My contribution to Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday! – which you can all see here
You’ll remember that we moved house at the end of August?
Well we did all the things you’re supposed to do, and notified all the people we were supposed to – gas, electricity, local council, and of course our internet/telephone provider! I mean how hard can it be really – disconnect the line at the old address and re connect us at the new one? We’ve only moved 2 miles down the road for crying out loud!!It’s not like I want broadband in outer Mongolia!!
Well we were promised an date for the engineer with a couple of weeks. Well weeks rolled by and no word from them – calling to confirm of course costs a fortune (0800 numbers aren’t free from a mobile!!) and to no avail! When finally in the middle of september we get an answer, would you believe we have to wait until the 19th October for a phone line!! Now I’m a patient person, but this is ridiculous. Is there any chance we could get anything earlier??? please??? we have been waiting for a long time, I mean it will be 7 weeks by the time he arrives and the mobile bill is crippling me!!! blank answer – NO. They have to check the address, they have to check our identity at that address, we may be setting up a fraudulent account… etc…etc…etc I mean we’ve only been customers for 5 years after all – we might just be lying!!
The day arrives with an appointment slot between 8 and 2. Come 2pm – nothing…. nada…. zero….. zilch…..zip! So leaving darling hubbie at home I dashed to a friends to use their phone to call and ask – WTF is going on!! And I wait…..and wait….. and wait…… on hold – cure irritating hold music and constant messages such as ‘we are very busy, but your call is important to us’ bla bla bla platitudes etc.A few minutes of more platitudes and pointless and repeating the story and personal details, more on hold and…….. cut off Start again…waiting….hold music……waiting……hold music – you know how it goes! Finally a person! I nearly cry with relief! Platitudes, check personal information, inside leg measurement, mothers maiden name, first pet, height of eldest child, bla bla bla Oh wait this is the wrong department, he’ll put me through to the right one – they’ll help! music …wait….music…wait – a new person who knows NOTHING about me and so we do the dance of identity checks, reference numbers, and I tell my little story AGAIN!!!!!!!!! I’m trying very hard to be very calm but to little avail – these people are trying to send me over the edge! And I am told that ‘the order was raised but not processed madam’ ‘we’re so sorry’, let me put you through to through to the orders department, they’ll fix it! No I insist – I want to speak to a supervisor or manager, I have finally had enough (and may have used the term – organ grinder instead of the bloody monkey!) So more holding…..music….recorded message ‘have you tried fixing the problem by using our website?’ No I bloody haven’t you haven’t connected by bloody broadband yet!!!!!!!!! And………..cut off again!!
Right now I’m pissed! It’s my birthday, my children are home from Scotland for the weekend and I’m wasting my day on hold with sodding useless, irritating, pointless, hopeless, bloody bloody bloody BT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Deep breaths and call again! You know how it goes with the holding and the music and messages…….. Finally a person, details, identity, what is your favourite colour? what is the average speed of an unlaiden swallow?I explain my problem (I’m sure he can hear me gnawing on my liver as I explain AGAIN! He will put me through to someone else and before I can stop him…. music……holding…. madness….lights…camera…action – I think I’m loosing it! But wait what is this? a new person??? can they really be the one I’ve waited so long for??? She seems friendly … she might even know how to solve the issue…. I decide to trust her…. and then… she asks for my bloody order number… dear god how many times must I do this – I know the thing off by heart now! She calms me, promises to sort it and bids me wait while she speaks to someone who can fix it! It comes down it appears to the raising and processing order issue oh and that they haven’t disconnected the line at my old address! A rental property with god knows who in it racking up calls and charges on my bill!! But don’t panic Madam – I will fix it, you hold there and I will speak to the ordering department and we’ll sort it! I breath a sigh of relief, we may have found our guardian angel!! Wait she’s back they’ve hung up on her too! I have a kindred spirit – we are at one and I feel her pain! She is angry, and will fight my corner! Wait there madam I’ll be right back! I imagine her, hair flowing, armour glinting in the sun, her white charger crushing the heads of the order department who have dared to carry out this injustice!! I cheer her on! Go forth my comrade and do battle in the name of Honour, Keynko and St George!!!! I hold my breath, I can’t bear the tension! And then, a click, a buzz and silence. I am defeated, she has left me, cut me off in my prime, and abandoned me to my fate! I am devastated, bereft, heartbroken. My life is over and i don’t know where to go! A check of the phone handset shows me that in total I have spent over an hour on the phone to these people trying just to connect my phone line! thats all just a phone line! I have waited patiently and been a good girl! I have managed with 3 adults huddled round a single laptop to check facebook and emails. We have watched Downton Abbey and The Great British Bake off in 10 minutes slots using the slightly dodgy BT free wifi connection before it cuts out again! I have avoided calling dearest friends and family because of the cost of mobile minutes. And now wasted a precious hour of my birthday and weekend with all my babies to no avail!
Lets try twitter I think! People say it works sometimes! So I find a tag for BT and send them a message! Success! a response!! Someone seems to want to help me – but wait whats this – more delays, more waiting on hold and doing the dance of the personal information? more platitudes? Yet a other junior operator who can’t or won’t let me speak to the organ grinder?? I’m told my case has been scaled up to a viper case! ooohhhhh! WTF does that mean? My line will be connected by snakes? Why use these terms when I have no idea what they mean? will it finally happen? can this be ? oh my god and engineer….in my house….. on a saturday morning…. and …wait for it ….. A PHONE LINE!!!!!! it works!!! I can’t take the excitement! At last I can call people! I can ring my brother in America without it costing my life savings on a mobile bill! The lovely lovely engineer informs me that the broadband will be connected later that same day by another engineer – who is booked to attend – or so he thinks!!! Sadly not..no broadband….no engineer…. not until the 16th November!! Oh dear god, I can’t take much more. The long and the short of it comes down to the fact that they have no intention of connecting me before the 16th (other than offering me an appointment on the one day I told them I wasn’t at home!!!) I have been offered a ridiculous compensation package which consists of no charges to my account whilst I had no service – yes thats right they won’t charge me when I had nothing. A months free broadband, and £1 a day for mobile charges, between 19th October and the 3rd November when they connected the phone! That’s it! 2 and a half months of no service, no phone, my daughter having to pay to print worksheets out at college because we have no broadband at home, the highest mobile bill we’ve ever had! and untold hours of my life wasted on hold to a total of 17 people, all of whom have told me a different story or promised something that never happens!
Know I now they are all 1st world problems and there are people so much worse off than me and in the grand scheme of things it is unimportant. But I’m a customer, and I’m rather old fashioned in believing that we should get a certain standard of service, the customer should be a priority after all! And damn it all, we’re British and we should complain more, stand up for our rights and shout when things are wrong! I’m sorry to have rambled on, and I’m grateful you’ve stuck with me this long! I’ll let you know how it goes!!