BT: My Customer Experience in Jeopardy. Will they fail me?

Today is a red letter day, in a broadband sense. I decided a couple of weeks ago to switch my broadband and home phone from O2 to BT. BT made the switch relatively easy and simple and have kept me informed by phone, email and SMS since.

Until a couple of hours ago, all was well.

Then Khan called to say that my phone service commenced today and my broadband would be live on March 6th. Whoa! They were both to be live today. I am no longer a happy customer. The last two weeks good communications are now washed away. I can see only a week of inconvenience.

It’s not Khan’s fault, so I refrain from yelling at him. I am now not speaking to Khan, I am speaking to BT. I ask for an explanation but BT cannot give me one, except to say that a technical fault prevented them giving me broadband today. I probe further and am irritated by the lack of adequate explanation.

I outline my options

  • I can accept the one week delay
  • I can escalate this
  • I can tell BT to cancel the whole thing and find another provider to sign up with

This last option is the equivalent of throwing my toy out of the pram, or lying on my back in the middle of the supermarket and drumming my heels on the floor. But I’m prepared to do it because…

  1. I think this situation was avoidable
  2. The explanation is weak
  3. The “technical fault” is a cover for “someone didn’t see that the order wasn’t progressing as it should through the system”

But then I asked two questions – “Khan, what can you do to improve this? What is the best you can do?” He promises to keep my order on his desk, expedite it in the system when the process allows, and call me back either tonight or tomorrow morning with an update. He expects I’ll be online within 48 hours. I told him that a call tomorrow to say that the service would still commence next week wasn’t acceptable.

Has Khan saved the day? I hope so. . Let’s see how the story goes…

5 thoughts on “BT: My Customer Experience in Jeopardy. Will they fail me?

  1. nljs Post author

    An update:
    I received a call from BT last night to tell me my broadband service would be switched on on Thursday 1st March. Better than the 6th but not good because I was scheduled for 28th February. So far so good. BT has managed not to lose me as a customer (before I even started). I’m not yet impressed. But does that matter to BT?

  2. nljs Post author

    Nah! It didn’t take. Plugged the BT equipment in last night, got up this morning. Broadband light still wasn’t the right colour. Called BT this morning. Outcome is that my order is now being expedited and will be switched on Monday (not today, and not tomorrow, because BT presumably don’t work hard to put right what they got wrong). The call I received on Tuesday evening was clearly a ghost – no record it ever took place and my order was not expedited. Bad job BT. I am already disenfranchised – well done. I am customer of three days and already unhappy. I bet no-one calls to try to fix this.

    Interestingly, I was speaking to a colleague who, on Monday, was due to switch to BT. The equipment didn’t arrive (and she had taken the day off to wait in) and she had a very interesting conversation with a snippy woman who told her that the stuff had been delivered that morning to her address. It hadn’t. Turns out BT sent it to the wrong address along the street where the other customer was wondering why she had extra boxes. My colleague was asked to go and pick it up herself. Another dissatisfied customer BT – How many others are there?

  3. nljs Post author

    Well, the BT broadband service went live yesterday. March 6th. This is the revised date Khan gave me last week. I might, if I had a suspicious mind, think that BT never actually changed that date when I pushed them. They just told me that they had expedited the failed order. Twice. This is bad if it’s true because BT employees are lying to customers, presumably at BT’s instigation.

    The alternative is as bad. My order failed and BT didn’t monitor it to rectify the failure. Black mark #1. Then it was expedited to install 2 days later. This didn’t happen. Black mark #2. Then it was expedited to install on Monday this week. That didn’t happen. Black mark #3. It’s now live. No further black marks. Three of them is bad enough.

    Which ever way you look at it. Mine wasn’t a good experience and the control is completely with BT. Which ever scenario above is the truth, my time was wasted and it cost BT more than necessary to support me. I wonder how many other people this happens to? And do they have the same experience?

  4. nljs Post author

    What a shock we got late last week when we found out from O2 that were still contracted to them for broadband. It turns out that BT can activate broadband without using the MAC code provided by O2 and, as it wasn’t used, we were still contracted to O2. What a mess!

    O2 allowed us to give 7 days notice, which means that we end today. Funny though, we’ve been paying BT since late February so I called BT. The helpful lady there immediately gave the address of a BT admin centre and told me to write, enclosing copies of the O2 bills for the period since we started with them to get a refund. The ease with which I got that piece of help makes me think that this is a regular occurrence. Makes you wonder how effective broadband and telephone suppliers could be, doesn’t it? Let’s see how things work out.

    1. nljs Post author

      The saga rumbles on. BT tells me that they did use the MAC code so won’t give a refund. I asked for written confirmation so I can write to O2. I’m £55 out of pocket at the moment and not happy. The MAC code is used to make transferring broadband from one provider to the other easy. How can BT transfer broadband without using it? Clearly O2 thinks they do this. OFCOM needs to hammer providers that make transferring broadband service onerous. And consumers need to take their business to providers they can trust. I’m still waiting for BT to write to me. So far they’ve relied only on the phone, leaving me voicemail messages. And I guess that BT and O2 won’t speak to each other to resolve this so I’m caught in the middle and considering the words of my letter to OFCOM seeking resolution.

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