BT's Terrible Customer Service

It's almost too easy to pick on BT's customer service. Ever since they were the GPO they've had terrible customer service. However, despite all of this, I'm going to share my tales of woe with BT. I originally tapped this out as a comment at, but decided to put it here too, so I can update with a bit of progress.

I bought a flat a couple of months back, and called BT to take over the phone line. Of course, they were all smiles and cuteness back then.

I didn't get Caller ID, and weirdly still had the previous owner's Call Minder on the line, so I called BT to get it sorted. They seemed pretty good, and said it would all be done in 24 hours.

A few days later, still no Caller ID, so I called again. This time, we found out that they'd given me an account at my address, but with a different phone number. The old occupant was still listed as the owner of my phone number. Again, 30 minutes on the phone and it looked like it was getting fixed.

I called again at just before 8pm. The person I spoke to checked a few details, and then said she couldn't do any more until I did a line test to confirm my phone number. Of course, by the time I'd done that, customer services had closed.

Next day, and 30 minutes later, BT had ordered me a new line, but keeping the old one. This, I was told, would fix everything, and I'd be able to have Caller ID at last. The 'work' was scheduled for about two weeks later, on the 15th September.

Now, on the 24th, I still have no Caller ID. So I call up again, and am told I now need to pay £2.50 per month for Caller ID (which apparently has been a requirement for two or three years, even though I've had Caller ID before and never paid for it). So I decide to decline it, and instead try to sort out my account, which it turns out is STILL NOT CORRECT. They still think the previous occupant of my flat should pay the bills.

I spoke to a couple of people, but ended up speaking to a call centre agent who told me that she needed to reorder the line for me. She then told me that for a "few days" I might have a different number and that my (non BT) broadband might stop working. Since this is absolutely ridiculous, I asked (very politely) to speak to her supervisor.

The supervisor went through a number of details, but also basically told me she needed to re-order the line, and that "there was no way" she could just change the name, or otherwise ensure that my phone/broadband were uninterrupted. When I pressed her on the subject, she passed me over to Andy in Customer Options.

Andy checked a few things, and then also told me a re-order was the only way to resolve this. He said I'd have a maximum of about 10 minutes disruption to the line, which in most cases I wouldn't notice. He then told me he needed to get his manager to authorise this, so he put me on hold and then disconnected the call.

So I've had a handful of calls, and have just wasted a total of 45 minutes just to be cut off!

If this was a gas or electric supplier, I'd just change to someone else. I know other people can do phone lines, but what about phone lines that are broadband compatible, or lines that aren't just BT-by-another-name?

Either way, one thing is clear: BT suck. A lot.

Update 25th Sept '09: Last night, I emailed the Group Chairman at I had a personal response within about 30 minutes, and this morning I've had a call from someone handling my case. So far, very friendly, pro-active service, so I'm expecting they'll sort out my problem soon. I'll update when I know more.

Submitted by coofercat on Thu, 2009-09-24 17:25