Dear BT Complaints
At least your website has given me some “mental therapy” in knowing I am not alone; when trying to contact BT and explain issues, you can end up feeling totally alone and not knowing where to turn or how to deal with the stress invoked by hours of trying to communicate with multiple, faceless call centre operatives based in India.
You can’t even shout at the individual people as they know nothing of your problem and are not personally responsible. The following is the text of my e-mail communication to BT. Pending the scheduled engineer visit on 15th February, I still have no broadband service in my new home and, hence, cannot live there.
“My complaint is to do with the level of customer service received from BT and the fact I have had no broadband now for 22 days and counting, due to a BT employee error.
Timeline of events:
1. My new Total Broadband service was activated on 6th January & I was very happy with it.
2. On or around 18th January, someone called Hussain ‘from BT’ telephoned to advise me I was being given free evening & weekend calls. I said I already had this as part of my BT package, but he said I definitely did not & he would sign me up for it.
3. On 23rd January, I noticed the broadband light on the hub had turned amber & initially thought this was a technical ‘blip’. I left it overnight.
4. 24th January when I was due to work from home, I got up early to check the internet connection & found it still not working. I then spent the whole morning on the phone to various BT employees who initially told me I had cancelled my own contract & they would charge me over £200 for doing this.
After being passed around several departments, the Order Management team confirmed a BT employee had cancelled the contract in error, putting through the package for free weekend/evening calls which I indeed already had. They said despite it taking 5 seconds to push the cancel button, it would take 5 working days to reactivate the account. When I explained none of this was my fault and I relied on my connection for work, I received a call back to say the activation would be fast-tracked and reactivated within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, I lost an entire day at work and had to subsequently work on my day off to make up for it. I also had to relocate from my home to an alternative location, at my own expense, in order to continue working from the next day onwards. Despite the assurance my order would be fast-tracked, my connection was not reactivated until the full 5 days at midnight on 31st January.
5. 1st February I received an email informing me the broadband was reactivated but I could not risk being unable to work, so did not travel back home until 7th February. On return, I found no change to my hub status & it was not possible to connect to the internet. I spent a further 2 hours on the phone to different BT call centre operatives, who told me they had no reference to my previous issues because their notes were archived after 5 days.
I therefore had to go through the whole sorry story again, before being told I would need to be sent a new hub, which would take 2-3 days to arrive. I explained it would have to be sent to an alternative address as I would have to travel away from home again in order to continue working. I spent at least 15 minutes going through the alternative delivery details with the operative who repeated everything back to me twice, having obtained permission to do this from his supervisor.
6. On the same day, I also spoke to the billing services department to ensure I would not be charged the cancellation fee and that I would receive a rebate for the period of service unavailable. I also stated I wished to make a complaint as I did not consider a simple rebate for days when broadband was unavailable was acceptable. I was given a reference number VOL01141504721 & told someone would contact me within 7 working days regarding the complaint. To date, I have heard nothing.
7. For the next few days, I worked from the alternative location and awaited delivery of the replacement hub. This did not arrive, but I did receive an email confirming the order was completed. However, the mail quoted the original home address. Thus, my instructions were ignored and the package delivered to an address where I knew I would not be present due to lack of internet. By pure good chance, gardeners were present at the time of delivery and put the packages somewhere safe.
8. To try and resolve the BT problems, I cancelled a flight that was non-refundable in order to return home and arrived on Sunday 15th February. I installed the new hub, but the result was no different to all the above trials. I spent a further hour on the phone to various BT employees, being escalated to ‘Priority Care’.
After a repeat of diagnostic tests, most of which I had already done with the first person & one of which involved unscrewing the phone socket box from the wall (!!), it was decided an engineer would need to be called. An appointment was booked for Wednesday, 18th Feb and I will have to take a second day off work to travel back and be there for the appointment, which should take place between 1pm and 6pm.
9. To date, I have had to make four separate round trips of 136 miles (544 miles) with the associated petrol costs and four toll charges (£24). My cancelled flights totalled £60. I’ve taken two days off work, been forced to continue paying £23 per month to O2 for a broadband connection that does work, despite having moved in December; have endured countless hours of telephone calls to BT, all thanks to the mistake of one BT employee.
I am now at the end of my tether, still do not have broadband working and am fast losing patience with BT as a service provider. Very soon I will be reliant on BT 100% and this experience does not leave me with any confidence I should continue to receive services from them.
10. As stated in my telephone complaint which has been 100% ignored, in addition to a fully working telephone and broadband service, I expect BT to make suitable reparation and compensation to me for the appalling and unacceptable service I have been subjected to, causing considerable inconvenience and stress to me personally, all based on factors totally outside my control.
11. I look forward to hearing your response.”