A bill from BT of £800?!!

  walesrob 15:21 07 Apr 2008

Hope someone can shed some light on this...

I do a bit of computer repair and maintenance in the local community, and one client is desperately trying to sort out a problem which has almost got to the stage where he’s been threatened with court action.

He had his BT bill in January for £400, which consisted of £380 worth of calls to BT Click Internet for local call rate dial up internet access. BT claim that he was dialling up to the net on this BT Click number 80 times a day (even while he was on holiday in Egypt for 3 weeks over Christmas 2007)??? Now this is impossible as he has broadband from AOL, and I installed his broadband kit for him over 12 months ago and I know its working fine – I checked again last November, January this year and last week. There is no dial up modem in his computer; he has no fax machine, no auto-diallers or anything like that. There are no old dial up network connections unused on his computer. But still BT insists he pays.

Today he received the latest bill for exactly the same amount of money, again showing (but not itemised) £380 worth of calls to BT Click. BT are unable to itemise these 0845 calls as they are all 5 minutes or less in length, so I’m told.

He has written to the big boss of BT, but no luck (so far), they still want to recover the money. BT sent round engineers to check out the wiring and found nothing wrong. BT also claimed there is nothing wrong at the exchange.

The poor guy is 71 years old, and he wouldn’t know a dial up modem from a DSL modem. All he knows is click connect on the AOL icon on his desktop and he’s connected to the net via AOL broadband, and like I said, I have verified this is his only method of connection to the net.

What should he do?

  wee eddie 15:51 07 Apr 2008

It maybe that he used it for Faxing.

I believe there was a malicious program called a Dialler which used to log into someone else's high cost phone line.

  oresome 15:59 07 Apr 2008

BT have a code of practice which you can find on their web site.

I would follow the complaints procedure as detailed in that publication which will allow escalation to a third party in the event that BT fail to resolve the matter to your satisfaction. Note that their may be time limits.

Start making a record of all contact with BT if you haven't already.

  tullie 16:23 07 Apr 2008

If he is using broadband,he wont have any modem connected from pc will he?Please tell me he hasent.

  walesrob 16:51 07 Apr 2008

Tullie, there is no dial up modem inside (or outside!) the PC - I took it out when the AOL broadband kit was installed. The only modem he has is the USB ADSL speedtouch supplied by AOL.

oresome thanks for advice, will look at the complaints procedure.

  wee eddie 17:13 07 Apr 2008

It does not have to be him ~ Just someone else using his line. From BT's point of view that is him.

a "Carer" with a laptop, for example!

  walesrob 17:17 07 Apr 2008

Thanks wee eddie, no carers, no ghosts, only him and his wife! He lives in an isolated part of Wales, theres no neighbours for 2 miles.

It just seems physically impossible that someone could sit there all day and dial-up to the internet that many times. It must be a billing error surely?

  Stuartli 17:48 07 Apr 2008

Try the local newspaper - journalists love stories like this and will more than likely make BT look somewhat foolish if, as you claim, there's no reason for such bills.

  wee eddie 17:48 07 Apr 2008

I wish you luck ~ Might be worth contacting your MP on this one. Play up the OAP bit!

  spuds 18:14 07 Apr 2008

The Crusader in the Daily Express seems to get results in cases like this, perhaps worth an email.

The other alternative is Ofcom click here who might offer further advice.

  sunny staines 18:52 07 Apr 2008

does he have sky tv connected via his phone socket similar problems reported before needs to unplug the sky lead from the phone, sky will still work. if he has no sky forget this post.

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