Friday, 10 July 2009

BT Rant and Update

At 3.30pm on the 1st of July my BT Broadband connection wimpered to a halt. There was a glimmer of hope every half hour or so as the router connected. When it did connect it took over ten minutes to open a single webpage. Outlook Express 'Could Not Find Server'.

I began my telephone campaign to BT Broadband Help on the 2nd July. I thought this could take some time. It is now the 10th July and I'm still 'phoning them and I'm still not connected for more than five minutes and when I am it is painfully slow.

On the 2nd July, after five different technical advisors involving five individual 'phonecalls and all my security stuff repeated over and over, I was told it was my router - it was broken. We've tried three different routers since then. They can't all be broken can they? No improvement. During this three hours on the 'phone to BT an advisor commented that I was still on Classic Broadband with a speed of 2.2Mbps. Apparently I should be on a speed of about 8 Mbps.

Up until July 1st I was happy with this low speed. It all seemed fast enough to me - until that afternoon. Why haven't I been upgraded before?

I was given the BT Customer Sales number where I was told my BT Broadband would be updated on the 9th July. And this will cost less monthly than I'm paying at the moment. They tried to sell me a package involving televisions, telephones and hubs. I told the advisor I didn't want any packages and didn't need a new hub because on BT's advice I'd replaced it already. But of course it wasn't a BT Hub. It was a third party Hub. But you need a BT Router/Hub. I remained calm as I told him I had been using a BT Router, had been told it was broken by the technical advisor so had replaced it with a Third Party Router/Hub. And that as well as the three different Router/Hubs tested on my Home Networking System the original, allegedly broken BT Router/Hub wasn't broke. It worked as well, or as badly as the three test ones.

Surely the fault isn't here with me? It must be with BT Broadband? No, your line has been tested and it is fine. So I resigned myself to waiting for the 9th of July. All would be well. I would be zinging my way around the InterWeb at speeds faster than I could cope with.

A week is a long time to be disconnected. From the 2nd July until the 9th I have had to telephone bank. Pay some bills with a cheque and stick a stamp on an envelope. Go to the supermarket rather than an online Tesco Home Delivery. Couldn't do my dear Mum's Tesco shopping online for her home delivery 200 miles away. Couldn't buy a frock I don't need online. This way of communicating, doing business, socialising, shopping is integral to my way of living.

Might as well take the washing machine away and tell me I have to do laundry in the stream and bash clothes clean with a rock.

But of course this didn't happen. On the morning of the 10th my BT Broadband has not been upgraded. Nothing's changed. I am still limping along. So I begin 'phoning BT Broadband again at nine o'clock this morning. As of now I have spoken to six seperate BT Advisors. By the fifth I start to get a picture. The fifth tells me at last that There Is A Fault with my Broadband connection. Just like I've been telling them for over a week. That there is a fault and it is at their end and not here. They tell me their 'Offline Team' are working on it now. Is the 'Offline Team' men with ladders and vans?

I have just 'phoned BT Broadband again to get the latest information on my upgrade. The 'Offline Team' are not working on it right now. My upgrade is guess where? In a Flossing Queue. I have been given yet another new Direct Line to 'phone tomorrow - if perchance the fault hasn't been located and repaired - which will take me to Order Management.

I have a sheet of paper with at least one dozen BT contact numbers with titles such as Customer Options, Customer Sales, Direct Customer Options, Order Management, BT TV Management, BT Yahoo Broadband and so on..and on..and on.

Update to follow. And here it is.

Today 11th July I have been told by Order Management that the Equipment That Tests the Broadband is - yes - you've guessed it - It Is Broken. It Is Broken. Just like my Broadband has been broken since the 1st July.

Today 12th July: I phone Order Management at 9.00am. I am told my Broadband Can't be updated. Something about my line. I didn't ask for an upgrade I tell him. I just wanted my almost non-existent Broadband connection running like it was at 2.2 before July 1st. He tells me to phone Technical Help. No I scream. That's India. I can't go there again. He wishes me a nice day and the call ends.

I phone Customer Sales and begin all over again. I am asked to hold while she talks to a colleague. I hold. She has put me through to India and Technical Help. I faint. Repeat all my details for the hundreth time. I am in shock. I am asked to hold again while he talks to another colleague and when he returns he tells me he has spoken to Order Managment, where I was one hour ago. He tells me Order Management will upgrade my BB on Tuesday 14th July. How can this be? More lies?

So I phone Order Management again. I repeat what I was told at nine this morning and ask him to confirm what India has told me; that I will be upgraded on the 14th with an upgrade I haven't asked for because I only want what is broken right now mended. He confirms the first upgrade failed and it is booked for Tuesday the 14th July. Oh woe.

Meanwhile I have composed a very much tidied up version of this frantic Blog entry and am poised ready to send this less manic version to Ofcom and BT Complaints.


Maddie Grigg said...

BT Broadband customer service is absolute shite. I had a similar problem when first went wireless. Took bloody ages to sort out, I had to speak to about 50 different people and what I said was wrong in the first place turned out to be right. Good luck Bugs, you'll need it.

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Thanks Maddie. The latest is a BT advisor telling me there are two BB supplies to my line and I'm on the one that can't be tested for a fault because the equipment used to test that supply is broken.

Ofcom and BT Complaints - here I come.

Signing Off as Jackie-O of Balham. This did make me smile.

Gail said...

We use BT broadband. Unfortunately routers have quite a short life span - we have been through 3 in 3 years. It's fine to use a non-BT router. It might be the fastest way to solve your problem.

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Thanks Gail but I have a new non BT router. It isn't my technology at home that's broken. It is BT's end.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

This is absolutely disgraceful beyond belief. I would be definitely ranting with very large words to BT complaints not to mention Trading Standards.

I had a similar problem about 18 months ago when I first went onto broadband. Everything was fine until something went wrong. It took them 10 days to send an engineer out who couldn't find a fault. A second engineer came out, who couldn't find a fault. And a third. The fourth, a very nice man, did manage to sort it out. He was very helpful and I sent him away with a dozen eggs for his trouble. But by then I'd waited 2 weeks and been disconnected all that time - and I do everything online too!

But I will always remember spending all MY time and all MY money on the phone calls speaking to someone (with respect here) who couldn't understand me and whom I could not understand until at last I managed to speak to someone who actually bothered to take me seriously. I sometimes wonder if it would have been easier getting through to Buckingham Palace and asking to speak to Her Majesty.

Good luck!!
CJ xx

(p.s. sorry to have gone on!)

Buggles Balham High Road said...

But you haven't gone on CJ because after two weeks and two days I am now getting the BT Server to serve me. At six o'clock it began to work again.

But I had to contact Ofcom to get a dedicated line to BT Complaints and this has got me a result. I am livid because it has taken over two weeks to get anyone from BT to listen and solve the original problem as I told it to them.

I now have the postal address to send my nine page detailed log, blow by blow account, claiming expenses. These are considerable as my local IT firm have spent hours here confirming it wasn't me, my equipment, their expertise but BT's fault.

If BT don't comply within twelve weeks (that's a long time)I have the contact details of an Independent Adjudicator with no charges.

I gave BT Technical Help in India my last chance on Wednesday when we 'communicated' for over an hour and we were both exhausted (he was asking me to trace if plugs were into wall sockets or extensions) What? And then he told me he was putting me through to BT IT Help to sign a contract with them for eight pounds a month! I'm paying £40 an hour locally to help me sort this mess out. This mess is not mine but theirs.

I now have a twelve month contract with BT with no choice but once that is up I shall move on to a new BB supplier. BT is fine when it works but Customer Support and Help is appalling.