Time for me to add my sorry tale to those of all the other unfortunate customers whose lives BT has made more complicated though inefficiency and simple disregard.
I say ‘customers’ but in truth that title would indicate some form of choice, for instance I could choose either PG Tips or Typhoo tea-bags. In the matter of getting a phone line into my studio I don’t have a choice. It’s BT or go without. Since it’s pretty difficult these days to run a business without a good internet connection, and for that I need a phone line, and I can only get a phone line from BT, I have no choice. I have to go to BT.
Back in September, when I took on my studio, I called BT to get all this arranged. The woman in the sales department was very helpful, explained all the options to me, and was very sorry that, due to heavy demand, it was going to be six weeks before I could have a visit from an engineer and get connected. I’d have to wait until November 3rd. At the end of our conversation I was a little aggrieved it was going to take so long, but I resolved to stick it out and be patient. I didn’t have a choice.
So today is November 3rd. Oh happy day! By tonight I’ll have broadband! Just to double check the time the engineer was due to visit I went online using the order number I wrote down six weeks ago. The website told me the order had been cancelled. What? I called BT. Yes, I was politely informed after a long wait, the order had been cancelled. Why? There was no information about that. Why hadn’t anyone told me? There was no information about that either.
The lady from BT could see that I was due a visit from an engineer on November 3rd (“Oh, that’s today isn’t it?”) but that wasn’t going to happen. So I wasn’t going to get online by tonight? No, she said. So what do we do now?
After puzzling for a few minutes and asking a few strange questions (“Was it a man or a woman who took your order?”) she realised the line was for my place of work, and that I therefore needed BT Business Broadband. I thought that was who I was talking to? No, I was talking to BT Broadband. I had to call a different number for BT Business Broadband.
I called the new number, waited, gave the order number, waited… Again, I was politely told the order had been cancelled. Why? Not sure, but it seemed the order had been placed by BT Broadband and not BT Business Broadband… that might be the reason. What hadn’t anyone told me? No information. So how do I get online? Well… you’ll have to raise an order. And what happens if somebody cancels it without telling me? Silence.
Well, I don’t have a choice, so let’s place an order. I’ll have to call another number to do that. Okay… but is there anyway I can get this thing done quickly? Well, she could just transfer me to the sales team, then I wouldn’t have to call the other number, might speed things up. I let out a silent scream – okay… thank you… please transfer me. She puts me on hold.
She comes back. The sales team’s systems have gone down and they can’t do anything, but she’s taken my number and Stephanie will call me back when she can.
There’s nothing I can do. I don’t have a choice. I’ll wait for Stephanie’s call.
I have a feeling this is the beginning of a long story.