Posts Tagged broadband

Still onto BT: Roger that!

I blogged yesterday about my problem getting my BT broadband sorted out. How hard can it be to switch the account holder of an otherwise unchanged broadband service on the same line? My former employer is, understandably, keen that they should no longer pay for my home broadband, and I’m equally keen to get this sorted out.

Yesterday I got a call from BT customer services offering to upgrade me to BT Infinity. I was assured that my broadband was in my name, that the upgrade could go ahead and we even booked an appointment for an engineer visit (apparently a new socket plate is needed) next week. My fear that the account had not yet been sorted (because I’d not been told so before) was laughed off.

Ha ha.

Today I got another call from BT apologising that they would be unable to fulfil the order since, surprise surprise, my broadband is not a residential account but still in the name of my old firm. Which is what that firm and I have been trying to tell BT, and get changed, for weeks now.

I was given another number to call to sort this out, retold the tale to a series of trying-to-be helpful people (in between tranches of holding music), none of whom, it turned out, were in the right team to deal with my issue. Finally Roger Howard in Customer Options advised me a) that the best thing was simply to switch the existing account from my firm to me and b) that he was enacting this now.

Hallelujah! Let’s see if it now happens. Could be the first time we’re glad to get the phone bill.

PS to those advising me to switch to another provider… I have had tales of dreadful customer service and/or poor connection speeds from other providers. I don’t want to give any more money to Mr Murdoch. The BT broadband itself is good. It’s just the handling that’s a nightmare. Although BT please note: if there is this much hassle involved in staying with you, don’t be surprised if people switch.

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On hold for BT

I have had fun and games a few times with BT over the years.

When I went wireless there was the non-arrival of the home hub when promised. And the delay in activating the account.

Then there was the joy of the 90-minute helpdesk call that a simple line test could have avoided.

Before that, I had problems back in 2006 when my previous employer stopped paying for my broadband. Although the phone line and broadband provider were unchanged – simply a change of billing address – I found out after I had been cut off that we could not simply transfer the billing. A change of MAC code had to be made, even though BT was still the provider.

Now I’m in the same position, as I’m taking on the broadband account from my previous employer. I’m taking the opportunity to upgrade to BT Infinity at the same time. Both my old firm and I have been trying to sort this out for weeks. I am assured that the hub will arrive a week tomorrow, that the new service will be live that day, and that the billing will be seamlessly switched to my account at the end of the month. 

When I explained about the problems I’d had before, associated with having to change the MAC code, the (very friendly) chap on the line clearly thought I was an idiot. He cheerfully assured me several times that there was no problem as the line is unchanged, the provider is unchanged, it’s just a change of billing address. We have been here before.

Watch this space….

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Webwise?

I’m a BT Broadband customer, but I’ve not been invited to take part in their Webwise trial.

Not that I’m complaining – if the Open Rights Group is correct, it’s an offer you definitely can afford to refuse.

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Caveat surfer

A few months ago, I had a rant about BT Broadband’s customer service. So for the sake of balance, I share with you this gem about Orange broadband. Not so bright….

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BT blues

Disaster struck at 2.20pm today when my broadband connection dropped out. This happens a couple of times a week, and it normally comes back straight away. But today after 15 minutes, and having rebooted the home hub, still no broadband. The wireless signal was fine; but the internet connection was down, on both laptops. So not a machine-specific problem, not a router problem. I ran BT’s diagnostics program; it confirmed it was time to call the BT Helpdesk, and gave me a code to quote to save time diagnosing the problem. So far, so good.

I phoned BT, identified my home number, name, address etc. Then offered to give them the problem code from the diagnostics program. No, they didn’t want the code. I explained the problem. We then went through all the diagnostics again; reboot the home hub, reboot the laptop, try with and without the ethernet cable, try a different website, etc. Had I installed any new firewall or virus-checking software? No; I explained that the problem was not PC specific since both machines affected. Given the wireless signal was strong, could it be a broadband service problem, I suggested? No, probably a browser problem. Or new hardware. Could I run my laptop in safe mode instead? It could be the weather? Me: Have you had other calls from my area? BT: No. So unlikely to be the weather then…. Had I installed halogen lights recently? I kid you not. And so on… After about 90 minutes of this, the Helpdesk admitted defeat. They had no idea what the problem was but suggested I call the BT engineers: did I want the number?

OK, I said. Armed myself with a fresh cuppa, then phoned the new number. Did I have an account? Yes, gave my BT account details. No, did I have a BT home IT support account? This is a chargeable service, starting at £9.99 a month for a minimum of 3 months. Now, bear in mind that I’ve been offline for nearly 2 hours and I’m already paying for my Broadband, I thought this was pretty outrageous. “Look”, I said, “could you just check that my broadband service is working OK from your end. Without charging me £30.” Yes, they can do a line test free. The phone went dead. I went to get another cuppa. And lo, the broadband was back.

Yes I’m delighted it’s working, and yes I’m grateful that they did the line test. Although it could of course have been the weather….

But some questions for BT before I forget all about this and get on with life:

– why give a diagnostics code then have the Helpdesk ignore it?
– why insist on going through irrelevant basic tests without at least first listening to the customer’s description of the problem?
– why not include a line test among the Helpdesk options?
– why refer me to a chargeable service without warning that it’s chargeable?
– in fact, why attempt to charge at all for fixing the service that the customer is already paying for?

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Hold the line, please…

Now I’m working from home much of the time, I wanted to upgrade my IT and go wireless, so I’m not tethered to one modem point.

After a bit of shopping around I plumped for BT Broadband, ordered it online – including the home hub – and got a prompt email, followed by a letter, confirming my order and the delivery date (Tuesday 7 August). The kit could be delivered anytime up to 6pm I was told.

On the Tuesday, I went to get my paper & the catfood at crack of dawn, pinned a ‘knock loudly’ note to the door, and from 8am was waiting expectantly. At 5pm I started phoning to check on progress. After a tour of BT departments – from account enquiries to Sales to support – I was told that there was no wireless kit on my order, so none had been delivered. A fresh order was placed with delivery promised for Friday10th.

Friday came and went – no home hub. Another call and an email complaint over the weekend; I got a charming email back and a phone call on Monday promising delivery on Wednesday 15th. The courier duly arrived with the pack from BT. On Wednesday evening I started setting it up – wireless & broadband lights came on but no internet light.

When this was still the case today, I followed the notes in the trouble-shooting guide and rang the helpdesk. They rang me back and talked me through a series of tests – including unscrewing my phone socket from the wall and refitting it; clearly a baffling technical problem. After going away to conduct line tests for 2 hours, they called me back to say that the problem was actually that the Broadband service has not yet been activated for my line…..

It should be working tomorrow.

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