View Full Version : British ****** Telecom

15th Sep 2005, 12:22
Has anyone on here ever succesfully stuck it to BT?

Our main phoneline upon which the business depends has had a fault for two weeks now. We've reported it five times & had four engineers out to the problem, which is a crackling line.

None of them have been able to repair it & today for the third time, they've taken the line down whilst attempting to repair it, which means that we can't do business & we're a business that does business by telephone.

I'm not happy at all & before I get into the whole Kafka-esque nightmare of complaining to BT, I want to hear of any experiences from other prooners on similar matters.

We're being handed our hat at the moment, can anyone help?

15th Sep 2005, 13:52
I was highly pissed off with them for a couple of hours but they had an engineer there the next morning, diverted all calls to any number of my choosing and rebated my rental while I had no service. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was still able to use the line. http://www.augk18.dsl.pipex.com/Smileys/fingerscrossed.gif

15th Sep 2005, 20:11
Just moved offices

They could/would not move the telephones / internet connections at the same time !!!!!!!!!!!!

So for four weeks we had the Internet but no telephones or fax.

Had to rely on mobile telephones!

Engineer turned up, installed the telephone lines/sockets eventually (what a story that was !..Tried to say he could not use the Cable companies telephone wiring until I pointed out that I had used BT's wiring when I connected to Cable telephone at home !)

When he had finished installing the lines he stated that they did not connect up the phones as everyone "bought their own cheap rubbish from Dixons and the likes" and then lectured us all on the inadvisability of this (.."may not work properly with BT equipment, poor service/guarantee, etc, etc").

I then pointed out that we had purchased BT's own phones !!!!!

He then said that they were mass produced abroad, he knew nothing about them and they only just carried the BT logo and were nothing to do with BT !!!

He then left in a huff when challenged about the business practicality of what he was saying.

Just re-affirmed the sense of my decision to remain with my Cable telephone company at home, despite all the (usually misleading BT literature....for which they have already been sanctioned)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
15th Sep 2005, 20:39
We had this 'crackling line' problem for months, on both the house line and my work line (also in the house). We'd report it, it would get fixed, then a few weeks later it'd fail again.

Apparently what had been happening (the engineer told me later) was that a trunk cable, which carried very many 'pairs' was an old lead-sheathed one, with paper insulation around the hundreds of individual wires within it.

They had moved one end of this cable to accomodate a housing deveopment, and the lead sheath had cracked, letting water in. Several of the paper-insulated 'pairs' ceased to work as the damp spread through the cable, and many more went 'crackly'. The fix (since BT didn't want the expense of replacing this trunk cable) was to find new pairs in the cable to replace customers' failed or crackling pairs.

Trouble was, it wasn't long before the damp worked its way round to this 'new' pair, and that, to, went crackly or failed completely. At which point a further 'new' pair was allocated.

Eventually, they ran out of 'good' pairs and had to change the cable.

Since then, it's been fine. And my work line is now ADSL and is great! (I'm using it now from my laptop, communicating to the ADSL via a wireless router).


15th Sep 2005, 20:42
Sounds to me like you have got a tap on your phone, are you into any sensitive business areas.


15th Sep 2005, 22:23
Yes, had similar problems with BT. The phone went dead one day, so I reported it using my mobile. A very courteous lady informed me that my occupation didn't give me any priority on repair, but they'd do what they could.

A week later, phone still not working, I called again. I was told my phone had been repaired the day after I reported it. I explained that it most certainly hadn't; I was told the engineer had tested it and confirmed it OK; I confirmed he hadn't called me ... and so on.

Four weeks later, they finally fixed it. I asked for my refund etc for 4 weeks with no phone, and they argued it was several periods of short duration so no refund due. I had to write to the MD of BT quoting all the details (including my log of calls to their helpdesk) before they coughed up.

So, my conclusion: not a lot of hope unless you have the time and patience to do some serious letter writing. Watching paint dry is less stressful.

15th Sep 2005, 22:27
Complain to Ofcom

16th Sep 2005, 01:19
Why is it that the BT customer services number has the largest amount of button press options known to man? I wouldn't mind, but not one of them mentioned a number to press for my particular enquiry. Consequently I had to listen to each option as I went to each 'level'.

It became apparent, after phoning a few times, that all the menu levels ended up with the same 'final' 9 options.

Also it seemed that unlike most phone option lists, you can't just not press anything and get through to an operator.

I wonder why they charge so much for their services with obviously so few staff!!

Use a different provider if you can, and the crackling phone line could in reality be a badly fitted tap. Business competitor as opposed to professional 'agency'.


Howard Hughes
16th Sep 2005, 02:20

If you cant find the option that you are looking for on an automated phone system, always press their new business number, this is always ANSWERED FIRST!! Then get them to connect you to the area that you need.;)

This method works particularly well for Insurance/Finance Companies and Banks. I have also had much success with our own telecommunications giant in Oz!!

Cheers, HH.


16th Sep 2005, 05:53
I lost my BT line for a while.

I phoned BT on my mobile and the human being I eventually got through to arranged for all calls from the defective line to be diverted to my mobile for free.

As for crackling.............that can be a pig. :E

16th Sep 2005, 07:11
Boom Boom abcus. Well thx everybody, in the end, we had an old campaigner of an engineer in yesterday & he fixed it in 30 minutes, whilst muttering under his breath about all the other engineers we'd had in. So that's two weeks, five engineers, six lots of dead phone line & god knows how many complaints from me to utterly indifferent disembodied voices on the other end of the BT empire. Makes one want to do a Don Logan...

Shaggy Sheep Driver
16th Sep 2005, 08:41
in the end, we had an old campaigner of an engineer in yesterday & he fixed it in 30 minutes,

...Until the damp gets to the pair you're now using...;)

Did he say what the cause was?


16th Sep 2005, 08:49
Dodgy pair. Although we've had so much equipment renewed now, that it should soldier on for twenty year..:rolleyes:

16th Sep 2005, 09:10
lead sheath had cracked, letting water in.

Sounds to me like you have got a tap on your phone, are you into any sensitive business areas. H.


16th Sep 2005, 09:17
BT!! AArgh!

My phone dial tone used to disappear every time it rained, a cable problem, I think. BT tested the line (in dry weather, of course) and said it must be my phone but changed their tune when I reminded them it was a BT rented handset.

Also, I used to have a pay-as-you-go internet connection with them, on monthly credit card payment / direct debit. After some time of using this, they contacted me to advise me that I could now sign up online for a "cheaper" monthly package, with no limit on time connected. I went through their online registration process to set it up.

My first quarterly phone bill after this trebled! Turned out they were charging the monthly fee AND pay-as-you-go for the same connection! When we complained we were advised to pay the same amount as previous quarterly bills while they sorted out the problem. They sorted it out, all right - they reduced my service to incoming calls only. When I complained a second time they completely cut my phone off for alleged non-payment!

Needless to say, my business with BT is limited these days.

However, they have a long way to go to beat Hong Kong Telecom! Three months after I had been settling my monthly bills in full they contacted us to inform me that the previous occupant had left without settling his final bill (a BIG one!) and that WE were now responsible for it's payment! They even contacted my employer in an attempt to get them to deduct it from my salary! I had to threaten to sue them for demanding money with menaces before they desisted and apologised for "over-zealous credit action" by an employee.

Then one day during a "repair" at the exchange they crossed our line to the local outpatients clinic at the hospital. That resulted in an interesting 48 hours. The phone rang every 15 seconds till I pulled out the plug. I did consider giving out appointments.....

To cap it all, after settling my final bill in full back in early 1998, closing the account and moving over 6,000 miles away, I STILL receive final demands for HK$43 every month! Goodness knows how much these idiots have spent on postage to send 90 bills overseas for a bill of about 3 quid! :E

Biggles Flies Undone
16th Sep 2005, 10:01
Do what I did and write to the Chairman of BT - don't waste time and money with Johnny No Stars who has no authority to compensate you. I got an acknowledgement from the 'Chairman's Assistant' almost by return, a full answer within two weeks, my problem sorted and close to 100 in compensation.

Don't just rant - offer constructive critiscism and emphasise your desire to stay loyal to BT but how badly your patience has been tried and your business hampered.

Standard Noise
16th Sep 2005, 10:14
Just sent a link of this thread to my sister, but, as a BT employee, she'll prolly just email me back telling me to "f**k off, I don't give a sh1t!"
That's what she usually does.

Biggles Flies Undone
16th Sep 2005, 10:33
:rolleyes: So she works on the helpline then? :p

Standard Noise
16th Sep 2005, 10:40
I shall let you all know what her reply is, should be good for a giggle.

16th Sep 2005, 11:34
So she works on the helpline then?
Is she Indian?

16th Sep 2005, 12:14
Over five years ago I changed to paying my BT account by direct debit.

For some reason they failed to take 2.97 of the total bill on the first payment using DD.

This appeared as 'brought forward' on the next bill and every subsequent bill to date!

I now automatically deduct that sum when entering their bill in my account book.

Curious Pax
16th Sep 2005, 13:58
I had that when we moved into a new house a couple of years ago. Wasn't impressed, especially as the builder had a joint leaflet with them entitled 'Happy'! However it all got very silly when a day or so later a guy from the 3rd party who actually hook the houses up to the box at the end of the road knocked on the door to tell me he'd done it, and also connected up the wall socket inside the house. As I didn't know the number we'd been allocated he also rang and found that out for me. As often happens he used to work for BT, took redundancy, and was now doing a similar job for this 3rd party, so knew what he was doing.

When I rang up the BT customer place to cancel the appointment for their guy to visit to do his stuff they were very miffed about what this guy had done, and refused to cancel the appointment. Wasn't too bothered as a) my phone was working, and b) I was going to be in anyway, so hearing their engineer's slant on it would be entertaining! So 2 weeks later 2 engineers roll up to connect me up, and were less than impressed with customer services when I explained what had happened. Not an infrequent event apparently!

Boss Raptor
16th Sep 2005, 17:27
Been there done the BT crackly intermittant failing line earlier in the year - took the engineers (3 of them in 2 vans) 2 attempts over 2 days to fix, it having failed within 5 mins of them leaving first time and to be fair them testing it from the exchange and calling me on my mobile to say it had failed and they were on their way out again - they were open and honest enough to tell me they eventually found no less than 6 line faults on my line in the less than 1 km to the exchange including a failing connector at the end of the road box and another at the termination at the exchange...and openly blamed it on BT's lack of re-investment/replacement in the basic local network wiring...