Hi-tec interruptions

Yesterday morning when I wanted to bring my diary up to date I discovered that in the middle of the UK’s Silicon Valley I had neither phone line nor internet connection.

I used a mobile to phone BT. They tried to tell me it was a fault with my equipment. They then told me how I could test my system to establish who was at fault.

After a few minutes with a screwdriver and a spare phone I proved to my satisfaction what I had known all along – the fault was with the BT line.

I was then told that no-one could come to reestablish the line until Tuesday, and I would have to be at home to allow them entry (difficult to see why they need it when the fault clearly lies outside the house). Nor of course could they give me an appointment time. If they decided the fault was with my equipment there would be high penalty charges.

I am very glad my income does not hinge on putting work out on the web, and that I have a mobile so I can stay in touch with people. It really is not good enough BT – you should raise your game, and be ready to repair lines that go down without arguing it’s not your fault, without threatening penalty tariffs, and offering prompt appointment times if you really do need access to people’s houses.

I am only back blogging because someone has allowed me to use their computer.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted January 14, 2007 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    His Grace has had absolutely identical conversations with BT, and presently awaits an engineer to repair a line fault which, they asserted, was actually a fault with a) the PC, b) the modem, c) the filters, or d) anything but the BT line.

    His Grace has spent about 2 hours on various phones trying to speak to 'customer services', and has been warned that a

  2. Posted January 14, 2007 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    The reason BT can behave so poorly is because they know customers cannot be bothered to move to another company. Switch supplier to save money and get a better service.

  3. Posted January 15, 2007 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Quite right; I have had exactly the same experience with BT. It's no wonder that people "defect" to other providers when BT has allowed its customer service to deteriorate. People wouldn't mind paying more than BT's rivals if they at least felt that they were receiving a good level of service when things go wrong through no fault of their own. And it's got worse in the last couple of years. In the past, if BT was late repairing your line, it used to offer compensation equivalent to one month's line rental for each additional day that you were without a line. Now it is just one day's line rental for each day. The only consolation is that the overall level of service is still better now than in the dark days pre-1984 of nationalisation!

  4. Posted January 16, 2007 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Thought I'd share my disgruntlement with BT's broadband help service. You phone their number, wait on hold for ages, and eventually are told you need to call some other number. When you do so, after an appropriate wait, you are referred back to the original number. They are an utter shambles. Our internet access flits on and off for no apparent reason, and we can no longer be bothered to try to complain.

  5. Posted January 21, 2007 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    If they didn't threaten the penalty charge more people would just phone up to get an engineer out when one is not really needed. A problem we had at home was sorted quickly and easily, I phoned up cr and got through to the relevant department with no hassle, an engineer came out the next day and replaced a little box of tricks outside the house, fixed!

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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