Old red telephone with the receiver off the hook.

Well … I’m really quite speechless. Literally! Our telephone line is now not working.

We, quite remarkably, have a broadband service — 8 Mbps no less — and a broadband talk service — that’s VoIP to you and me — but no landline telephone.

So I went online and reported the fault at BT Faults. We’re now waiting for them to get back to me, via text, to tell us that they’ve fixed the problem and we can make calls again.

Complaints procedure

Printed on the rear of every bill from BT is the following:

Our commitment to our customers:

We aim to give you an excellent service and our Code of Practice (available on www.bt.com or on request from 0800 800 150) sets out full details of what you can expect from BT.

If you have a complaint:

Please call 0800 800 150 (a free call) for the quickest response. If you decide you want to write to us, the address is BT UK Business Accounts, Providence Row, Durham DH98 1BT.

If you are unhappy with our response you can ask our Complaint Review Service to investigate. This specialist team will work with you to find a solution.

If we do not answer your complaint within 12 weeks, or if we write to you saying that we cannot agree an outcome, you can ask Otelo, the Office of Telecommunications Ombudsman, to investigate. The address is Otele, PO Box 730, Wilderspool Park, Warrington, WA4 6WU. The website address is www.otelo.org.uk or you can call 0845 0501614.

You can also download a version: BT Code of Practice (PDF, 325 KB)

I shall be reading that document and I suspect writing to complain.

Update (22:14)

Here’s what it says on the BT website that is tracking our fault:

The problem is likely to be in your property.

It could be an equipment problem that you can solve yourself or it could be a line problem, which we’ll need to fix for you.

I strongly suspect that it’s a problem with the line, or at the exchange, because we’ve changed nothing and our broadband is working. And I get nothing even with the corded BT phone plugged into the test socket on the master socket.

This is just not good enough. This is by far the worst experience I have ever experienced from a communications company. And that makes me sad because I wanted to believe that BT cared for their customers.

On the off-chance that we wake up in the morning and discover that BT have “done the double” and we’ve lost our broadband connection too, if you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know why, and I’ll fill you in on what’s going on when I return to work on Monday!

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

2 thoughts on “Speechless!”

  1. And that makes me sad because I wanted to believe that BT cared for their customers

    Going by your many blog postings on phone and broadband problems over the past few months, I suspect that caring for you, their customer, is not high on BT’s agenda.

    You may have to change your beliefs (and, indeed, your telecoms provider) here.

  2. The thing is, I do want to believe that good customer service and good quality of service is possible from BT, because I’ve experienced it before.

    When we moved to Cellardyke in April 2006 we had an excellent broadband and telephone connection — uninterrupted, as far as we could tell, from April – November 2006. And then from November – December 2006. It’s just from January 2007 things went pair-shaped.

    I want to go through all the correct channels of complaint before deciding to move telecommunications provider. It only seems fair, and besides if this is happening to me then it will be happening to others too, and I’d much rather fight for good service for all than simply pull the plug straight away.

    That’s just the kind of guy I am, no doubt influenced strongly by my faith: wanting better for everyone and not just what I can get out of it.

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