faerieboots666 (faerieboots666) wrote in bad_service,

BT Total Pain in the Behind

On the back of the last BT suck, thought I'd add my own recent experiences.

I moved house in June, so instead of cancelling and reopening a new account, I used BT's home mover service which is meant to do it all for me.  I was going for phone and said I wanted to cancel the broadband because although I liked the look of their packages, I knew I could get cheaper elsewhere, and as an existing customer I wouldn't be eligible for any deals.

I did this deliberately because homemovers is essentially a retentions team, and sure enough I got offered the broadband I wanted (again, Option 3) but with 6 months free.  This was even better than I expecting, and was also told that even though I was an existing customer and had their modem, they would still send me out the newer (shiny black) version of their equipment to my new address.  They'd even arrange a 'redirection' where everyone who rang my old number would be told I had moved and given my new number.  Genius.  The bloke I spoke to was somewhere in the North East of England, was really nice talking to him...hurray!

It couldn't be that simple, could it?

My phone line was installed at the beginning of that week,again the engineer that came round was a lovely guy, took his shoes off every time he came in the house :-)  But I was still waiting for the broadband equipment to be delivered, as I'd left the old lot at the old house.  It still hadn't turned up 3 weeks later (at this point I was still semi-living elsewhere so wasn't desperate to use the broadband).

Eventually I ring them up to find out where my equipment is.  I'm sent through to 3 different departments despite using the number I'd been given on the initial call, and it was all to call centres in India who struggled to understand what my query is.  Apparently I'm not getting the new equipment because I was already a customer.  I explain that I don't have the old modem because I left it at my old house.  Then to make it even better - somebody checks my account and yes I do have broadband but my old package was just switched over, so no I'm not getting the 6 months free.

I kind of hit the roof at this point because without the discount, I'd have gone elsewhere for my broadband.  BT are not cheap.  I'm transferred again to  the sales team, who make sure I am on the right package and get all the new equipment ordered for me.  However, she can't offer me any discount.  All she can do is get the original call listened to.  I ask her to transfer me through to a complaints team, and apparently if I want to complain I have to write in.   Riiiiight.

After the call I go on the website and find a form to complain to them through.  It's about as long as this with dates, times, names added, and a polite but firm threat at the end to go to Oftel (the regulator) and the BBC.

I get a call a few days later from someone in the Complaints team, and yes I can magically have the 6 months free, and we'll credit your account with £20.  In the meantime I've had the final summary bill for the old address which is exactly £20, and he agreed to credit the £20 against this so I didn't have to do anything.

I've checked and  have got the 6 months like I was meant to. Suck over, right?  Wrong.

I then get a reminder letter a few weeks later saying I still owe them £20, and I have 7 days to pay OR ELSE.  So I ring again, explain that I thought it was sorted, but apparently the £20 has been credited to my new account and the old one is still outstanding.  I offer to pay by debit card over the phone.  Because my new account is paid by direct debit (actually so was the old one but that got cancelled when I moved), the adviser says I don't need to worry, he'll work some mojo so that the £20 is part of this months direct debit, but the amount that comes out of my account will be the same.  I also amend some of the details with him, so I get a letter a few days later confirming this details - proof that the call did take place and I wasn't imagining it.

At the end of the month (August), after the direct debit has come out and I think it's all sorted (again), I get another letter.  Only this isn't from  BT.  This is from a debt collection agency who tell me I have 7 days to pay them the money or they'll be taking court action against me.

I was not in the best mood when I rang BT, but I really tried to restrain myself from shouting.  This kind of thing goes on your credit record and could thus f**k up the rest of my life, especially with economy the way it is.

I explained to someone, again in a centre in India, that I had been told the bill was sorted so why had I received this letter?  He passed me through to someone else who I had to explain to again.  And again.  He kept telling me that the bill was for outstanding services - I didn't care what it was for, I was ringing because I'd been told I didn't have to do anything to pay it.  We went round in circles with him just not getting it and me getting more and more upset.  He suggested I just pay the debt agency, which I refused to do because I think that that will still show up on my credit score.

Eventually he got his manager to call me back, I paid the bill over the phone with my debit card and said I expected them to sort it out with the debt agency and if I received any more letters from them or the agency I would bypass their complaints procedure completely and go straight to Oftel, looking for major compensation (specifically because this can cause me financial loss in that it might impact my ability to get loans, mortgages etc in the future).

I haven't heard anything since and it's been over a month so I think it's finally all sorted.  Although this has reminded me to check my credit file and make sure there's nothing lurking there.
Summary: BT mess up my broadband move and potentially my credit score.

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