At Christmas we have several days off, and several days with minimal staff, and so some orders or faults fall to me as the last resort, and so I get involved directly with BT.
Sadly, this almost always ends badly. I am told by my sales staff that this latest fiasco is typical and they have this sort of thing all of the time.
But just to get this in perspective we have a case here of one simple FTTC order for a customer which simply is not happening, but the tale of incompetence after incompetence is just staggering. It is quite worrying that this apparently happens a lot and I think we are going to have to tackle it. I suspect the only answer will be to charge BT for extra work and deduct from what we pay until it ends up in front of a judge. But, let's assume, for one moment, that there is a way to get this properly fixed without going to that level. I'd like to work with BT to help them understand the issues and take steps to fix them.
This one order was a simple one. It is a phone line and FTTC simultaneous provide (i.e. one job to put in the phone line and FTTC) for a customer. The address has a "gold" address key, so is a location BT know, and have wiring to and so there is do confusion or doubt about the address itself.
- On the day before the appointment, it was magically cancelled due to what BT say was an error in a robotic activity?! We got it reappointed for the afternoon.
- BT managed to lose the connection to the FTTC order in the process, which means that it would have to be re-appointed for later!
- BT turned up at the wrong address, so closed off the order as no access.
- BT tried to blame us, even though we sent the right full address and the BT gold address key for the order (both phone line and FTTC side). The engineer notes from BT confirmed it was the wrong address that he visited, as did the customer who got called by the engineer at the time, but the engineer would not go to the right address when told.
- BT insisted that we would have to cancel and re-order. I.e. they screwed up, and that was it - tough, we have to do work to fix their cock up
- BT insisted that they could not cancel and re-order "for us" as OFCOM do not allow that.
- BT then decided that they could do something, and took over a day to say that they cannot actually get the address fixed so we would have to cancel and re-order.
- BT then decided they could cancel the order "for us" and did so.
- BT then decided they could not issue a new order for FTTC because it was not available at the exchange. Indeed, the exchange did not even have a planned date for FTTC to be available!
- I had to send BT screen shots of BTs checker showing it was available not only on the exchange but the specific cabinet which they agreed was the one in question
- A day passes, and eventually BT place the order for the FTTC
- BT then come back and say the order is cancelled as there are outstanding orders on the line. They say they cannot see any outstanding orders, but can be check. WTF, they are BT plc, and they do not know why BT plc cancelled the order.
- "The manual provide order is AUTO_ABORTED with reason: 'An open, stop or cease order is in progress for the same line identifier-Installation DN, however there is no such open cease orders found in systems. I have raised this issue with suppliers back end team for further investigation." (to be clear, by suppliers, this person who represents British Telecommunications plc company 1800000 means British Telecommunications plc company 1800000).
- Two more days pass with no update or resolution
- Now BT say that the PSTN order is not closed off - well, yes, we know that, and we told them that at the start and at several times during this process, but they are saying we have to contact the PSTN provider, which is them, to fix that first, even though this is a simultaneous provision. So all the work and emails over the last 5 days have been totally and utterly pointless. We are back to them saying we have to cancel and re-order the whole lot.
- 5th Jan, a PSTN line finally goes in
- 6th Jan BT say they cannot install FTTC on it, but hope to fix that soon!
- I'll extend this as we know, but this is taking days and days of our work.
- We have not got as far as the billing being wrong - that will come later.
We need to talk.
You are totally incompetent, and this needs changing.
What can we do to help you sort this out?
Would billing you for every time you screw up help matters?
We're starting a forum for people that buy from BT so that we can get lots of ISPs learning the same lessons and doing the same things to try and get things in BT fixed. We have a few members already. I hope that will help you.
[This was not how I planned to launch WBBF, but there you go. Other long suffering ISPs, please sign up on www.wbbf.uk]