2 Sept 2008

British Bastard Telecom

According to BT, the engineer appointed (two weeks ago) to turn up yesterday and set up the new phone line either did or didn't. According to BT, the phoneline is either faulty or it hasn't been tested. According to BT, their staff are either liars or they're just mistaken. According to BT, complaining to the management won't help.

As I can only snatch the odd five minutes at work to post, I may as well turn this into the Blog of Indescribable Hate for the BT Customer Service Team.

Yesterday we were told their systems were down. we were told the engineer would let us know when he had arrived or completed his work from outside the building. We heard nothing. Yesterday afternoon my girlfriend was told that the line had been set up and it would be on after 8pm. It wasn't. This morning it was still dead. I called their office at lunch time, only to be told there were faulty items on the line.

'What are faulty items?' I enquired.

'I can't tell you that, Sir.'

'Is this a common problem that is easily fixable?'

'I can't tell you that, Sir.'

I was told by this helpful gentleman that he had passed the problem onto the Openreach team who would resolve it in 24-48 hours (this timeframe changed numerous times during the conversation). I was asked to call back tomorrow at the same time to check on their progress.

Unconvinced, my girlfriend called up an hour or so later to verify this story. She instead was told that no engineer had turned up yesterday due to an error in booking the appointment. The gentleman who had spoken to me was mistaken. She would make another appointment for next Tuesday.

An hour later and another verification, the above story appears to be correct. A complaint has been logged. Still though...


I just want to know how it is that they can be so imcompetent regarding what most be one of their most common service issues. Every time you speak to this company is another wasted hour of your time, on hold or being transferred and there's no one else you can go to because only BT can set up phone lines. The lack of competition means that they don't have to provide decent support and for the privilege of your deteriorating will to live you're still charged over a hundred quid.

And so we play the waiting game, although I entirely expect no one to turn up come Tuesday...


Nick said...

Are you sure you filled-in the 27B-Stroke-6 form?

Rowan Davies said...

I did, but they tore it up, burnt it, shot the remains into space and told me to fill it out again, whilst charging me the cost of the fuel. Or at least that's what it feels like...

Nick said...

Hehe, institutionalised bureaucracy is the bane of the human spirit.


Benji said...

as this is an old post, you'll probably never see this comment - but to be fair, there is one rival to BT's phone line domination: Virgin Media.

Having said that, I've gone through a similar situation with our phone line on Virgin Media too, with a similar customer service experience to match.

Nick said...

I'm with Virgin Media at the moment, but fortunately my housemate sorts all that 'stuff' out.

The main problem I've had is that our V+ box is got all the processing power of a ZX Spectrum. It's incredibly unresponsive and will often stack-up a series of remote control presses into the buffer and then spit them out all at once...five minutes later. I was fast-forwarding a recording of Match of the Day at the weekend, when the damn thing got stuck and promptly fast-forwarded all the way to the end of the programme before I could stop it. It kinda ruined it! :)