Wednesday, 21 August 2013

BT and the Art of Pony Prevarication

Because that's what I think BT (the main provider of telephone/broadband services in the UK) are doing. Because they're certainly not providing me with a landline. Here's the story behind BT's sloth:

Moving Day

Me: Dear BT, you appear not to have moved my number with me in our epic move 500 yards up the road. Surely an oversight?

BT: Dear Jane, yes, a shocking oversight caused by the fact we appear to have tried to connect you to the wrong number. We'll connect you by tomorrow, the 13th. Promise.

What is actually happening:  People are starting to worry in BT land. They've been promised ponies, lots of ponies, but they have none. They are waiting at the gate, peering anxiously, hoping for the horsebox to chug round the corner. Nada. Nothing.

One day later

Me:  Dear BT, alas I am still service-less, which wasn't quite what you promised. Any ideas?

BT:  Dear Jane - oops. We'll get it sorted. You're moving to a different exchange (me - I am? Same number, 500 yards up the road?) and we need to do Important Robotic Tests which will take time. You'll have service by the 15th. Promise.

What is actually happening:  Nothing is happening in BT land. The promised ponies have not arrived. The BT team, closet bronies, and whatever the girl equivalent is, all, must fill their time. Ta da!



Here's BT pony, in its beautiful BT land. You can see why they're too busy to connect my line, can't you? It's so pretty. No nasty complaining clients: just wall-to-wall gorgeousness. They're happy there.

And later still

Me:  Dear BT, it's me again. I'll hang on for a while while you read my file. No, I still don't have service.

BT: Dear Jane, no you don't, do you? We're dreadfully sorry. We haven't been able to connect your line because we were waiting for the previous occupant to tell us they no longer wanted it. We'll connect you by the 17th. Promise. You don't believe us? We're hurt. We promise FAITHFULLY we will ring you and let you know what's happening.

What is actually happening: There's terrifying villains, vicious dragons, conflicted beast-men, strange denizens of the deep, and colorful ponies! My, but they're busy. (Don't feel you have to watch the whole clip. It is sort of long.)



And later

Me: Dear BT, it's me again. Still getting that No Line thing. Any ideas?

BT: Gosh Jane, really? What we should have told you is that we can't get hold of the people who had your line before you and we have to do that before we can sign the line over to you. I will escalate this though and send it to the Super Special Team and they'll connect you after 24  hours, as I know that you are actually at the property and the other people obviously aren't. Promise.

48 hours later

The previous tenants, and the ones before them (wisely in my opinion) had Virgin, I know, because I've been in touch with them both. Who had BT? No one knows. I have no service, and every time I try to contact BT I am told they are having trouble putting me through. I know, BT, I know. I understand. You're busy.


Update, October 2013:
I gave up the unequal struggle with BT. BT had our house confused with unit 14, number 10 (we're number 14) and were completely unable to sort out the confusion. The valiant efforts of BTCare at Twitter weren't enough to sort out the mess. BT were unable to cope with the fact that there once was a BT line here. They had no record of the number. I am sitting here looking at the socket as I type. I lost count of the number of times I explained, over and over again, what the problem was, to an endless procession of people who had been asked to call me, but had not looked at the notes beforehand. Being left a message to ring someone back was incredibly infuriating. When I rang the number given, I was never put through to someone who had any idea what I was talking about.

In the end, I was told I needed an entire new line, as BT Openreach proved unable to deal with the fact they had the wrong address attached to our number.

At this point, when they gave me a date three weeks into the future, I went with Virgin, who sorted out a new line effortlessly in much less time than BT. I've been a BT customer for 30 years, but no longer.

Until BT sort out the difficulties of contacting BT Openreach, who cannot be contacted directly by their customers, it doesn't matter how much, and how often, their Twitter operation promises action. BT Openreach seem accountable to no one. There's little point having customer service operators running round trying to sort things out if they have no effect on how BT Openreach carries out its operations. I'm glad I don't work for BT Customer Care, as it must be a pretty thankless task.







5 comments:

Christina Wilsdon said...

Ah. Yes. We had a similar thing going on with our providers...a catch-22 of "we can't connect you until the previous people say they want to disconnect but we can't reach them because they're not connected and..." Thanks for extracting humor from it!

Jane Badger said...

Ah, you too? Did you eventually get connected?

callmemadam said...

Head desk. I so understand your frustration. BT are the pits to deal with. I do hope they sort it for you PDQ.

madwippitt said...

Look, did Santa ever bring you a pony, even though you asked for one every single Christmas?

No?

Well you can hardly expect BT to be more organised than Santa, can you?

Jane Badger said...

Me too Callmemadam!

Madwippit, you know, you're right. I hadn't thought of it that way. What I did always get, even though I never asked for it, and never did want it, was an orange. Maybe BT are trying to find me an orange and that's where we're both going wrong.