I AM A SOON-NOT-TO-BE BT CUSTOMER.

THERE IS A REASON the following saga IS IN ALL CAPS.

all NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED save mine. Whatever the opposite of enjoy is, do that.

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BT livechat (Total Elapsed Time 71 MIN):


Ramesh Panaji: I am sorry to hear that you were without services for so many days

RAMESH PANAJI: Please give me a moment to check this for you

RAMESH PANAJI: I checked the account and I can see that the fault is still open on the account. 

RAMESH PANAJI: As we are from the billing enquiry team, I will transfer this chat to the fault team. They will be able to assist you further regarding the fault and how to close it. Once the fault is closed, we can apply rental rebate. Can I go ahead and transfer the chat ?

RAMESH PANAJI has disconnected.

Tanvi Matu: Hello. I'm Sagnik Bag.Thanks for that information, I'll check it and get back to you in a moment.

Ian Winn: thank you, I am reading

TANVI MATU: hi Iam

Ian Winn: I would like BT to address my complaint. I was without service, BT refused to send an engineer, threatened me with £129 service charge if the fault was on my property-- which it wasn't and I'm wondering what type of recompense I can expect. I am very unhappy not with you tanvi, I'm sure you're a wonderful person, but with your company.

Ian Winn: Why have I not been contacted and offered compensation? I also have services I pay for which require broadband. And there is no e-mail address available for me to send my full complaint, only an address to send a hard copy. BT is clearly trying to distance itself from its customers. Please tell me where I can send my full complaint.

TANVI MATU: i really apologise that you have to complaint , you can report your complaint with me , i can take your complaint and help it get sorted

Ian Winn: please send me the e-mail address to customer service in the UK

Ian Winn: I need to contact someone in management personally with my letter

TANVI MATU: ok

Ian Winn: thank you!

Ian Winn: still waiting. all I need is an e-mail address here please

Ian Winn: It says on your website: At BT our focus is on excellent customer service

Ian Winn: show me please

TANVI MATU: i am so sorry for the delay

TANVI MATU: Ian

TANVI MATU: i have spoken about your request and have arranged a call back for you from my manager between 2PM and 4 PM today

TANVI MATU: is that okay ?

Ian Winn: again, please send me an e-mail address where I can send my complaint. The only thing on the BT website is an address in Durham. Please give me your managers e-mail address. Why is this so hard?

TANVI MATU: ok

Ian Winn: e-mail please!

TANVI MATU: i am so sorry for the experience let me get you connected to my manager for further support

arjeem bhola : Hello. I'm ARJEEM BHOLA .Thanks for that information, I'll check it and get back to you in a moment.

Tanvi matu has left the chat.

Ian Winn: OMG all I'm asking for is an e-mail address to a customer service manager in the UK. You have this information. I am a customer requesting it. I am asking nicely. Again, why is this so hard. Please give me an e-mail address where I can send my full complaint. This conversation is a waste of time for both of us.

ARJEEM BHOLA : Hi there I am sorry but there is no e-mail address. 

Ian Winn: Respectfully arjeem: yes there is. You have a manager and he or she has an e-mail address. You are just not giving it to me. These are facts.

ARJEEM BHOLA : Let me call you please. 

Ian Winn: e-mail address please

ARJEEM BHOLA : There is none sorry but I can address your complaint. 

ARJEEM BHOLA : Please give me a chance. 

Ian Winn: You expect me to believe that the customer service manager of a BROADBAND SUPPLIER does not have an e-mail address? There is none? Come on, arjeem, I AM giving you a chance.

We’ve lost the connection between you and BT Chat. Please give us a moment to try to connect you again.

We’ll keep trying to reconnect you in the next 480 seconds.

Connection resumed.

ARJEEM BHOLA : I am sorry again I do not have any e-mail address to share with you.

Ian Winn: Great. What can you offer me by way of compensation. I have been without broadband and all associated services for 6 days, been threatened with fees, received text saying my problem had been sorted when it hadn't, was denied an engineer because a fault had occurred "in my area" when none of my neighbors were affected, then was told my cable had been knocked out by another engineer. No compensation has been offered, I have not been contacted or apologized to and now I have written a formal letter of complaint and have no-where to send it except an address in Durham. And now I have been in live chat with you fine people for 45 min. What can BT do for me arjeem? Hard numbers.

ARJEEM BHOLA : I can give you line rental back for broadband for the period the broadband was not working. 

Ian Winn: That's it? And the phone being down. And me not being able to call my mother and wish her a safe trip? And my time? And the other services that were disrupted? And the fact my mobile phone bill will be higher as a result of not having wifi in the home? And this depressing conversation (though again, I'm sure you're a lovely person). 6 days line rental? arjeem, I was repleatedly lied to-- surely you can do better!

ARJEEM BHOLA : yes for both you will get the line rental back. Can I please call you and explain ?

Ian Winn: Ah but arjeem, I don't want an explanation. Respectfully, I am asking for appropriate compensation that not only acknowledges the disruption of service but all the hassle that goes along with it: the being told my service was fixed when it was not. The threat of fees if the fault was on my property which it wasn't. The endless transfers between departments. And now this lengthy, time-consuming conversation which began with a simple request for an e-mail address. I'm afraid the only other way to go is a formal letter to company headquarters and to social media. Why, arjeem, why?

ARJEEM BHOLA : Please tell what do you want me to do if is rental rebate then I will process it now.

Ian Winn: Rental rebate for 6 days is literally the least you can do. And BT (through you) is only prepared to do that if I initiate the conversation, as I have done here, is that correct? What I *want* is the e-mail address of a customer service rep in the UK. All you, arjeem, can offer me is a rental rebate for 6 days-- is that correct?

Ian Winn: Is that the best you can do? Yes or no please.

ARJEEM BHOLA : As per the call we have agreed you will get £ 29.65 taken everything into consideration. 

ARJEEM BHOLA : Thanks

Ian Winn: Thank you for doing the best you can. You sounded really tired on the phone. I hope the rest of your day goes better. Cheers!

ARJEEM BHOLA: Bye 

As indicated I accepted £29 compensation much like a starving man thrown a peanut (I know, I know, hashtag first world problems). However, I let it be known to "Arjeem" that I was by no means satisfied. Next, I sent a letter to BT headquarters in Durham-- printed, with a stamp, via snail mail like it's 19 *&^%ing 95.

Dear BT,

First, let me say to whoever's reading this that I understand (hope?) you are a human being with feelings and I respect that. This letter is by no means personal and is directed to BT the corporate entity to whom I am a customer and to whom I am directing my frustration and disappointment. Everyone else I have dealt with during the course of my weeklong disruption of service, both in India and in England, has been courteous and professional. I've been waiting all week for you to contact me over the matters I discuss below, however you have not.. Since I have received nothing but a text saying my broadband had been restored, is why I’m writing to complain.

The fact that I cannot do so by e-mail and am forced to print and mail this to an address in Durham is both galling and inconvenient. You are clearly distancing yourself from your customers.

Years ago my wife chose not to renew our BT broadband/phone package due in large part to terrible, impersonal customer service. This summer when our contract with Talk Talk was up, after receiving loads of Come-back-to-BT type literature we decided to try you guys again.

On Tuesday, September 29 both my landline and my broadband went dead. I called the appropriate number. I was given instructions as to how I might sort the problem myself (turn your router on and off was suggested several times. I was told to take steps in the router handbook and on-line (!)). When these steps failed I was told that "a fault had been detected in my area" and that it would be sorted by Friday, October 2. When I explained I worked from home and this was unacceptable I was told sorry, the problem would be sorted by Friday, if not sooner. However, when I asked my neighbors whether their service was disrupted, none of them reported any problem, including those who had BT. I began to wonder about the size of "my area", and whether it included places other than my home

On Thursday I received a text telling me my broadband and phone line had been restored. This was not the case, both lines were still dead. Again I called the appropriate numbers. After lengthy hold times and conversations with several of your employees, I was told an engineer would be dispatched to my home. However, because they didn't work weekends, the first available appointment would Monday. When I expressed my frustration that an engineer hadn't been sent to my area when the fault was first detected, I was told there was nothing that could be done. When I called to talk to customer service about my unhappiness, I was immediately transferred back to India to be told an engineer would be sent to me on Monday.

Four times (thrice by employees required to read a statement and once by text) I was told that if the problem originated inside my home, I would have to pay a fee, most likely £129 for the engineer visit.

I was then told I could get free wifi through my mobile by accessing some kind o BT free FON network but the signal was too weak to pick up from my home.

This Monday, an engineer came and fixed my broadband. He told me that another engineer, while fixing or installing another line, must have knocked out our cable on the street somewhere. This means that I was without broadband and phone, for which I pay a premium, for 6 days because you couldn't be bothered to send me an engineer any sooner. Indeed it was another engineer (possibly even a BT engineer) who knocked out our cable. Whoever's reading this, please ask yourself how you would feel in my situation.

BT could have sorted this problem immediately yet chose not to. BT sent me a text saying my line had been restored when it hadn’t. BT then denied me service another four days. BT threatened me with fees on four occasions. BT could have written to me and my wife personally to offer apologies and recompense. BT could have dealt with my customer service complaint by NOT transferring me back to the technical support in India. Why on earth would I renew my contract after such lazy, impersonal treatment?

Please settle this with me soon. I am not the type of person to air a grievance of this nature on social media but I must admit I am sorely tempted. I now understand why you get such a bad rap in Which magazine.

I have just been in your on-line complaint chat for 45 minutes asking only for an e-mail address for me to send this letter of complaint. I was told there wasn’t one. Am I to believe that no-one on the customer-service end of a broadband supplier has an e-mail address? Why is this so hard?

Please address the following:

1. I was threatened four times with a £129 fee. What sort of compensation can I expect since the problem originated OUTSIDE my home? I was after all, deprived of service which I pay you for.


2. What sort of compensation can I expect for being denied access to other services I pay for which require connection to broadband? Netflix and Sky Sports come to mind, as does

3. What sort of compensation can I expect from having to use my mobile phone past my download limit because I couldn't get broadband, or connect to wifi from my home. That is another bill coming my way thanks to BT.

4. Please give me a reason why I should remain with-- let alone recommend-- your company in future.

It says on your website: “At BT our focus is on excellent customer service”

Please show me.

Looking forward to your prompt reply.

Sincerely,

Ian Winn


And so the end game...

Yesterday (Sunday-- which, it must be said, BT engineers are not available) a BT customer service rep phoned me up to respond to the @£$%ing letter I had to print, stamp and send by snail mail like it's the 1995 because there is no-email to send complaints...
"Listen I'm going to be perfectly honest with you," she said, never a good sign. She went on to say I was *LUCKY* to receive £29 and that they were only legally obligated to give me £6! I said-- you actually only give people six quid for the loss of a week? What about the time, the hassle, the loss of other service dependent on broadband, the fact I had to print a *&^%ing letter and that we're having this conversation on a Sunday when even your engineers etc.

"Sir, I'm not going to lie to you..."

In a nutshell, after reiterating the complaints in the letter below (read at your peril) I was all, Susan(nhrname), I understand you have a callus on your soul from being a customer service rep in the complaints department at BT-- and I feel for you, I really do. And I understand you can't even offer me an apology, which is weird. All I ask, person to person, because I know you'd be as frustrated as I am if you were in my shoes, is that you kick my letter upstairs. Give it to your manager."

She said, "If I did that for every letter, they would be flooded."

"Darlin, that is not my problem. When is my contract up so I can register with one of your competitors? Thank you."

Close curtains:

Only no: today I received a survey in my (e-mail) in-box, asking me how things went.

"YOUR FEEDBACK IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US."

Is it now? imagine my surprise.

Alas, BT: here is your feedback in hopefully a format you can understand: Public.

At this point my will to live dipped below 8% and I had to go outside and cry. I am currently recharging my soul until it goes back to green...

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For the record, if you want to speak to a live BT rep in the UK, this is the number they ask you to call if they think you're about to leave. I think you'll find they answer almost immediately:

0800 085 1756 

rant over