When is BT not BT ?

  hmmmm(the original) 19:03 09 May 2003

Well here we go. Having been a loyal BT customer for many years, pay as you go, anytime then finally onto broadband. Which I may say is excellent. I am no longer able to use my internet connection, why because I made a simple mistake and in all my comunication with BT nobody told me.

Two weeks ago I moved house. Two weeks prior to that when the completion date was definate I started to make the much needed and essential telephone calls to inform various companies that I was moving but wished to continue to use their services.

So, I telephoned BT Broadband to inform them I was moving house. (I was also taking the same BT phone number with me)They said yes thats fine, not a problem. Give us a ring when you've moved and we'll move your broadband. Well I gave them a ring they, they had all my details ect, said because I was moving house I would need to "re-order broadband." this did not sound unreasonable so I proceeded with the order.

Anyway basically I should have rung "BT Openworld Broadband" as opposed to "BT Broadband.", which is a different company.

I am now in the situation where I am in breach of my contract, because the ADSL line on my old house has been disconnected. Which leaves me having to continue paying for a service which I am not able to use.

The person at BT Openworld agreed that I had made every reasonable effort to notify them of my change of address. But rules are rules and their hands are tied.

Any suggestions ? I can't afford to pay for 2 broadband connections. I have emailed thier complaints department but do not anticipate a positive response.

  malgall 19:37 09 May 2003

sorry forgot to say try contacting oftel
the phone number is 0845 714 5000

  hmmmm(the original) 22:21 09 May 2003

That's good advice malgall, hadn't thought of that route.

  spuds 22:56 09 May 2003

In a situation like this, I would strongly suggest the Oftel [or is it Ofcom now]route. I have been a loyal member of BT for as many years as I can remember.A couple of years ago, I had, what I thought a minor billing problem with BT. This turned out to be a "nothing to do with us" scenerio from BT customer services. Eventually I got fed up, and contacted Oftel. A short time after the matter was resolved. So contact the more senior power Oftel.Make sure though that you have all the facts available. Nothing like shouting wolve, without the visual facts at hand.

  Forum Editor 00:28 10 May 2003

BT OpenWorld is a separate company - in fact it's an ISP that has to buy its broadband services from BT Wholesale, just the same as any other ISP...............that's the official situation.

BT Broadband, on the other hand, is BT itself selling its own broadband service direct to consumers. What happens in cases like yours is that BT OpenWorld have to arrange for the new line to be enabled for ADSL before you can use the service, and as far as they are concerned it's a completely new setup. You can see their point in a way - they are in effect starting from scratch, new paperwork, new contract etc. The only thing that's the same is that they collect payments from the same credit card.

The old contract is technically still in force, you agreed to pay them for a year, and there is a clause that states that you can't transfer the contract to another number, so they want to be paid for it.

It can be confusing, and although you are technically in breach of your contract with BT OpenWorld one would hope that there might be an outbreak of commonsense here. After all, you aren't trying to get out of the contract, you just want to have the service on another line.

I would imagine that this crops up pretty often, and for the life of me I can't see why an ISP can't simply do the transfer to a new number and charge a fee for the work/cost involved. Most people would be only too happy to pay up I'm sure. You can certainly try Oftel, but don't hold your breath - they may simply see it as a case of a contractual dispute.

  hmmmm(the original) 21:20 13 May 2003

Well i'm pleased to say that common sense has worked. Yesterday I managed to speak to somebody on the BT Openworld Order Management Desk (the same people who I phoned on friday). Who told me as my account had not yet actually ceased (it was due to today the 13th). I could cease it myself under the home movers policy. Providing I restarted it for another 12 months. This is all I wanted. Pity they could not tell me this on friday really. But now I know BT Broadband and BT openworld are 2 different companies. There is a "pun" here but i daren't post it !

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