Back in December I picked up the telephone to call someone, only to find that we had been disconnected. The cause, apparently, was that there was an outstanding balance on our account, and the line had been cut off because of it. We could receive calls and use the internet, but not dial out. This all stemmed from an issue we had had paying our previous bill, which we ended up paying in two lots because they wouldn’t let us set up a direct debit. The BT system clearly got confused, seeing two payments, and refunded the second one. There was no indication that this was a problem, and I presumed from that that I would be able to pay the remainder with the next bill. I was wrong.
There was nothing on the BT web site when I logged in saying that the line had been stopped, nor that the outstanding balance was a problem. I nevertheless paid the outstanding £22 immediately, and expected to be reconnected within 24 hours, as per the recorded message we get directed to when trying to dial out. No such luck. It’s now the second week in January, and we’re still not connected. The money has been paid, it’s on my bank statement, and it registers on my BT account too that there is no outstanding balance. But the line is still blocked. A strongly worded letter was sent back in December, on the day we were cut off, but I have yet to receive any correspondence from them in return.
So today I phoned them up, hoping to get the problem resolved. After what seemed like an interminable wait, I finally got through to someone. Not a native English speaker, by the sounds of it, but still a real person, which is better than the recorded message we had had to put up with telling us there was no fault on the line. After a short chat we established that indeed there was no outstanding balance, and that he couldn’t see why we couldn’t dial out, and went to find someone else. At this point I was subjected to Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’ on loop. This would have been fine, had the quality not been appalling and had they actually played the whole of the first movement rather than the first half repeated over and over. I’m not a great fan of Mozart at the best of times, but when they cut out the fantastic development section and leave only the first page of music, I’m left feeling more than a little short-changed.
At the end of the phone call I’m left with a complaints number, and the reassurance that someone will phone me back tomorrow once they’ve found out what the problem was. If they don’t phone me, I shall not be pleased, and they can expect a further letter of complaint, and it won’t be as friendly as my first letter.
All in all, I’m left feeling that BT just don’t care. Their system has made a whole string of mistakes, their call centre is massively under-staffed, and the general impression really isn’t good. Unless they really pull their finger out and impress me tomorrow, I shall be demanding a considerable compensation from them.
Naughty BT. Bad BT. Go and sit in the corner.