Moved to BT in April 2011 - worst business decision I ever made, catalogue of lies, broken promises and truly dreadful product. The latest farce is 5 days offline this week, which prompted me to write and email directly to their CEO, Ian Livingston, this is me venting to him:
Sent 11am today:
Like you, I run a business.
It's only a small business, so probably not as important as yours.
We also employ people and provide them with an income to pay their mortgages, buy food and generally have a reasonable quality of life.
We do this by servicing our clients to the very best of our ability, whatever it takes.
I was on the telephone to a client in the USA at 0430 this morning to ensure that his project went smoothly.
This is not an exception, we do this kind of thing every day.
Saying no, or making them wait, is not an option. Neither is promising something that we fail to deliver.
I am passing this on to you so that you will understand what kind of company we are. And, so that you will also realise the kind of business that is being repeatedly damaged by the poor service, repeated issues and broken promises of your company.
We started dealing with BT in April 2011 and from the day we signed the contract we have had nothing but problems, lies, rudeness and promises that were never kept. We were seduced into becoming a BT customer by a very attractive sales package which was presented as the ultimate service for an SME. It would all be installed and commissioned in 24 hours (it took 4 weeks during which time we had no internet). The speed and reliability have never lived up to the promise, we have repeatedly had to send staff home to work because we had intermittent or no internet access.
We have had engineers out, we have had a number of routers, we have been told that the faults were at the exchange, at the premises, within our own equipment and at a junction box that does not exist. Every fault takes days to resolve, during which time we are unable to use our office, which costs us £500 per month in rent and £108 in power to heat and light. Our staff have to make repeated journeys in and out of the office. We have equipped them with laptops to enable the business to survive because our business needs the internet to function. We have also been told in very uncertain terms that we were incompetent because we did not have a second line to provide failover. I did ask the gentleman if this would insulate us from the router fault, line faults and exchange faults, he advised that it would not - so it becomes something of a moot point.
The last time we had an issue (this was a downtime of 4 days) we were told there was a line fault, the engineer came out and swapped the BT router. I am typing this email from home because the current fault was determined to be at our end and a problem router, we were sent a router. Today we set the router in place but still had no internet, when we called BT we were told that there is a fault at the junction box (the one that does not exist) and we would require an engineer to look at the problem because it was not the router. This would take 48 hours and so we have had to send everyone home again.
I would estimate that due to the service we have received we have lost over 10 weeks working time in total, spent a fortune on mobile phones to BT and being bounced around various call centres, helplines and engineers.
When I last complained and had spoken to one of your complains managers we were promised 3 months bill free, to go some way to recompensing us for the inconvenience, as you may have guessed the bills kept rolling in uninterrupted, which is more than can be said for your broadband.
I am sure that BT would not be prepared to stand this level of service disruption from a supplier, but then I would imagine that you are not compelled to use that service provider because they have a private monopoly on the infrastructure - something clearly and enthusiastically explained to me by one the first engineers we met during our exciting journey with BT.
I hope that this email reaches you, it has helped me to remember and relive the rage and fury I felt towards your organisation, but I am confident that it will either be filed away or I will receive a placatory email from someone employed by your organisation to deal with very unhappy customers.
Reply received 5 mins later:
Dear Mr Richardson,
Thank you for your e-mail. Ian currently has very limited access to his e-mail, so I am replying on his behalf to avoid further delay. Please be assured that a member of Ian's senior management team will see and read your correspondence.
I am sorry to hear of the problems you are experiencing, I will pass this to our senior service team for investigation and response directly to you.
My response 5 mins after that
thank you for your promt reply, if only everything in BT was this quick.
Sorry to hear Ian has limited access to his email, I do hope that he is not connected to the same exchange as us, he could find access limited quite often.
I look forward to hearing from someone from your senior service team.
Their reply 10 mins later, and our final communication (but I am getting a lot of text updates!!):
Good Afternoon Mr Richardson
I work in the senior business service team. Please accept my apologies for the difficulties you have had in this matter.
Our team will now liaise with the relevant BT departments until your issue is fully resolved. One of the team will be in contact with you.
Should you need to contact the team, please reply to this e-mail address or contact 0800 456 1014 Mon- Fri 8am - 6pm excluding Bank Holidays.
Marilyn, Chairman & CEO Business Complaints Specialist