Problems with BT and autism

We’re still having problems with BT and I’d by lying if I said it wasn’t stressful. I feel powerless and have no idea how to resolve the problem. Fortunately we haven’t lost internet or phone so far but I received another automated email from BT on the weekend, same as the one from a couple of weeks ago, saying “Sorry to see you go blah blah blah”. I tried contacting them via Twitter and someone emailed me on Saturday and the email is quite extraordinary. Here’s a copy and paste of some of what they said:

Yes that’s right it seems you may have enquired about services from another provider in the not to distant past which is the reason for the current situation you are faced with.

We did send you notification of this and this correspondence did advise of what actions to take should you not with this to go ahead. Unfortunately you left it to late to contact us a we could not stop the request to transfer your services to the other provider you had previously contacted.

You would indeed have had services up and running as you advised but not with BT Retail.

I honestly haven’t, cross my heart and kiss my elbow, signed up with another provider. Every time I ring 150 to see who my provider is the message says, “Hello, thanks for calling BT” which seems to suggest BT is my provider still. No other provider has contacted me at any time and I haven’t signed up with anyone else voluntarily. Each time I contact BT, with the exception of a nice lady this morning who was more confused than accusatory, they say my phone services have been transferred to another company but won’t say who. The lady this morning said she couldn’t see who and she had no explanation for why 150 tells me the service is with BT. How I could have made a transfer twice in the last month without my knowledge is a mystery to me and I’m yet to receive any kind of correspondence from this third-party telecommunications provider because as far as I’m concerned there isn’t any other company.

I have no idea how to fix this or what to do next. I’m tired of ringing them and explaining the situation over and over again. We have wondered what would happen if we just did nothing, since our service is up and running, but I don’t want to do that because something is clearly wrong. It’s as though BT keeps transferring our service to BT and we’re stuck in some kind of loop. But the people I talk to about it don’t believe me and assume I’ve transferred the account away from BT.

I work in support and if anything good has come from this it has made me realise how powerless you are when you contact support and how we expect the people on the other end to believe what we say. I hope I already always do believe my users and take their concerns seriously but this just reinforces it for me.

On a lighter note we need to get Daniel some new shoes and I asked him whether he had a preference for the type of shoe he wants. His only input was that he wanted his shoe to look different from everyone else’s. I was quite impressed by this because most kids want to look the same as their peers and so I asked him why, thinking it was because he wanted to be unique and to stand out. It turns out he just wants to make sure his shoes are never confused with someone else’s when they take them off at school and leave them in a pile somewhere. He wants to make sure no-one else accidentally puts on his shoes. There’s something so cutely autistic about that and very Sheldonesque.

17 responses to “Problems with BT and autism”

  1. My daughter had problems with BT in the UK also, They seem quite bad – certainly at creating and then not resolving this issue! I agree that you can’t let it go really, but I hope someone listens to you and sorts it out soon!

    • Yeah, I’m really pleased he doesn’t want to be like other kids and hopefully won’t be susceptible to peer pressure. We haven’t seen any evidence of that happening so far, thank goodness.

  2. Rachel, have you made a formal complaint to BT? If not, it would be a good idea. Make sure you follow their complaint procedure and submit your complaint in writing and you keep records of every communication with BT.

    BT also record all telephone calls to their services and these are also records you call upon or refer to in your complaint.

    Issuing a complaint should help wrest the initiative back to yourselves. If you fail to get satisfaction from BT, I think you can refer the complaint to OFCOM.

    • Well, probably not a formal complaint but I did email them and got the reply I pasted into my post. Perhaps we’ll try the formal complaint process depending on how things go over the next couple of days. We were thinking we might try contacting Anna Tims at The Observer.

      • I suggest the formal complaint first. You are likely to get to deal with a BT employee who can make decisions.

      • My experience over the last few weeks has left me feeling that BT employees are pretty useless.

        I’ve just done a bit of research today and discovered something called “slamming” which is where your telephone line is transferred to another company without your consent. However I’m not convinced that this is what has happened because this phantom company has not contacted me at all and I should have received some notification from them that I had become their customer.

        BT say my current services are not with them but I’m not paying anyone else so I don’t think they really have any idea what’s going on.

  3. If there was an attempt to slam your account, BT might have recognised and stopped the scam but not remitted the cancellation charge that would normally follow. That is, left hand not communicating with right hand. OfCom advises
    To get help with your individual problems, follow these steps:

    Contact your provider’s customer services department and explain your problem.
    If this doesn’t resolve the issue, make a formal complaint to the company. You should find details of how to do this on the back of your bill, on their website or ask their customer services.
    If your provider is unable to resolve your complaint, ask for a deadlock letter. This enables you to take your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.

    • Thanks, Graham, I’ve just checked my bank account and BT have taken the cancellation fee from my account this morning. I’m so cross! I can’t believe that did that after all of this.

  4. That is truly frustrating and time wasting Rachel. It does my head in just reading it. Where I live, we have an ombudsman, “an independent and impartial watchdog” to handle such complaints. Do you have anything like that in Scotland? My youngest daughter had an issue with Australia Post who didn’t follow their own policy delivery procedures. What followed were numerous circular phone calls and emails. Most people would have given up in despair but she persisted (partly because she’s a povo student) and eventually they coughed up $50 for the missing parcel which was about a third of its value. Good luck with BT!

    That’s a great story about the shoes. I like Daniel’s thinking!

    • I think OfCom handle complaints. There’s also a complaints section in The Observer and they seem to have a lot of luck resolving issues where the individual does not.

  5. Rachel,
    I think Graham With Hats is right. As annoying and time consuming as it is, a formal complaint is the only way you will get the attention of BT and resolve this debacle.
    The second suggestion I have is to eat another box of chocolates!
    Whoever penned that email to you is an idiot.
    Smart thinking by Daniel!

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