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BT- British Telecommunications - Can anyone advise on how to deal with them?

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How do you Rate BT and Open Reach in Comparision to Sky or VIrgin or score out of 10  

  1. 1. How do you Rate BT and Open Reach in Comparision to Sky or VIrgin or score out of 10

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It has now been 6 months with no telephone or internet access despite paying BT (British Telecommunications)

for the service each month by direct debit.

I have payed over £200 pounds over the last 6 months for a phone line and internet broadband but still do not even have a phone line in my house.


I was a BT customer for one year when I lived in London. 6 months ago I moved to Newquay, Cornwall.

Each month BT take 37 pounds from my bank account via direct debit, even though I started a new contract when moving to Cornwall. I was assured at the time that I would only get billed after the line was activated and I was receiving the service of the contract.


BT keep cancelling the engineers appointment to come to my house. The BT call center then blames Open Reach who apparently have a monopoly of the contract. I now understand that Open Reach is a BT company, so regardless if dealing with Sky or Virgin everything still has to go through BT.


I have met with 3 open Reach engineers. It would have been 4, but the first one was apparently given the wrong telephone number by BT. Eventually it was establish that a new pole was required. After waiting for this to happen, thereafter all appointments have been cancelled by BT for the engineer to show up. This was except one appointment, where no one bothered to show up on the date that I was given email confirmation, nor did I get a cancellation.


I have included a letter of complaint below that I sent to BT. I never received any response via email or phone. Instead I phoned the call center who think I have a working service.

I phoned BT and requesting a credit and to cancel my contract. This was after spending over 20 hours on multiple phone calls with the call center. None of them seem to record any notes, as each new rep is like starting the whole process again.


I was told by BT about 12 days ago (2-3rd November) that they would give me the next 6 months of telephone line free of charge as compensation, and that an open reach engineer would be at my house in 11 days.

The email confirmation I got was a different date, but close enough. However the address was wrong. Then 2 days ago I got a text message and voicemail to say that the appointment had to be rescheduled. I was just given some random date of about 10 days from the original date. I was not asked if I can make the date.

All the information between BT departments seems inaccurate wrong. One person(department) thinks I have a telephone line, the other thinks I need a telephone line installed(this is correct- and engineer will need to enter my house to install a line), the other department say my contract is no longer active.


I phone people in the call center and no one has access to any proper history.


I also run a self employed company from home. I have spent thousands on wireless internet access, as well as significant costs on mobile phone expenses.


At this point, I want to go over to Sky but if everything has to go through Open Reach and BT lines etc, is their any point.

Do I just have to keep accepting the incompetence of BT until eventually I will have a phone line installed in my house.


I have thought about also taking legal action through a small claims court, especially as they are not even responding in writing to acknowledge my claim.


Is BT getting worse. I heard that a long time ago they were terrible but improved due to private sector competition. Are they back to the worst they have ever been. Is it in consumer interest that BT is broken up, or at least the majority of customer interaction is done by private companies with SLAs. Is it better to use Sky of Virgin. What SLAs do they have? Can they guarantee, or is it the same routine of blaming any mistake on Open Reach who cant defend themselves? Or is Open Reach a monopoly that due to no competition, can provide a pathetic service to BT direct customers as well as Sky and Virgin?


Something is really wrong here. Can anyone help?



I include the letter to BT below. (sent about 30 days ago- I never even got a response to this from BT)



Letter to BT-


Dear BT-


It has now been allmost 6 months of no service. I am about to take legal action through the small claims court.


-I have paid for a service for allmost 6 months but recieved nothing.

-I have lost money due to loss of work productivity as I work from home.

- I have spent countless hours on the phone with BT call centre representatives.

- I have met with Open reach 3 times.


After 3 months of being messed around, it was established by open Reach that a new pole was required to provide me with a phone and internet service.


1. The first appointment booked with an Open Reach engineer- they admitted that BT have given them a wrong telephone number, not the number I use


2. The 2nd appointment it was established that a survey was required. This took 2 months.


3. Survey took place, then it was established a pole was required. (I understand this fact, but not how long it took to establish this)


4. The pole was installed, prior to which I was given a date in October for the site visit by an engineer to install a line. (over 2 months after the pole was installed).


5. The site engineer never showed up on the date. I have had no further communication from BT.


6. All appointments since have been cancelled and constantly moved forward. I do not even get a chance to agree the date, it is a text message from BT to say the date has been moved.



However I still get billed every month.

BT are profiteering by providing no service.

I was previously a customer with BT. I was told that I had to sign a new contract, and this would only become active once my line was put in place.


I was told by Open Reach that Sky Internet services would not require an audit, they would have just put the line around the house to the closest pole. Essentially recommending Sky instead of BT.


All the call center people I spoke to blamed Open Reach and agreed the serivce was poor. I was even told by a BT rep via online chat that I would be compensated. I have recorded this online chat. I later learned that Open Reach is actually a BT company.


Never in my life have I experienced such poor service. I wish that I had just used Sky. At this point in time I may even consider moving house. Perhaps it would have been easier to have moved house at the very beginning and asked Sky to do the setup.


I spoke to so many people at BT, and everyone seemed ignorant to the history of the problem. Does BT record communications?

I had to explain the situation over and over.


I request that I speak to a senior manager to get some form of an explanation of the latest fiasco- the engineer not showing up in October.


Incidently, I did get a letter in the post during September to say that an Open Reach engineer had visited my house to complete something, perhaps install my line?


However I never had agreed this date, some how the October date had been pushed forward.


I live in Newquay, and many of the excuses given to me were that BT/open reach do not have many engineers in the area. It would appear that one of them had randomly stopped by my house, or just put something in the post to avoid having to complete the October appointment.


At this point it has just become a joke.

If I could have a total refund I will contact Sky and start the process again. If I am ignored I will have choice but to seek resolution through the small claims court. Naturally I will then seek another damages caused by BT


If someone from BT does bother to call me, I expect they have looked into the history. I am too busy to have to explain it to someone who has no historical issue of the problem or authority to do anything except send an email etc.


My number is included on this contact form,.



Best Regards


Edited by LiamHolmes

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Try speaking to a British customer services manager as high up the food chain as you can get and dealing with only them. Forget the overseas call centres.


If that fails just switch to Sky. I've just switched after almost 20 years of neglect with BT, including similar problems.


I'm not sure if Sky are any use but they're cheaper.


Good luck.



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Hi Richard,


Thanks for that. I have requested to speak to a senior manager in the UK on many occasions, but somehow by no choice of my own get routed to India.

I phone a UK number and expect to deal with UK staff members, although I must admit that I have spoken to UK call centers and the Indian Call centers.

Both have no power or authority to do anything except follow a process that does not seem to work, or at least consistently.


Warren Buckley is the director of customer service at BT, and I would speak to him if I could.


I think the switch to Sky seems like the best option, but I am concerned that even through Sky I will have to deal indirectly with BT.

Also it means starting the whole process again. Will Open Reach just cancel appointment's over and over?

When I lived in London I never had these issues with BT.


Best Regards


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You could contact alison buaers at bt she is just below the ceo she dealt with my complaint quickly.


Personally i wouldnt go to SKY but i found that they werent cheaper at all plus there line rental has gone up again.


If u would like alisons email let me know.

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I spoke to Warren during my frustration at being ripped off and extortion tactics. He too "couldn't help". More like "wouldn't help".


Yes, I've heard the best way to speak to the English management is to e-mail them first.


Alison sounds like she cares. Try her.


I'm assuming you're not out in the sticks and it'll cost them millions to run a line out to you? Before long, winter will set in and they could use that as an excuse to not put a new pole in. I hope they'll just do the decent thing and give you what you've paid for. Tomorrow. If not sooner.


Yes, perhaps I've a cheaper deal because I already had Sky TV. Sorry to have misled there.

However, Tesco is definitely cheaper than BT, as are most I think. Check out the opera.


Obviously, I'm yet to find out about the new service but it was too frustrating when even Warren didn't care.


Perhaps he's changed his tune after eating away at BT's profits.





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Hi Alison,


Please can you tell me what the contact email address is for Alison Buaers , and any other management contacts.


The comedy services continues. I received a notification that my appointment had been cancelled, and that it had been moved to a new date. This was done by voicemail on BT.

Today I received a text message and email that my line was going to be activated again as originally planned tomorrow. (This is about the 15th failed attempt)


What BT are not accepting is that an engineer will have to come into the house to install the line. The call center claim that my house allready has a line. However I live in my house and I know that it does not have a line.

It is just explaining the somethings over and over to the most incompetent call center staff, who clearly also have lots of different systems with incorrect data. Their is no point telling them anything.


I need someone to take over the responsibility at BT of ensuring that -

1. Someone gets to my house to install the line, and then activates it.


I may still pursue legal action through a small claims court for the amount of time that has been wasted speaking to the call center.


Best Regards


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Liam i have inboxed you alisons email address

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