Avid readers will know that I have been involved in an ongoing saga with BT since December.  Basically, they screwed up and tried to charge us for it, and I’ve been kicking up a fuss ever since.  Well, my next bill came through recently, showing a late payment charge on it that really shouldn’t have been there.  If indeed the payment was late, it was down to the problems their end rather than me not wanting to pay them.  So I e-mailed in my complain and had a phone call back from them that afternoon – which was reassuringly impressive – and they said it would all be taken care of.

Now, it all gets a little confusing here, because we start dealing with the actual numbers.  The original late payment and reconnection fee that was incorrectly charged to us in February following their problems in December meant that my February bill had around £20 more than it should have done.  When I phoned up to complain they said they couldn’t take that £20 off the bill, so I had to pay it, and they would offset it against my next bill.  Not an ideal solution, but one I had to live with.  So I paid that £20, on top of the cost of line rental and calls, and kept my eyes peeled for refund on my subsequent bill.  It never appeared.

The April bill showed no sign of the refund of £20, and showed instead a late payment charge of £12.  The lady who phoned me back after my e-mail said that she had removed the £12 from the bill, and that I wouldn’t have to pay it.  Now, why couldn’t the £20 have been removed in the same way?  Go figure.  Anyway, she also said that it would take a few days for the change to show up on the online system, so she recommended that I leave it a couple of days and then try to pay what should then be the ‘right’ amount for the bill.

Well, today I logged into bt.com again to see if it had logged the change, and the bill appeared unchanged, still showing the £12 that had apparently been taken off, and still not showing an offset £20.  At that point my heart rate went up a notch or two, disgruntled that I would have to make yet another phone call to them.  However, on further investigation (by which I mean not relying on just one page but trying to manually correlate information from multiple pages) it seems that their bill doesn’t get updated at all, regardless of what goes on elsewhere.  The bill they showed from January still had the £20 on it for a start.  It was only when I looked at what I had actually paid them that I found that they had apparently deposited that £20 in my account separately, and not offset it against my next bill after all.  A quick check of my bank statement confirmed this; some confirmation from them would have been nice.  So, that’s the £20 out of the way and dealt with, finally.  However, the April bill was still showing the £12 on it.  Except that when I went to the page telling me how much was due on my account it said about £45, which didn’t include the £12.  So I paid that quickly before it changed its mind.

In theory, everything should be sorted now.  The charges they laid at my door have now been cancelled out, and I have ended up paying only for what I should originally have paid.  I have no complaint about that, I’m quite happy to pay them what I owe them.  And now it seems that I don’t owe them any more than that either.  Which is progress.  Except for one thing – apparently the April bill was due two days ago.  If they try to screw me for that I’m going to have to kick up a fuss again, especially because it was their mistake in the first place, the delay was down to me trying to resolve their mistake, and I was told by them to wait for the system to reflect the changes they had made.

Incidentally, I’m writing this here not only to rant tell you about it but also to remind myself of what’s happened so that if everything goes pear-shaped in a few months’ time I’ll have something to refer back to!  Needless to say, I’ve not been impressed by BT’s customer service, nor their ability to sort out problems, both technical and financial.  Not exactly confidence-building.

Categories: Life


Phill · 30 April 2008 at 9:36 pm

BT are, to put it blunty, a horrific monstrosity. I’m glad you managed to get sorted out and escaped with your sanity intact! 😀

tim aston · 8 May 2008 at 8:53 am

After 8 months living in a caravan with no phone, BT sent us a bill for £85.00 for the line to the house, not a single call in or out……

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