Comparing services

I’ve just received a bill from British Gas.  We’re on paperless billing, so it’s all done online.  I logged into their web site, checked the bill, and noticed that the bill was based on an estimate rather than a direct meter reading.  So I took a reading from our meter, fed it into their web site, and the web site told me that because the reading I had given was lower than their estimate I would have to phone them to confirm it.  At this point I began to wonder whether I was going to have the same problems I’d had with BT.

After a few minutes in the queue (incidentally, I was impressed to note that they told me how long I was likely to be in the queue) I was put through to an operator, who was British, and who dealt with the information swiftly and effectively, updating the information on my account there and then.  I then had the option of either paying the bill on the phone, or doing it online immediately.  I chose to pay on the phone, and all was perfectly straightforward.  After the phone call I checked online, and the details had already been updated.

How different this is from BT, who don’t seem able to keep track of any information whatsoever, and whose web site doesn’t necessarily reflect the most up-to-date information.  I have been told by BT themselves that anything I do won’t be reflected online for a couple of days.  How appalling is that?!  In an age of technology, having a web site linked to a database isn’t exactly difficult.  After all, British Gas seems to manage perfectly well.  Well done, British Gas, I like you.  BT on the other hand has a lot of catching up to do, and from past experience I can’t see them doing much to win my favour.

Sorry, rant over.

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