News Column

Pole-axed by BT's service

July 7, 2014

RECENTLY, BT engineers replaced a telegraph pole a mile from my home, after which something was connected wrongly. The first I noticed was that I had no internet. Not knowing about the pole, I telephoned my internet service provider (not BT) and we spent about an hour testing, but were unable to get to the bottom of things. I carried out BT's recommended tests and concluded that nothing was wrong with my equipment. Before I could ring BT, I received two telephone calls which were for a house a mile away. I found that calls to me were going to this other house and that if I rang someone from my telephone the other number was displayed instead of mine, and vice versa: a crossed line.

Next, I rang BT faults. I fielded numerous irrelevant questions from a computer voice, during which an attempt was made to discourage me from proceeding by threatening a charge of pound(s)129.99 - let's call it pound(s)130 - should the fault not be on the BT network. I needed to speak to a real person, which after a very long time I did. He began to warn about a pound(s)130 charge, but I stopped that and explained the situation. After some questions, he told me that the fault would be repaired before the end of a five-day period. Unsatisfactory, but I had to accept. I gave him the number of my mobile. In the meantime I was without the internet or a fully functioning landline, inconvenient to say the least. For many in rural Scotland, the physical telephone network is a lifeline.

Two days later, I received a text message from BT trying to put me off calling out an engineer with a repeat of the threat to charge pound(s)130.

The next day, I received another text message, this time saying that someone from BT would telephone my mobile between 15.00 and 17.00: no-one did, so once again I tried to reach a person at BT faults. After the usual rigmarole and 42 minutes, I spoke to a woman who was polite and apologetic and tried to be helpful, although to little avail. I tested how quickly one could speak to a real person in the accounts or sales departments: three minutes. This shows BT's priorities.

On the day for the promised repair of a fault, caused when BT engineers replaced a pole, no repair was done: the apologetic woman rang my mobile and seemed genuinely put out by it all.

What is going on? Do people in other countries have to put up with similar, or is it unique to BT and the UK?

David Ward,

Monedie Cottage,



For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Herald, The (Scotland)

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters