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Compensation for no service?


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Sorry for the length of the post but here goes....on 25/10/08 I reported to BT that my phone line was not working using my mobile phone (having stupidly tried at least 3 times not wanting to get charged mobile rates for waiting in a queue) and was advised that the fault would be rectified on monday 27th, meanwhile all calls to my housephone were redirected to my wifes mobile. This fault was ongoing throughout the week and every evening at @ 19:25 We received a text message to tell us that it was not fixed but would hopefully be rectified by the following day.The line was finally reinstated 11:00 on 2/11/08. This was a widespread fault which affected a large number of people in town so I have no real gripe as to how long it took to rectify, the problem for me is that because of BTs failure to provide the service I pay them for during this time any calls made were from our mobiles at mobile rates, instead being free/low costs (call circle) I expect I will be charged through the nose from Orange for the initial calls to report the fault and also I had arranged to have Sky fit my new HD fitted on 31/10 and took a day off work to be there for the engineer. Missing this date meant that I might not get it fitted till January so because of BTs ongoing promise that the line would be fixed I didnt cancel, lo and behold line not fixed, Sky couldn't install, day wasted as I had to take another day off.(luckily the engineer put the reschedule through as a service call so I got it yesterday). When my wife called BT as instructed to discuss compensation for the lack of service she was offered the princely sum of £6 when she queried the amount she then offered £10 only for the operator to be told from her supervisor that £6 was enough! I took over at this point and after going through everything again was offered £9 at this point I got fed up arguing and asked for a number to talk to a manager only to be told that they didnt have a number to give me! At this point I gave up. Is £9 a reasonable amount of compensation for 8 days failure to provide the service they are contracted to provide, considering they charge me £4.50 every 1/4 for paying my bill online by debit card? If not who do I need to contact to register my complaint? All advice/comments welcome even if only to say I'm being greedy!

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There are set rates for compensation from BT for line disruption, there's no 'horse trading' required to reach the maximum amount, and if service is not restored the day after it is reported (unless you pay for a higher level of repair) a daily fee is applied to your bill in respect of the lack of service. This ONLY applies on BT lines to BT direct customers, no other telco I'm aware of provides this.

 

The additional costs you incurred are not an issue BT will become involved in, as their compensation rates are fixed. Since the costs of using a mobile are well known, you'd be expected to pay the appropriate rates or limit your need to call until the line was restored. I used to pay BT an extra £50pq for an emergency 12 hour response to fix my line, and I received enhanced compensation should they not achieve this. Without these additional service guarantees, no claim against BT would be entertained.

 

As for the Sky engineer - a line fault would not prevent installation, only the activation of the box, which you could have done yourself when the line was restored, so any complaints about the non installation would be a different issue.

 

I estimate that if you were out of service for over a week you compensation would be nealy £50, so I'd get back to CS and remind them of their obligations.

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Thanks for that Buzby I,ll give it another go but as I said when I "discussed" compensation with customer services yesterday I got stonewalled by the operator & her "manager?" with this offer of £9 so I can't see them budging. This is probably a stupid question but does it make a difference to the level of compensation that I only have my line rental from BT, I get my calls from talk talk?

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Aaargh! You didn't say that originally! Yes, it makes a big difference - that's why you've missed ot on the bigger compo. One of the little known benefits of being a (total) BT customer is you get the compensation package for free. If you use a different carrier for calls, you get reduced levels of compensation as BT would expect you to go to TT and ask them for compensation. I can save you the bother, they don't offer any.

 

This is one of the reasons I won't ditch BT for a virtual network operator!

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But why would I go to TT for compo? it was BT who failed to provide the service I contracted them to provide - a usable line, they own the line & the exchange surely? It is only calls that I have a contract for with TT.

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Because TT get a 'wholesale' rate for calls, which is less than you would pay BT. Because of this, they cannot be generous with compensation. To get the full 'package' you need to stick with BT for all elements of service.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bit of a result, got my £9 from BT taken off my bill & today I got my Talk Talk bill including £12.73 worth of calls (+ vat) from my home phone to my wifes mobile for the time the BT line was down! Phoned TT & explained the circumstances & was told to try BT for compensation, explained to the TT person that it was TT that was billing me for calls made by people to me, at mobile rates & so it wasn't BT who should be returning the money it was TT. After being on hold for 5 minutes she came back with a "goodwill gesture offer" of £5 off my bill for the next 6 months. Bearing in mind Buzbys comments about TT I bit her hand off!

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