wouldn't be surprised if they do go bust (again). I have spent all afternoon trying to obtain a 'smart dialler' (it dials the 1263 prefix code for you). I have spoken to people in Glasgow, told I live in Milton Keynes -I live in Kent. Given numerous different numbers to ring, asked "what's a smart dialler", listened to various overtures in C major, told to dial 161 (it doesnt do anything - try it) and finally told I dont need one (if I don't use one, BT get the business). What a way to run a business!
By the way, NTL wrote to me 3 months ago offering me free smart diallers, thats why I rang.
The best that can be said is that you've got the hassle up front and can come to an opinion as to whether you want to give them your business. So much better than those companies that are slick up front with the sales and then you only come up against this incompetence when you want service after committing.
Ntl is marketed as a national company, but still suffers from the fact it is made up of lots of smaller cable network companies that have not been fully integrated yet. With such a diverse administration, I'm not suprised one part is not sure what the other is doing. If it's any consolation, the staff find it frustrating too.