The headache that never ends

We had a broadband, phone and television package with BT at our old address, simply because that was the only option if we wanted a decent broadband connection. It was a nightmare to set up (we ended up with four separate independent accounts for one package ‘because that’s how it’s set up’), a nightmare to maintain (continuous phone calls and threatening letters for ‘outstanding payments’ of a few pounds at a time on the accounts despite the monthly bill stating that it was all taken care of by direct debit), but neither prepared us the nightmare of trying to leave. First, we had to pay a fixed penalty to get out of the contract. Next, we had to settle four bills on four different accounts over the phone for a single package, with BT refusing to provide additional paperwork, which we did. And then after moving house, the threatening with legal action phone calls from BT call centres and debt collectors started.  Usually, I would be annoyed that the phone is yet again considered to be the only route of access. I can’t hear well on the phone and using it is extremely problematic. Refusing to catch me up via an alternative means is frustrating and annoying. However, there were worse issues.

The circle keeps repeating itself. We receive a threatening phone call, not a letter, demanding payment for an account that has been closed and settled. The amounts on average have been between £4 and £8. We’re informed that multiple letters have been sent out (none of which we received) and multiple phone calls have been made and messages left (none of which has been received) and they have no other choice but to proceed with legal action unless we pay up right now on the phone as this is the last warning. As it is such a small amount, we foot the bill. We are then reassured that this is the last contact we will have with BT, all accounts are settled, paid up and closed, but it will take 2-3 days to make it through the system, so please ignore any threatening letters that may be sent out in the next few days. Sure enough, a letter arrives, we ignore it, only to receive another threatening phone call a week later. We provide all this information, again, we go through all of it, again, we pay, again, we are told to ignore letters, again, and then the cycle repeats itself, again. At five o’clock yesterday, we received another phone call. This time, to chase a £4 late payment fee that hadn’t been paid. After a long phone conversation quoting back names of previous call handlers, dates and times of phone calls and reference numbers (we got smarter at collecting data as it dragged on) and plenty of yelling from Chris, the fee was waived and we were again assured that this concludes all business for this account and we would receive no further phone calls or letters.

I’m furious, I’m fed up and I’m tired of threatening phone calls. I will never ever ever be a BT customer ever again. I’d rather not have internet access or a phone line if its a choice between that and signing up with BT. I truly hope three months after the account has been closed that it is, finally closed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if next week, something else popped up with another £4 bill/fee attached to it.


One thought on “The headache that never ends

  1. I can’t decide whether I should take comfort in the fact that I am not the only person in the world dealing with “incompetent people and the companies that they work for, who cannot do their jobs no matter how many times you call, or how many letters you write” or to be utterly despondent over the fact that this is happening to people on both sides of the Atlantic, and as far as I can tell, it is actually worse on the other side of the Atlantic. I have been dealing with a whole series of apparently unresolvable billing problems. At what point, do you simply give up and assume that the problem will never be resolved…after the 6th phone call…how about the 12th…after more than a year has passed? Does anyone have the solution to this problem? As bad as my issues have been, it actually sounds like yours are worse, and that is scary indeed considering that our president and his minions are working hard to model the US after the failing European model. My condolences for your troubles, and my congratulations on your pregnancy. May God protect you and your family and make your paths smooth.

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