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Why I am never touching British Telecom again

Why I am never touching British Telecom again

For the last 8 months or so, I was a customer with BT Broadband, and was very happy with their service and recommended it to other people, including my tenant in my London flat.

When it came for me to move back into my London flat, on 23 March, I told BT I was going to move into my London flat on 19 April.

Since then, BT seem totally unable to provide a service that was available to my tenant the day before I moved in. I have had three weeks of endless going back and forth between tech support staff who claim that everything on the exchange is fine, so it must be a local problem (although how they can tell that since they’re based in India, I don’t know!). There has been someone from customer service “following” my query, but that person seems utterly unable to do anything except make countless apologies.

On 2 May, I was promised that an engineer would come out to my flat and examine the set-up. I took the afternoon off to await the engineer – he NEVER arrived. I called the Faults service, only to be told that he was never meant to come to my flat, and was instead checking it out at the exchange. Where everything is, apparently, fine. So I called the “specialist” customer service manager who’s meant to be supervising my case – I was on hold for two hours before I gave up.

On 7 May, an engineer FINALLY came out to my place. Except he was a line faults engineer, not a broadband engineer. He couldn’t find a fault, so he called in his broadband engineer colleague. He made a few tests, muttered under his breath something about a code 716 again, and agreed that the fault was with the exchange. He promised that the fault would be rectified tonight. Needless to say, it hasn’t.

To add insult to injury, I have apparently been charged £39.51 for stopping my BT Broadband service before the minimum contract was up – when the only reason it was stopped was because I was moving, and was fully intending to use BT Broadband’s services in my new place.

So I wrote to various customer complaint areas within BT, including the email address for their CEO (allegedly- I very much doubt it is, but they do keep up the pretence to the point of having an auto-responder, and someone calling me back saying he was from the CEO’s office) and “high-level customer complaints“.

The next day, I was told by one of the customer complaints teams that the engineers had reported the fault was with my equipment – which was totally not what the engineers told me. Then they said that a “transaction engineer” was coming to the exchange, and it should all work tonight. Which, patently, it hasn’t. 🙁

Now BT are saying that the problem *must* be something to do with my home equipment, and want to send out another engineer. Despite the fact I’ve plugged in two seperate routers, and of course two engineers came out the day before to fix it. Plus, I’ve been charged £70.09 for a broadband service they still haven’t provided yet.

British Telecom must be the only company where you can have three people from an elevated customer services team “looking” over my problem, and still be unable to come up with any resolution!


  • I feel your pain. My mum works on a BT fault line, she says the whole system is in a shambles and the arse doesn't know where the elbow is…

  • Hmm, I've had similar problems with B*lls-up Telecom.

    In fact, I used to have my broadband cut-off whenever someone in my neighbourhood naively thought that broadband via BT was a good idea…

    The engineers would arrive, plug the new guy in, and cut me off; in one fell swoop! And the support people never believed me until I insisted that an engineer was sent out. (They never went into my flat though.)

    My sympathies aren't enough. Instead, I'll offer to silently curse them and poke virtual voodoo dolls for you…

  • Ian Fenn

    In my experience, ISPs are all much the same in terms of support. However, once you're up and running, BT is more reliable than most.

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