Why I really detest BT

Repaired telephone cable by the roadside

We have had more trouble with BT this summer; it seems to happen at least once a year that the service fails for one reason or another. This time we have had failures both at the house and at The Old Manse (which we let for holidays).

The common theme of every interaction with BT about a service failure, is that your blood boils and you have to talk to them over and over again to get anything done. In my view they are a shambolic organisation and their virtual monopoly on service provision in rural areas makes me furious.

To be specific:

– Unlike other utilities, they will not treat loss of service as an emergency, only as inconvenience to be fixed in their good time. They seem to believe it is perfectly acceptable to be without any telephone or broadband for days on end. There is no sense of urgency.

– They do not begin to understand customer service. They will not make appointments any more specific than a five hour slot (i.e. you have to give up more than half a day to wait for them to turn up), and they regularly do mot turn up within the five hour slot.

– Their call centres are appalling. The staff are difficult to understand and seem unable to exercise any discretion or judgement. But you will not always get a consistent response to the same issue from different response.

– When you call them you have to key in information before you can get through to a human being. The first thing the human being does is then ask you the same information again.

– Their approach to problem resolution appears designed to demonstrate that the problem is yours not BT’s.

– They leave their cables on the surface, rather than burying them, as illustrated in the picture above, half way from our house to the exchange. This is an open invitation to damage and weather penetration.

– They do not credit your account for the period you are without service. You have to pay for the period when you don’t get service.

– You have to pay the same for your broadband service, whether you get 5mbs or 0.5. Essentially rural customers will therefore always pay more for an inferior service. Should you not pay only for what you receive?

If ever there is an organisation that needs to see itself through the eyes of its customers, it is surely BT. Bring on change, and bring on real competition.

Sorry about the rant. I’ll try and restore normal service with the next post.

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