Problems retaining telephone number – want to keep old number

Having been on hold now with BT Customer Services for the best part of an hour, having already been cut off twice, I feel compelled to submit this complaint.

In September 2011, I contacted BT to inform them that I would be relocating my office at the end of October and would like to retain my number, I was reassured that as I was tied in to a 5 year contract this would not be a problem. I was simply reassured all I needed to do was to let BT know 10 days before my move and everything would be sorted.

When the time came, I followed this advice only to be told that the line wouldn’t be sorted for a further 4 weeks. Unhappy with the situation, I continued as best I could to manage my business with the use of a Vodafone dongle and an Orange I-phone, that kept cutting out and was unable to be taken to be repaired as all my business numbers had been diverted on to it.

Eventually a BT engineered arrived and told me that there was a problem with the phone line, that would require someone having to install a new line external at there wasn’t any connections available in to my offices despite the two other companies in the building already being linked in to the network. As a result I was told a surveyor would need to come out to assess the line.

A few days later a surveyor turned up at the office and informed me that he may need to apply for planning permission for a new pole to be inserted in the church yard next door, if he couldn’t get agreement for a wire to be attached to the front the building from the landlord.

Fortunately the landlord agreed and an engineer came to the offices during the week before Christmas. After several hours of working in the pouring rain, he informed me that the phone line needed to go underground as there was yet a further problem. This meant another engineer was going to be needed.

I explained to the Engineer, how I had been regularly in contact with BT and was worried of the impact all the delays were having on my business and he kindly agreed that he and his colleague would continue to work to get the phone line sorted.

Finally, the line was up and running. On the 28th December, I came in to my office to connect my broadband up, so I could put this series of unacceptable events behind me and get on with running my business, only to turn up for work today to find the line wasn’t working.

After being passed from pillar to post and people just hanging up on me, since finally speaking to someone who took my details and told me they would call me back, I have just received a phone call from someone at BT, who informs me that the reason for my phone line not working is ‘because the job has been closed’. Apparently this is something to do with an automated IT system that was implemented on the 31st December. I have been informed that the job will now need to be reopened and I will have to wait until then to get my phone line up and running.

Working in a business that ultimately generates it’s income through communication, I estimate, I have lost in the region of 15k over the last few months and had the privilege of paying £433 to keep a telephone number that has disappeared into oblivion, along with costs for wishing to transfer the number in the first place, for what can only be described as half truths and sheer incompetence on BT’s behalf.

Therefore is my telephone is not up and running by close of play today, and I have not be suitable compensated for this mess, I shall be forwarding this to my solicitor to see damages and full loss of earning from BT.

Your sincerely

Helen Spillards

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  • You Go Girl. We have had very similar problems between 23rd Dec and now… with 2 offices (home business line down for 5 days last week) and all lines keep going down…. absolute torture and vodafone also went down yesterday! It's nearly enough to break a small business… thanks BT

  • I can empathise with your situation – we have had an ongoing battle with BT despite giving notice and the new business owners contacting them also. I am still receiving bills for this service for the business we have not owned since October 2011 !! I have spent hours of my time,numerous emails and telephone calls and am literally no further forward. It is about time BT pulled their socks up and addressed these areas.

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