Customer Service 2

In May I had problems with my Internet access and with e-mail. I was a BT Broadband customer and BT Broadband offers a helpline service. The problem is that this service is online and my problems were with online access. I could connect to my ISP for a few seconds, perhaps up to 30 seconds, then the connection would close. I managed to get a message through pointing this out but then the connection went. Each time I reconnected I would get a series of messages from BT Broadband support personnel in India asling me to contact them, pointing out that if I would not reply to them they could not help me. Remember the problem. The connection kept going down.

Eventually I managed to speak to someone in India. (During my attempts to do this via the operator I was cut off twice! By BT!) The first person I spoke to complained about me keeping my modem on the floor. He said that that was the problem. The modem has been on the floor since I had BT Broadband installed several years ago. There was never a problem. I moved the modem, changed settings as advised by the help desk man and nothing changed. Eventually he said that the line was faulty. He promised to report it but said it could take 48 hours for his report to get through! I accepted this. I was desperate.

Two weeks later (two weeks) I again (and again after being cut off) managed to speak to someone in India. He was even more critical of my set up, complained about my settings (which his colleague had given me) and told me that the system was now fixed. Immediately after I put the phone down the connection failed again. The phone rang. It was the man from India. He confirmed that the line was faulty. Remember, his colleague had told me that two weeke previously.

Two days later I received a phone call to tell me that the fault had been repaired. A couple of hours later the connection failed again. I checked online with BT. Their website tells me that the fault was repaired three days later. I lost my temper. I contacted NTL, a company which had been trying to woo me for several years and whose overtures I had ignored. Within two working days I had a new telephone and broadband supplier. Lines which worked.

I wrote to BT. No reply. I wrote again. No reply. I received a bill. I returned it, pointing out that I had cancelled the almost non-existent service. Strangely (remember, I was refusing to pay) I got a reply from the BT Broadband Complaints Manager (I’ll bet she’s a busy woman). She assured me that BT “continually strive(s) to provide first class leading products and services with exceptional customer service.” Ha! She also advised me that “in the very near future one of our dedicated complaint handlers will contact you to resolve your issues.” No one called but I received a reminder that I had not paid my bill and threatening me with a £5 late payment charge. I sent an e-mail advising them that I had no intention of paying the bill. Two days later the “dedicated complaint handler” left a message on my answering machine including her telephone number. I tried to call. For an hour and a half the number was engaged! All of the next day the number was engaged! This is a telephone communications company!

I then received a letter from the “dedicated complaint handler” apologising for the poor service and advising me to ignore the bill. The next week I received my third copy of the bill and another call from the “dedicated complaint handler” inviting me to call her. I tried. Her number was constantly engaged.

There are those who talk about good customer service (in the Scottish phrase, they “talk a good game.”); there are those who deliver good service. Make up your own mind about BT.

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