I called BT in early January with regards to getting a line installed at home, keeping our current number. I ended the call saying I'd talk it over with the wife and ring them back if we decided to go ahead - we didn't.
20th Jan I get a text message from BT - said they'd been trying to get hold of me, had been unsuccessful, but my line would be activated on 21st. The line had been set up with a completely new number.
After about 10 calls, the line was still active and they haven't yet cancelled the account - but I had received a bill and been informed I'd need to pay a cancellation fee, which I've obviously refused to pay.
I was also bombarded with calls from their call centre asking if I was happy with the service I was receiving on the line.
I think the line is disconnected now, or if it's not, it will be within the next 24 hours (apparently).
What I'd like to know is, legally, can BT set up a contract between me and them, without performing a credit check on me, without me receiving anything in writing, without me signing anything?
This has been going on now for what seems ages, it's over a month since my initial call, therefore over a month since they've been processing my information without my knowledge and setting up accounts in my name which I was unaware of.
I've written them a letter (see below), just wondered if anyone had anything they think I should add to it, remove from it etc?
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure this is a complete breach of the data protection act.
Had they cancelled the account after my initial call I think I'd have been fairly content and left it, but owing to their complete incompetence, and the number of calls I've made & received in trying to get this sorted, I now want to take it as far as I can. Advice please...? Letter below, haven't sent it yet....
Dear Mrs Lewis,
In early January I contacted your sales team with an enquiry about getting a BT line installed at my home, as we were considering moving over to BT so we could benefit from Sky Television. The gentleman I spoke to was most helpful, and the phone call concluded with the decision I would talk the costs over with my wife and then call back if we decided we would like to go ahead with the order. In the end, we decided we would stay with our current provider for the time being.
On 20th January, I received a text message on my landline telephone, informing me that my line would be made active on 21st January. I’m sure you can imagine my surprise, and I was unable to get hold of anybody at BT to inform them until 21st January. The lady I spoke to was very apologetic, and promised to have the line cancelled, and that, I assumed, was the end of it.
Since this date, I have been ‘plagued’ by phone calls from staff in your call centre, enquiring as to whether I am happy with the service I am receiving. After what was probably the fifth call, I called your customer services department, asking if the calls could please stop. I was told they would, but I am still receiving these calls. That is not my only complaint.
On 5th February, I received a bill from BT for £37.50. Once again, another call was made to your customer services department, I was informed that it was an error, and that I should ignore it. I took it upon myself to call the phone number which had been allocated to me, just to check that it had been disconnected, but found it was still active.
On 6th February, I called again and asked if my account was active. I was informed that it was. I explained again the situation, and asked for the line to be cancelled and the account closed, and was informed that I would now be subject to a cancellation charge. I asked why and was informed that these charges are set out in your terms and conditions – terms and conditions which I never received. I politely informed the agent that I would not be paying this amount, and he agreed to remove all charges from my account, and credit my account with £37.50 so the bill would be settled (something which I assumed, from my previous call, had already been done). That, I honestly believed, had to be the end of this whole ridiculous saga.
Today, my wife called me to inform me that BT had phoned once again to ask if I was sure I wanted to cancel the line and close the account.
I’m sure you appreciate, Mrs Lewis, how tiring, laborious and drawn out this whole situation has become. What started off as a simple enquiry into how much it would cost to have a BT line activated at my house, has become what I can only describe as a complete nightmare, and there are several questions I would like answers to.
1. How is it possible for you to set up an account without having performed a credit check?
2. How is it possible for you to set up a contract between yourselves and me, without me receiving any written confirmation of this contract?
3. How is it possible for you to set up a contract between yourselves and me, without me signing any contract?
4. How has it occurred that despite many phone calls to you, you still have not cancelled an account that was never requested in the first place?
5. How many times do I have to inform your call centre that I wish for them to stop calling be before they take notice?
I would appreciate a full, written explanation as to how this whole situation has occurred.
I suspect that the helpful man who took my first enquiry works on a commission basis, and perhaps was after some easy money. Whatever the reason, I am tired of wasting my time, patience, and money (most of the calls I have made to you have been from my mobile, as I’ve not recently been in a position where I can call from a landline) trying to get this sorted.
If I receive any further calls, I will be reporting BT to Ofcom for harassment.
It's not very inspiring to receive such poor service from a company I was considering buying a service from. I think I'll stick with Virgin now, thanks anyway.
Would really appreciate your comments, and am wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation with BT?