UPDATE 1: About 20 minutes after posting this I got a phone call from @BTCare. I have an engineer booked to visit on Tuesday morning.
UPDATE 2: Engineer visited on Wednesday 18 February and found literally thousands of faults on the line. He cleared these but broadband is still dropping out randomly. He wondered if this was an issue with Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise (REIN).
@BTCare are sending out another Openreach engineer on Monday morning. They have at least phoned me now on the day they said they would, even if it did require me to poke them via Twitter to remind them. Confidence in them is growing a little, which is a relief.
See post Broadband woes / continued.
UPDATE 3: Engineer booked out for another visit on Monday 24 February between 08:00–13:00. It’s currently 14:00 and no sign or word from him. Although @BTCare have just kindly tweeted to ask how the appointment went… except that he’s not been.
UPDATE 4: Engineer booked for Saturday 1 March.
UPDATE 5: Engineer booked for Monday 10 March. It’s FINALLY FIXED!
The last few weeks have been the most frustrating I’ve ever experienced with BT’s customer support channel on Twitter, what I’m experiencing as an ever-more ironically named @BTCare.
In fact, I might go as far as saying that this has been my worst experience of customer service full-stop.
For the last few years I have enthused with anyone who will listen about how excellent I’ve found @BTCare to be. With a simple tweet or two I’ve found them to be engaged, interested, and conscientious; I’ve felt cared for, I’ve felt that they owned the problem and they haven’t stopped until it was resolved.
I have found myself in training sessions at work about world-class customer service raving about I see @BTCare as the paradigm of the level of support and professionalism that I would like to offer our clients.
As a web professional people regularly ask for my advice on internet service providers, and I have always recommended BT on the strength of their excellent support.
But after these last three months I can’t do that any more. I now find myself, three months into this current issue with our broadband connection randomly dropping out, and increasingly getting worse, feeling not only disgruntled but wondering if they are now purposefully ignoring me or at worst lying to me.
Having been such an advocate for what was a first rate customer service experience, I am now feeling disappointed and angry.
All I am asking for is the service that a) I’ve had, and b) that I’m paying for.
So BT tell me, what has changed? Why have I found the last few months to be the most excruciatingly frustrating experience I’ve ever had from any company’s customer service team? Why have I found myself contacting you again and again asking for feedback? Why have you replied to me time and again saying that you’ll be in touch with me soon, that you’ll phone me shortly, that you’ll a colleague “will be in touch with [me] today”.
Why am I still waiting?!
You said that you’d be in touch on Wednesday.
@garethjms Niall here. I tried calling. Let me know when you are available for a call.— BT (@BTCare) February 12, 2014
I was in, but I’d just got back from the hospital and was in a lot of pain and couldn’t get to the phone in time and my phone was set to silent/vibrate. I tweeted back immediately saying that I was available…
@garethjms Ouch! That sounds painful! Niall will give you a call again later today.— BT (@BTCare) February 12, 2014
No reply. Nor the next day. So I contacted you again:
@garethjms We'll review this later today and we'll give you a call to discuss this.— BT (@BTCare) February 14, 2014
@garethjms I'm sorry to hear that. I'll get my colleague to give you a call today. When's best to call?— BT (@BTCare) February 14, 2014
@garethjms You're welcome. He's on the late shift and starts at 1230 so that's no problem.— BT (@BTCare) February 14, 2014
So I contacted them again yesterday and was told:
@garethjms I will request the advisor that was dealing with your case recently to contact you today to help with the connection issue.— BT (@BTCare) February 15, 2014
There was then a flurry of activity, none of which was useful. I felt like I was repeating myself. I’d already explained what was going on in one of the many emails that I’d written.
But I don’t know how these things work at their end, perhaps they didn’t have access to the information that I’d sent. There also seemed to be a misunderstanding that the issue was simply a drop in WiFi connection rather than the connection to the whole hub dropping out (the blue light turns to a flashing orange light).
@garethjms Does the light on the hub change colour?— BT (@BTCare) February 15, 2014
Then late last night, while the connection was dropping out every other minute I was asked to send another email.
I finally found a few minutes where the connection stayed up for long enough to write a long, detailed explanation of what is going on.
The issue: my broadband connection keeps dropping — orange light flashes… connects (blue)… drops… repeat. Not just WiFi – the lot. My main PC is connected via LAN cable to the hub via a powerline. My phone and tablet are connected with WiFi (2.4 GHz, channel 6). I have changed the channel… no effect: still drops out.
Here’s a record I’ve kept from the HomeHub 4 logs:
Connection during the day is solid, from about 08:00–23:00. Today it started dropping every few moments after 21:00.
We had an engineer visit in mid-December. He tested everything and said that our internal wiring (from master to one extension socket) was fine. He recommended unplugging everything and reconnecting in case the issue was static on the line. I’ve done that… it hasn’t fixed things.
He suggested that if it continue then the issue is likely to be the Home Hub 3 we had. This has now been replaced with a Home Hub 4. The connection was absolutely fine for a couple of weeks, and was faster than the HH3 but now it has started dropping out again and only in the evenings.
We have not changed anything in the house. Same equipment is on and switched on. The only change is the Home Hub and filter, swapped for the one that arrived with the Home Hub 4. But like I said it worked for a few weeks.
I now have the [brand new] Home Hub 4 plugged into [a brand new microfilter plugged into] the master socket in our hallway. I’ve also done a factory reset on the hub.
This strikes me as being an issue that is external to our property.
I got this reply this morning:
@garethjms Sorry you're having problems my colleague will be in touch with you today.— BT (@BTCare) February 16, 2014
It is now 17:22, I have stayed in all day, on Sundays they close at 18:00 and so far no call despite an assurance 9 hours ago that you would be in touch.
So, please tell me BT… what has happened? Please turn around this experience for me. Please make me believe that you can offer world-class customer service again.
But most of all: please fix our broadband connection.