What do you think about BT

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GusB

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I've just had a reasonably positive experience with BT. I have been out of contract for some time, and due to other life events I hadn't managed to get round to renegotiating. I had a call about a month ago offering to upgrade me to fibre on existing contract terms (ie none), and I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately when the fibre went live and I called up to report it wasn't working as expected, I discovered that I had been recontracted.
The lady I spoke to raised a complaint right away and offered a goodwill gesture. After doing a test she identified a line fault and passed it to Openreach. I've since had two follow up calls - one to advise that the complaint has been resolved, and another to see if the performance was any better. On the back of the second phone call, Openreach were booked to come out today and after a master socket replacement my broadband is now performing as expected. Any time Openreach were carrying out any tests, the engineer would call to advise what was happening and this morning's engineer called ahead to say he was on his way.
All my recent calls were answered in the UK, and on a couple of occasions they were picked up in Aberdeen. They also announce where they're located when answering. It feels like a completely different organisation, to be honest. Yes, one bloke lied about not re-contracting me, but that was dealt with swiftly, as was the technical problem. I'll be giving it a week or so to make sure no further faults occur then I'll be giving their retentions team a call.
 

stevetay3

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I've just had a reasonably positive experience with BT. I have been out of contract for some time, and due to other life events I hadn't managed to get round to renegotiating. I had a call about a month ago offering to upgrade me to fibre on existing contract terms (ie none), and I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately when the fibre went live and I called up to report it wasn't working as expected, I discovered that I had been recontracted.
The lady I spoke to raised a complaint right away and offered a goodwill gesture. After doing a test she identified a line fault and passed it to Openreach. I've since had two follow up calls - one to advise that the complaint has been resolved, and another to see if the performance was any better. On the back of the second phone call, Openreach were booked to come out today and after a master socket replacement my broadband is now performing as expected. Any time Openreach were carrying out any tests, the engineer would call to advise what was happening and this morning's engineer called ahead to say he was on his way.
All my recent calls were answered in the UK, and on a couple of occasions they were picked up in Aberdeen. They also announce where they're located when answering. It feels like a completely different organisation, to be honest. Yes, one bloke lied about not re-contracting me, but that was dealt with swiftly, as was the technical problem. I'll be giving it a week or so to make sure no further faults occur then I'll be giving their retentions team a call.
It is a much different response if still in contract. Extortionate sum required to end contract early due to issues on there part
 

GusB

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It is a much different response if still in contract. Extortionate sum required to end contract early due to issues on there part
To be honest, if you're being as vague with BT when trying to have any issues resolved as you're being with us, no wonder you're getting nowhere :rolleyes:

What specifically is the issue you're having with them?
 

Spamcan81

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Wouldn't touch them with a bargepole since they cut off my phone for "non payment" of a bill that I'd already paid. Their "final bill" was actually a refund as I was in credit with them and not in debt.
 

stevetay3

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To be honest, if you're being as vague with BT when trying to have any issues resolved as you're being with us, no wonder you're getting nowhere :rolleyes:

What specifically is the issue you're having with them?
Billing me for things I have not asked for.
Refuses to end contract early without penalty
Breaking the direct debit conditions by taking extra without notification
Need I go on
 

furnessvale

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Wouldn't touch them with a bargepole since they cut off my phone for "non payment" of a bill that I'd already paid. Their "final bill" was actually a refund as I was in credit with them and not in debt.
I did have a problem some years ago where I was given a black mark with thr credit checking people because (allegedly) I hadn't paid my phone bills.

A check of their records would have shown them that the phone in my house had a different number and been paid regularly. The unpaid number referred to a house in the next village.
 

Spamcan81

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I did have a problem some years ago where I was given a black mark with thr credit checking people because (allegedly) I hadn't paid my phone bills.

A check of their records would have shown them that the phone in my house had a different number and been paid regularly. The unpaid number referred to a house in the next village.
They got the right number. E-mailed me to say I'd be cut off if I didn't pay but could resolve the issue if I phoned them by midday on the day of the e-mail. Phoned them but the "customer assistant" flatly refused to check the system to see that I'd paid. Gave her the payment reference number and everything but she insisted on doing nothing and even suggested that the e-mail from BT was a fake. Had two lines in my property, one residential and one business. It was the residential one they cut off so I transferred my business line to another provider and never bothered getting my residential line reconnected. BT person phoned to ask why so I told them. They didn't have an answer and I've never touched them since.
 

Bletchleyite

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I used them for years, never had an issue with them. Slightly expensive but always did the job and the customer service was fine (made easier when they owned Openreach, I guess). I only switched away when I decided to go with fibre to the home which is presently only offered by Vodafone in my area.
 

najaB

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I only switched away when I decided to go with fibre to the home which is presently only offered by Vodafone in my area.
I was a bit surprised by this because Vodafone aren't known for building fixed networks. It looks like they're actually a retail provider on Cityfibre's network (the latter of which mainly sell to businesses).
 

najaB

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Extortionate sum required to end contract early due to issues on there part
Having worked for BT for over ten years I can assure you that is not the norm. If there really is a network issue then they would never charge early termination fees - in addition, shortly before I left the company Ofcom had introduced minimum guaranteed access line speeds (I think that's the right term for it) which means that if the broadband download speed is less than you were advised at point of sale then you could also terminate without penalty.

ETCs are only supposed to be raised when the customer chooses to end the contract early.
 

Baxenden Bank

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I left BT as it was too expensive. I guess other providers via Openreach landline would be just as expensive. Landline rental price increases over the past few years have been unjustifiable. Increasing significantly faster than the rate of inflation and more frequently than annual - presumably most people didn't notice the double whammy. The regulator sat on its hands and said nothing.

Moved onto a tethered smartphone. Half the monthly cost, as much data as I can sensibly use (£20 for 40GB presently, doubling to 80GB next month for the same price) and I get the same functions whilst away from home using the smartphone on its own.

It always annoyed me that BT broke the Direct Debit Guarantee every month by not giving the required number of days notice before helping themselves to money from my account.

I found their billing methods to be crazy. They know the prices will increase, they tell you in advance, but still charge you the old amount. A month later you get a bill where they jiggle it all about and help themselves to some more money.

I had no problem ending the contract as I had previously aligned my 12 month line rental saver and broadband accounts to adjacent dates and cancelled giving the 30 days notice required.

They couldn't even get the closing bill correct, charging me for ending my contract early. Realising I hadn't and sending me a revised bill and refund, then sending a further bill with a further refund because they had calculated it incorrectly.

As I had been planning the move for sometime (but took a while to get round to it), I had time to prepare a list of all my email contacts and transfer them to a new email account over time and avoiding the rip-off £7.50 per month to keep my BT email address.

The best thing is. Not a single call from a dodgy scammer since I gave up the landline number. No offers to fix my working fine windows, claim for an accident I haven't had, no offers to secure my home because the statistics say crime is rising etc.
 

Baxenden Bank

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Adjusted for inflation, the cost of a copper path is lower now than it was in the 1990s, IIRC.
I have data going back to 2007 only.

CPI Inflation (the governments preferred measure!) Feb 2007 to Feb 2019: 28.2%
Line rental Feb 07 £9.36, Feb 2019 £19.99, an increase of 114%
 

yorkie

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In order to use BT Broadband you have to also pay for line rental (even if you never make any calls)

However TalkTalk apparently will provide super fast broadband without any requirement to pay line rental. So presumably someone can save a lot of money by switching to TalkTalk and ceasing to pay line rental? Or is there a catch?
 

DerekC

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I have to say I find BT 100% better than Talktalk when something goes wrong - usually poor download performance. Talktalk would just blame BT (now Openreach) and nothing would happen. BT do at least respond and twice I have found problems in my home installation with the help of their diagnostics - saving me the engineer callout fee on each occasion. The third time I did need an engineer but that turned out to be mislabelled ports (by Openreach) on our shiny new village fibre cabinet, so I got a brand new master socket and checkover of my home installation FoC. Also the BT hub seems excellent - now the home wiring problems are fixed and it's on a small UPS to avoid glitches from our dodgy rural power supply, it stays up and stable for weeks at a time.
 

najaB

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I have data going back to 2007 only.

CPI Inflation (the governments preferred measure!) Feb 2007 to Feb 2019: 28.2%
Line rental Feb 07 £9.36, Feb 2019 £19.99, an increase of 114%
That's retail line rental (including phone service), no? Is it an exact, like for like comparison? What was included in line rental in the 1990s/early 2000s was quite different - e.g. in large parts of the country you could pretty much guarantee that you'd be connected using a pair-gain device (which meant no possibility of broadband), all lines were on StandardCare (I think all lines are PromptCare now - I left before the project completed roll-out), standard line rental now includes unlimited weekend calls, etc.

Stripping out all the 'extras' in today's service vs the service in the 1990s you're a few pennies better off now as compared to then on an inflation-adjusted basis.
 

Baxenden Bank

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That's retail line rental (including phone service), no? Is it an exact, like for like comparison? What was included in line rental in the 1990s/early 2000s was quite different - e.g. in large parts of the country you could pretty much guarantee that you'd be connected using a pair-gain device (which meant no possibility of broadband), all lines were on StandardCare (I think all lines are PromptCare now - I left before the project completed roll-out), standard line rental now includes unlimited weekend calls, etc.

Stripping out all the 'extras' in today's service vs the service in the 1990s you're a few pennies better off now as compared to then on an inflation-adjusted basis.
Even allowing for the upfront cost of a (reasonable spec) smartphone I made a financial saving last year, my first BT free year. This year I will make even greater savings.

It is the 'extras' which gave me the problem. They upped the price and bundled in things I didn't want in recompense. The add-ons I did want you have to pay extra for. Are BT the only company to make you pay for Caller Line Identification? That has been free on my mobile for 20 years!

I have a maxim. The more complicated the pricing structure, the more dubious the company you are dealing with. An attitude of 'make things as complicated as possible' so customers cannot work out whether they are getting value for money or whether they could get a better price elsewhere as a like-for-like comparison is made impossible.

BT still owe me for 'BT Privacy with Caller Display' which should have been free with 'line rental saver' but they charged me monthly for. Bombay John (as was) clearly wouldn't / couldn't sort it. I think my line was on DontCare rather than StandardCare or PromptCare!

The argument deployed when I tried to leave was 'what if your mobile service goes down, how will you make that emergency call?' Well, in nearly 20 years of having both a mobile and a landline, the mobile service had occasional short blips of non-service, whilst the landline went down for over 5 days with no recompense (fault happened at Friday tea-time so the '4 days to repair' clock didn't commence until the Monday morning!).

Then there's the several days I paid for nothing in return when commencing my broadband service, but Openreach neglected to turn it on at the local exchange. I had to wait for an engineer to come (are you sure you've connected everything properly, there will be a massive fee if we have to come out and it's your fault).

BT may, this week, be a marvelous company. But they certainly weren't until the end of 2018 when I was with them.
 

JamesT

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In order to use BT Broadband you have to also pay for line rental (even if you never make any calls)

However TalkTalk apparently will provide super fast broadband without any requirement to pay line rental. So presumably someone can save a lot of money by switching to TalkTalk and ceasing to pay line rental? Or is there a catch?
There’s still a cost to TalkTalk for maintaining the local loop, they’re just not splitting that out as ‘line rental’ when they charge their customers. There was an Ofcom decision a few years ago that broadband had to be advertised with an all inclusive price as some people felt misled by “£5 broadband! (Line rental £20/month)”
 

najaB

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Even allowing for the upfront cost of a (reasonable spec) smartphone I made a financial saving last year, my first BT free year. This year I will make even greater savings.
Which, as a consumer, is 100% your right to do. But it's nice to others to be factually accurate when making your points.
It is the 'extras' which gave me the problem. They upped the price and bundled in things I didn't want in recompense.
Again, as a consumer it's 100% your right to "vote with your wallet".
 

Baxenden Bank

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Which, as a consumer, is 100% your right to do. But it's nice to others to be factually accurate when making your points.
Again, as a consumer it's 100% your right to "vote with your wallet".
I was factually accurate. The standard BT line rental price in February 2007 was £9.36 per month. The same price in 2019 was £19.99 per month. Reducable through line rental saver, not available in 2007. Four times the rate of inflation for a comparable period. If you have the 1990's prices to hand, I can do the sums. Just give me a start date and an end date.

The specification of that line ie pair-gain is not relevant. Basic telephony charges are as quoted, and the specification changes are a natural progression.

The bosses obsession with offering free sport by screwing the basic user shoud have been prevented through regulation.

Had I wished to distort the figures I would have done the comparison to 2016 instead, before there was a three year price freeze on basic line rental.
 

yorksrob

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I have considered them on occasions in the past, but they always seemed to want £200 just to connect me up, so it was always a non-starter.
 

Tom B

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There is a bit of a silly system at work in relation to anything which needs to be done. BT (with their customer service hat on) must speak to BT (with their Openreach hat on) to liaise to get any repairs etc completed. You cannot speak directly to Openwrench, you must deal with the customer service side, who will claim that the issue is under the auspices of Openreach and, therefore, nothing to do with them. The call centres had significant queues and were mostly overseas. There's a very "shrugged shoulders" attitude by all concerned - when I had a line fault, a subbie linesman was sent out, he declared it needed a higher grade linesman to fault find. When the higher grade linesman arrived, he explained that the subcontract staff are paid a set rate for each job - and an in depth job with possible unknown factors would take a long time, and so often they palmed those jobs off.
 

najaB

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There is a bit of a silly system at work in relation to anything which needs to be done. BT (with their customer service hat on) must speak to BT (with their Openreach hat on) to liaise to get any repairs etc completed.
You can thank Ofcom for that one. They wanted to split what is now Openreach into a completely separate company - which would made things even worse, IMO.
 

PG

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All my recent calls were answered in the UK, and on a couple of occasions they were picked up in Aberdeen. They also announce where they're located when answering. It feels like a completely different organisation, to be honest.
I have to agree that within the past 18 months the customer service side has vastly improved:
  • Call centres in the UK with majority of calls answered locally to my location
  • Staff who actually listen and take the time to understand what the issue is that I'm raising
  • Staff doing what they say they are going to do
Yes all sounds pretty basic but totally different to the experience pre-2018.
 

87 027

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As najaB says Openreach is now "legally separate" from BT and Ofcom are satisfied at the degree of separation. The size of BT's pension fund deficit was a major impediment towards enforcing a complete and total split. Openreach are the only broadband infrastructure provider who are under a regulatory obligation to allow competitors to have access to their infrastructure.

By the end of 2020 under EU legislation there is supposed to be a new switching process in place whereby the new provider takes care of the whole process, so in theory there shouldn't be any hassle from the provider you are leaving. Ofcom currently have an open consultation for how to implement this in the UK, as well as other aspects such as banning mobile providers from selling handsets locked to a particular network. This is based on an EU Directive so it's anyone's guess how this will play out if the transition period ends without a deal on December 31.

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/ass...sultation-proposals-to-implement-new-eecc.pdf
 
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