BT ripping customers off!

  Fellsider 19:30 28 Jul 2003

You might think initially that this doesn't concern you but I suggest that you are warned.

I returned from holiday on 16th July to find that my (BT) telephone line was dead, I use BT openworld dial-up for my internet access. When reporting the fault I was told that while they (BT) would refund my line rental and give me an allowance toward mobile calls while the line was down. THEY WILL NOT refund any BT surftime payments.

In other words I still have to pay for a sevrice that they cannot provide!!

It took until the Saturday to get the line fixed so I wrote to the Chairman and got a reply back from their quaintly named 'BT Complaints Review Service'. Needless to say it didn't answer the questions that I asked so I am now awaiting a reply to a second letter.

I believe that if you use a BT line, irrespective of ISP, this could happen to you.

Roll on a new computer and Broadband (Xmas is just round the corner, now....)

  graham√ 19:36 28 Jul 2003

It's called 'Conditions of Service'.

  wee eddie 19:52 28 Jul 2003

I don't know if you were around about 6 months ago but there were arguments galore about bt's new terms for openworld.

Effectively the charge was no longer for the ability to surf 24 hours a day but was limited to 150 hours per month.

I believe that their response to your complaint would be that between the 16th and 31st of July, you still had the the allocation of 150 hours to use and therefor had not been deprived of the service.

  Fellsider 20:08 28 Jul 2003

The thing is, I wasn't on 24 hour I was on Evenings & Weekends but I suppose your point about the 150 hours is a possibility, just a pity BT didn't think to mention it if that is what they are basing their facts on.

I would still say that as they couldn't provide ANY service that they should still refund a proportion of the fee.

At the end of the day they have lost a customer as I have now changed over to cable (I already had the telephone line in) so it's just a matter of time before they can take the line out too!

As an aside, when I tried to cancel the package I was instructed to do it online!!

Which part of "my phone is dead" do BT not understand.

  wee eddie 21:30 28 Jul 2003

If that is the case then they have understood you completely.

As you have said. The line was fixed by Saturday!Your phone is dead; so you will have to do it on-line.

  Fellsider 10:23 29 Jul 2003

The full details from BT were:- On the Wednesday, when I reported the fault, they said it could take until the following Monday to fix but they would keep me informed by text message to my mobile.

When there had been no contact from them by the Saturday, I phoned them at which point they then said that it would be fixed 'anytime between now (Saturday) and next Wednesday'. It was at this point that I decided to cancel the surftime package.

The faults people, who I was speaking to could cancel the evening and weekend calls package but said that I had to contact BTOpenworld to cancel the BTSurftime package. when I called it was during the 'press this button etc.' introduction that they said I should do it online. Obviously they don't consider that customers may want to cancel because their line is down. With the prospect of not having a phone until the following Wednesday I took exception and wrote to the chairman.

I still maintain that as they could not provide a service, then they owe me what I have paid (seeing as you pay in advance) or cancel from the date that the fault was reported.

It seems rather strange that the engineer turned up that very afternoon - call me suspicious if you like.

  Stuartli 15:32 29 Jul 2003

I had a problem with my BT line about three months ago; it turned out the fault was an earthing problem after an engineer did a full test from the exchange whilst I connected and disconnected phones, answering machines, modem etc.

The next day, as offered by BT, an engineer arrived and completely rewired the system from the house box (at the front of the property) to the main box, including rewiring under the floorboards rather than the wiring being pushed under the skirting boards.

He also put in a new main box, which can be isolated to test the system on the BT side or the property side, and then checked everything out in a professional and thorough manner.

The result after two hours' work was first class and a really quiet line again, which had caused modem disconnection problems and/or slow connection speeds.

To top it all, his main supervisor arrived unannounced the next day and did a thorough check of the work done by the engineer and declared it very satisfactory.

  Stuartli 15:39 29 Jul 2003

I should have added that the normal residental £50 fee plus VAT did not apply to this work as the fault was in BT's section of the line.

  graham√ 17:49 29 Jul 2003

Your decision to move from BT to Cable should be based on facts and not on a grudge. How would it be if, dissatisfied with cable, you applied to go back with BT and they said 'We don't want your custom'?

Try to remember, when you are talking to a large concern like BT, the person on the phone is on a terminal. They input your fault/enquiry, and the system gives the response, eg. expected time of fault being cleared. There will be hundreds, thousands even, in the same queue. The situation is constantly being monitored and personnel moved around to give the best service.

If you think an engineer is sat waiting to respond to your call at the drop of a hat, your're sadly mistaken - those times have gone.

  Forum Editor 19:08 29 Jul 2003

of the BT fault-management service is that it is one of the best services I have ever encountered.

I have had two faults on my home line in the past year, and on both occasions the engineers kept me updated via my mobile phone. They sent me a text message on each of the two days it took to fix the first fault, and did the same on the one day it took to put the second problem right. On both occasions I got a follow up call once the line was back up - asking me if everything was OK. That's the way a communications company should behave towards its customers, and BT seem to have realised it - big time.

To be honest, I see no reason why the ISP should refund you money for something that was beyond its control - BT OpenWorld is a completely separate company - and I would imagine that it is extremely rare for someone to cancel a dial-up account simply because there's a temporary fault on their line.

They haven't lost you as a customer completely by the way - all telcoms providers (even cable companies) have to pass you onto the BT network at some point in the equation.

  graham√ 22:36 30 Jul 2003

As a postscript to my message above, Fellsider made a point about BT Openworld not being aware the line was faulty. No, they wouldn't be.

BT operates with many different computer systems, access to any one of them is restricted to those who work in that particular enviroment.

I appreciate the reasoning that your full details would flash up on the screen the moment you give your name and phone number, but for many reasons (I can think of five immediately, prizes for the first correct answer!) this is not possible.

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