Thursday, July 23, 2009

You won't believe what happened to me when I called BT

I've been buying broadband from BT for ten years now. During that time they've irritated me by changing the name of the service from BT Openworld to BT Connect to BT Yahoo. Everything, in fact, except BT Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub. I have three BT lines. A phone line, a burglar alarm line and another number that carries the broadband. Because I have only one point that delivers this last line I wondered if I could transfer the broadband to the main phone line, which has more sockets. I'd put off doing it for a couple of years because I couldn't bear the draining, uncomprehending conversations with distant call centres, the cost and upheaval of engineers or the risk that I would be left with no phone lines at all.

I was talking to Fraser about it. He said it ought to be possible for them to just switch it over. Fearing it couldn't be as simple as that, I put it off for a further couple of months. Eventually, I took my courage in both hands and called the BT Broadband queries line which connected to somebody in Bangalore who gave me another number to call in sales. They then put me on to the change of address section who said they could switch over the line but it might take seven days. Over the next seven days I received a series of automated phone messages promising that the process had been instigated and then a final call noting that the deed had been done. A couple of days later an actual human being called and asked if it was working. It was.

So there you are. The story of something working as it should and good customer service. I couldn't let it go unremarked.


  1. Been there. Don't get too excited – just wait until you receive your next bill and find that they've completely changed all of your account numbers, which completely screws up the online billing.

    My advice to you and to any other human being (in fact, I might have it written on my gravestone so that I might convert passing mourners): SWITCH TO TALK TALK.

    (Oh, and I'm looking forward to them changing their name to BT Requiem: Revenge of Busby, which I think is scheduled to happen at some point in October.)

  2. I have to say, I spent a month shouting down the phone at people in BT call centres to get my BT fixed. It was a complete nightmare.

  3. That was certainly my experience in the past, which is what made this experience worthy of note.

  4. Whiteglove12:10 pm

    After three years of service our BT Home Hub packed up recently: no machine at home could find it wirelessly, although they had no problem locating a dozen or so elsewhere in the street. Rebooting etc didn't work.

    Struggled through a few days of cabling up to the box before a bottle of red provided sufficient impetus to brave the helpline.

    It was probably the smoothest call centre experience I have ever had; knowledgable, efficient and instructive to the point of equipping me with the tools to fix future similar problems myself.

    Maybe it was the booze talking, but - after years of on-hold conditioning - when I hung up I actually felt elated.

  5. NomadUK7:14 pm


    Um. Right. Sterling call centre support, them.

  6. Talk Talk/Carphone Warehouse are a bunch of lying barstewards. They ignored our "No sales" sign and then proceeded to lie through their teeth in an attempt to gain entry to our property. I'm still waiting for a reply to my complaint and that was months ago.

    BT aren't perfect but the fact that I haven't had to speak to them about any problems in a long, long time speaks volumes to me.

  7. Its funny when you have good customer service. Last year (i'm in Oz by the way) we moved flat and put off swapping the Setanta connection over. When we phoned. They just did it and we were watching Setanta 5 minutes later.

    The old adage applies if you get good customer service you'll tell 3 people, if you get bad your talk about it till the day you die

  8. Don't talk to me about BT. (Someone had to say it. And it's good to talk.)

  9. If your BT experiences get too much, move to Hull. They don't exist here. It's ace.