live within 24 hours. Go back to work at 1pm.
23rd June 2010: 2pm BT ring to say they have done post-engineer check on line and there is a fault. They ask if I can go back home. Explain have taken half day holiday and just arrived back to work and cannot just leave again. BT say they will investigate the fault fully and contact us back. (customer away for a week on work conference but no messages or contact from BT during this time)
15th July 2010: Still nothing received from BT at all in writing, phone or text. Contact them to complain formally both via email and phone. They apologise and say they will look into it and after quickly checking confirm the landline is still faulty.
20th July 2010: Contact BT who decide the problem might be a faulty home hub. They advise to switch it off and then back on again and wait 24 hours. Unsurprisingly this does not work (since they have already confirmed there is a physical problem on the phone line). (customer away for week at work conference but no messages and no working line on return)
2nd August 2010: Bill received, increasing monthly direct debit due to increased charges and engineer bill. No mention of fact we don’t have a working phone line to bill us for!!!
3th August 2010: Contact BT via their website making full formal complaint: Complaint ref: 100803-002256. No response.
5th August 2010: Contact BT again via website making another full complaint about lack of any response to previous one. Complaint ref: 100805-000830
6th August 2010: Voicemail from BT to say complaint made to wrong department via web form and to contact another department with complaint. No number to call back and no offer in message of them passing the complaint to the right department for me.
7th August 2010: Amusingly BT email a ‘customer service feedback questionnaire’ across to monitor how well they dealt with our problem. A full form was immediately completed and returned to them to explain nothing was resolved and service was appalling..
10th August 2010: BT complaints customer services contact us and apologise acutely for the (in their own words) “complete lack of service received” and promise to get an engineer out and get this sorted within 10 days.
16th August 2010: Another dept from BT contact us to arrange an engineer to come out but will only do so and escalate the problem and solution if we agree to pay another charge of £127.99. The caller from BT refuses to allow access to manager and explains complaints is another department and if unhappy we would need to speak to them but it would move our engineer visit back to bottom of pile. He will not progress anything on phone until we agree to the charge. He explains we may be able to claim this back through complaints after the fact. Eventually we agree to this as hands seem tied and we need the phone line working for family living abroad to contact us. Book in for Weds 18th August between 8am and 1pm. Confirmation text received for that appointment.
18th August 2010 (today): I have just spent 5 hours (again taken off work during a very busy time) sat in my house staring out of the window awaiting BT engineer. Text is received at 11.45am from BT to say they are not able to solve the query today and will rebook for Sat 21st August. No number to call back about this and no question as to whether this date is suitable or explanation or apology for another wasted half day at home.
18th August 2010: 1pm: Phone BT fault line and speak to a ‘customer service’ representative who looks at the ‘engineer log’ and says the comment reads ‘engineer tried to call but no one in and no answer on contact number’. I burst into tears and explain I have sat there all morning, not taken any calls so as to be free and waited for them. He then looks back at the log and says there is another comment saying ‘loop check, cannot do work today – will reschedule visit for 21st August’. I explain I have not been asked if this is ok and what are they going to do about the second half day I have had to take off work? Ask to speak to manager, which he cannot do as manager refuses to come on line. But does understand my frustration and will escalate it with manager and complaints and I will receive a call back within 2 hours.
18th August 2010: 1.54pm: Paul the supervisor called back providing the following info. SR Case number: VOL011-37335545391. Supplier ref number: 5-1-9248041791. He confirmed that the engineer is booked Sat 21st August between 8am and 1pm. Paul also confirms that he can understand why we are so upset and that from the information he can see on the system BT has totally failed to deliver any service. He apologises (to be fair he was very good on phone and did ring back within the time window he had promised to – I appreciate this failure in service is not down to the person on the end of the complaints phone line – it is a catalogue of failed service from multiple arms of a business that seems to have become too big to orchestrate the most simple of processes).
18th August 2010: to double up on complaints side have done another web complaint: reference 100818-005053
Summary: Long and short of the entire saga is that, on week 11 since moving into the new address, we still have NO active phone line (the most basic of BT elements surely??) and have paid out 2 x £127.99 for engineer visits, receiving only 1 of those visits so far and still having a faulty line. I now have to stay home again on Saturday for an engineer who may or may not turn up and may or may not fix the line so we are no further forward than we were on 23rd June and out of pocket 3 months bills and 2 engineer charges!
1. A working phone line
2. A full refund of 3 month’s worth of our contract with BT since we have not had a working service for this time (not refunded as discount across future bills – directly back to bank account)
3. A full refund of the 2 x payments for engineer visits since they haven’t actually fixed/installed/repaired anything. (not refunded as discount across future bills – directly back to bank account)
4. £75 compensation for my work time taken off to be home for visiting engineers who either came and did not sort out the problem or simply did not turn up.
5. Payment to cover the use of mobile phones to sit on hold to BT complaints/customer services/fault line because we don’t have a working landline to use to do this.
6. Compensatory gesture for the grief, frustration and downright aggravation this whole debacle has caused. My parents live abroad and hence the absolute necessity for a landline for them to access me – the stress this has placed on myself, my housemate and our families and work place relationships (taking time off to be home for engineer and also making endless calls to complaints) has been ridiculous and as soon as we are able to end our contract we BT we fully intend to find another provider unless BT can do something to save this.
I have copied this to OFCOM and anyone else who will listen!
I would also like to say that in my work place we currently use BT business. It is my research and decision as to which communications provider we use at our company. Please be assured that my experiences with BT on the home side have absolutely affected my opinion of renewing any contract with BT business for the future. I would be extremely surprised, but pleasantly so, if you could do something to alter my opinion at this point. But please feel free to have a go!
Rebekkah Louise Holmes & Clare Atkinson
Office Manager Customer Services Manager