Talk Talk – Take over phoneline without consent

Latest BT complaint of customer trying to deal with the incompetence of BT.

Dear Sir

During the beginning of this summer i went traveling through Asia leaving my shared house for two months, however the bills are in my name and i put the money aside to pay for them, so payment was not an issue.

About 15 days or so from when i was to return home to the UK i got a text message from my Broadband supplier (O2) telling me my BT line has been disconnected and that they cannot provide my service given that i had no line. When i returned i discovered that what occurred was this, without consultation or permission, Talk Talk took over my line, I didn’t even know it was possible for a company to take over your service without at-least the bill payers permission, regardless i called BT and told them to stop the change over and return me to an active BT line, which i needed given that O2 broadband requires-specifically a BT line to work.

BT said this would be fine and that i would not have to pay the cancelation charge however it would take 10 working days, however in actually it took over 15+ days to resume service, with them telling me constantly that it would be activated the next day from when i called them, however this was never the case. By the time my BT line was finally connected O2 permanently disconnected my line as there terms and conditions state that if your line is inactive for over 30 days it would automatically terminate the account, with a cancellation charge.

After much convincing i manage to get O2 to reactivate my account, though i would still need to pay the cancellation charge, which i agreed to. However O2 could not connect my line as the number BT gave me as my line was not coming up on there system, i would later find out why this was the case.

Moving on two weeks after my BT line was connected i receive a bill from BT amounting to over £350. Given that i hadn’t used the phone in that time i could not work out how this could be the case. After trying to resolve the situation over the phone several times, BT adamantly refused to accept that the I had not made the calls that they where charging me for.

Later I discovered upon closer examination of the bill that the phone number they stated as being mine wasn’t actually the number that my line was using. The number my home line was in fact using was 0208xxxx215, whereas the number my BT bill stated was my number was 0208xxxx158. I realized this and immediately called the number on my bill from my home, which someone answered, I asked them if they lived at my address and they replied no. The person on the phone seemed to be a middle-aged women.

This confirmed to me that BT had defiantly made a mistake and I called BT to tell them of this development. They responded that they did not recognize the number 0208xxxx215 and that it wasn’t a BT line (Talk talk also stated that it was not one of there lines), however they could detect that it was coming from my home. They stated that they would have to implement an investigation, which would take 10 working days. I was later informed by phone by the BT investigation team that they had found there had been an error (fault in the line) and that the bill I was being charged for was obviously not mine so would not be liable to pay. They said they would cancel the bill and that I would not need to worry about it.

I soon realized that even though they had stated that everything had been resolved by phone line remained suspended unable to make outgoing calls except to 0800 (free) numbers. However they had changed the number in my house back to the number stated on my bill. I called again to ask why this was the case and they informed me that this was because of an outstanding bill of £350, I asked them to check my notes for the investigation and they responded that I was correct and that they had made an error and it would soon be fixed.

The line became active once more however this would only be for two weeks, As again the line was suspended though this time completely inactive. I called again and was told that it was due to an outstanding bill of £350+, now aggravated by this complete lack of professionalism I asked them once more to check my file history, though this time they stated that they did not have anything on my record stating any investigation or stating the bill would be voided.

I explained the situation again to them and they stated that I was liable for paying the bill regardless as there was no proof backing up my claim on there records. I tried to speak to several people on several occasions spending an average of 1 hour and a half per call, having made upwards of 13 calls.

Each time I called I would be met with the same position, a refusal to look into the records first, followed by them finally doing so, they would find some information backing up my claim though would deny this would mean I wouldn’t have to pay the bill and in over 5 occasions i would be put on hold several times.

After a certain point they would repeat again that I was still liable though admitting my line had been a different number previously, though some times they would claim that it was a BT line. Usually at this point I would state my confusion at what they where saying as they where often vague and unsure of what they where saying themselves, so I would continue to press them on the points which on more then 5 occasions simply resulted in them hanging up on me unexpectedly.

I must of course add I was in no way threatening or rude. Following these hang ups I would be forced to call again and start from the beginning on the issue, though it would ultimately lead again to me being hung up on. I asked for the call center staff employee number on several occasions at the beginning of the call in order to identify who I was speaking to so that I could in the event of an interruption to the line call back the same call center worker so that I would not have to begin again and also to prevent them from hanging up on me again given that I could then complain about them specifically.

The response to this was a flat out refusal to give me there employee number as they “could not give out that information” but they would give me there name, however often this would mean they would give me a generic Indian name or an English first name but no surname such as kassem patel (example though not real) to which I would ask if they where the only kassem patel in the call center, to which they would respond that there was in fact many kasseem patels working in the call center, thus making the knowledge of his or her name worthless as they would not tell me any information specific to them.

Soon I will be faced with the problem that my o2 account will be terminated again leading to a bill of £180 or so as the BT line is again suspended this I cannot prevent if BT does not reinstate my account after 30 days of being made inactive. The line was made inactive on the 14th.

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