Damn BT

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Damn BT

Postby M-Saunders » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:44 pm

Lo, does anyone have contact email addresses for useful people/departments at BT? My landline went down this morning and I've been bounced around call centres all day, which demonstrated an almost unbelievable level of incompetence. I've been lied to as well (twice told I'd be called back, and zilch).

Can't use BT's lame site from my phone, so any help appreciated. Oh, and for those wondering where I've been the last few days - lovely glandular fever! On the mend now though :-)

Cheers,
Mike
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Postby Rhakios » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:07 pm

Rotten luck. You have my sympathy for what it's worth.

I suppose you don't have one of those phones you can tether to your computer then (go on, admit it, it's an iPhone isn't it?)
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Postby guy » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:22 pm

When you call them, make sure you get each individual's name, and write down their promises. When those turn sour, call back and ask to speak to someone who has the authority to follow up the specific [date time person promise reality] issue. All the time remaining unfailingly polite but puzzled (remember, all these people hate their jobs. Sympathy can take you a lot further than anger). Lather, rinse and repeat. This usually works with most runarounds, e.g. the taxman (yes, I possess one of those delightful collectibles - a written apology from HMRC).

If that fails, then once you have a good collection, you can get in touch with the complaints dept (staff are obliged to give you the contact details if you ask), then offer to forget the pages of documentary evidence in exchange for compensation - strictly as a courtesy before auctioning them to the gutter press. I am told this works well but have never had to go that far.
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Postby bobthebob1234 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:58 am

Lol the bt customer help site doesn't work.... Its timing out


My dad has had dealings with bt in the past and I think the key is persistence. I'll ask him if there are any specific numbers or email addresses he used.
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Postby Rhakios » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:31 am

bobthebob1234 wrote:Lol the bt customer help site doesn't work.... Its timing out


It was when I had a look, 504 error. Failing under excessive demand, perhaps?
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Postby M-Saunders » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:37 am

Cheers folks. Finally got the far-off call centre to check my line this morning. They've determined that there's a fault at my local exchange and will send an engineer out by Thurs 2nd. Great, 5 days without internet -- I demanded compensation and said I will refuse to pay line rental, and they accepted that, but then I shouldn't believe anything they say!

How hard is it to move to another provider? Or is it ultimately pointless as BT owns the exchanges or something?

Ta,
M
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Postby Dutch_Master » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:33 pm

I don't think it would matter in this case. If the situation in the UK is similar to here (and given the history of both systems evolving I doubt it isn't) the final stretch from the exchange to your home is still owned by BT, as is the exchange itself. As you, or rather BT, stated the fault is at their exchange another ISP wouldn't have given you a better ride. The only positive is that if you do have another ISP and complain to them, their follow-up on BT makes much more of an impression... It wouldn't have prevented the problem arising, but solving it might be a d*rn sight quicker ;)
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Postby roseway » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:59 pm

Normally, if you have a BT line and it goes faulty, you can call 151 (if the phone is still functioning, albeit badly) or 0800 800 151 (from a different phone) and report the voice fault directly to a local centre. What you shouldn't do is report it as a broadband fault, because that gets you shunted off into foreign call centre territory.

BT have a legal obligation to provide and maintain a good quality phone service, so this is almost always the quickest and most effective way to deal with this sort of problem.
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Postby guy » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:23 pm

M-Saunders wrote:How hard is it to move to another provider? Or is it ultimately pointless as BT owns the exchanges or something?


It is easy enough to move to a different ISP, not sure about the phone line itself (historical difficulties in "unbundling the local loop" whatever that means).

But as you suspect, BT will still own the line to the exchange and the Internet PoP there, and will just rent to your new ISP. Result: if you have a problem with your Internet connection, BT will say their line is fine and bounce you to the ISP who will say their service is fine and bounce you to BT yadda yadda. You have to know enough about your modem's diagnostics to assert that it is working but the PoP is not. Since BT's contract with you is for the line, they say they have met its terms and will do nothing even though they messed up the PoP - the contract for providing the PoP is with your ISP, not you. So you have to persuade your ISP that your modem is working and the line is working but BT have messed up the PoP. ISP then hassle BT who fix the problem.

Also, I have gained the impression that friends of mine with BT say that faults get fixed fairly quickly, while friends with other ISPs say that exactly the same faults with exactly the same BT-owned kit take longer to fix. One could be forgiven for suspecting that if true, this might be giving the other ISPs a bad name. Now why might that be allowed to happen?

If you feel that your choice is thus a rather familiar one between an ethical and low-cost option or a more convenient but possibly higher-priced option, I am afraid I couldn't possibly comment.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:30 am

We had no end of problems at work with a BT line via another ISP, being bounced arounmd by various depts denying there was a fault, etc.
Complained to the ISP sales dept, they sent out an engineer, who said, yes, it was a line fault, got BT to install a new line, and at the same time moved us to LLU, The performance improved overnight,
When your line is unbundled, the ISP has their own hardware in the exchange, and can run line tests, monitor speed, etc themselves.
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Postby M-Saunders » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:15 am

I'm wih Demon for broadband, and they're great. I just pay BT line rental to have the line activated in my flat. I was hoping there would be another phone services provider I could switch to and make sure not a penny goes to BT, but doesn't look like it. So much for competition, eh!

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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:27 pm

Ask Demon if your line is LLU, if not ask if they can change it to LLU.
You'll get better service, as they don't then need to rely on BT to manage the hardware.

At home, I'm on cable @10Mbit/sec
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Postby DippyGirl » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:27 am

Hi
I agree with roseway - if your landline goes DONT mention broadband - it will just delay things , just say you voice line has gone
If they say its their problem they have 3 working days ( or thats what i was told last time)
Counting starts at the following day for problems reported after 12 noon ( thats what i was told last time)
I lost my line sometime Wed AM - reported at 12:20 ETA of restoration 23:55 Monday ( they dont count weekends)
All was back on Sunday ... so no compo
Keeping BT as carrirer as most ISP wont touch you unless you have a BT line
All that said when the problem has been close to home BT have been out within 1 day to re-wire to the pole.. problems at the exchange ..challenge the SLAs , but maybe they knew they wanted the outage...hence the wednesday lunchtime start !!!
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Postby 1slipperyfish » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:42 am

i had a load of aggro with bt about 18 months ago when my landline went down(i may have already told you this??) the broadband(sky) was fine and i was gettting 6 volts down my phone line which is enough for broadband but the phone needs 12v
so the bloke came and said it was all fine there was a problem with the exchange, the exchanges are a different part of bt so he couldn't look at it, so they sent a bloke from the exhcange company he said it was fine there was a problem in or near to our house, so back came the phone person yeah it's all fine it must be your exchange
at this point i had wasted 3 days leave already,

so i got my tester out and showed him the 6v it's not the exchange sort it, so he buggered about up the phone pole for about an hour and said it's all fine, what it probably needs is a new line from pole to your house at £189+VAT, to which i replied if that's the case cable will be coming next week and i won't be with bt anymore.

he said but you'll have no phone til then(it had already been 3 weeks with no phone) but i'll just try something before i sign it off, half an hour later the phone line came on and i've no idea why
so good luck mike oh and we got a £5 marks and sparks voucher for all our inconvenience :D
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