We moved house on 3rd July, having previously informed BT with a run-up period that we were moving, our new address, and all the details needed. We were then given a date of 19th July for activation of broadband services at the new address - it didn't need a new line, or any new hardware in the house, just take our existing router and plug it into the new house's phone socket, wait til midnight on 19th July, and all should be well.
Weds 19th July came, went, and no broadband - and no communication saying why. Calling the day after, Thursday (just in case what BT meant by midnight on 19th July was actually midnight on 20th July) via the customer service number was unbearable; I found I had more chance of getting through to someone using web chat - and it made for a handy record of everything that had been said.
I was told there was a delay on the order, that all the necessary engineering work had been completed but that the "system" would activate my service, and to wait until the next day for it to be activated. No-one could do anything to make this quicker - they were "system-bound", whatever that means. As a self-employed freelancer in the IT sector who works often from home, and needs a reliable connection, this was frustrating but I was willing to accept a couple of days' delay.
The next day, Friday, came and went, with no connection and no communication. Again it was up to me to get in touch, on Saturday. There was a delay on the order, I was told - some outstanding work needed to be done, in direct contradiction to what I had been told the previous day. No-one could tell me in any detail what this work was, or when it would be completed. No-one could put me in touch with anyone from the engineering team. The engineers were working on it, and would complete the work as soon as possible. There were "unintended and unprecedented delays which the engineers had encountered at the distribution point". (Where exactly this distribution point was, was unclear). Self-contradicting phrases abounded: "The line work has been completed, it is just the broadband order that has been delayed today and we are working to get the fault corrected. Once the fault is fixed the broad band will also be activated. Please bear with us for sometime as I mentioned that these are certain delays which are unintended and our engineers encounter them at the distribution point." Which is it - work on the line? A fault on the line? An order issue? A problem at the cabinet? A problem elsewhere?
Someone would be in touch on Monday. The transcript of this conversation is confusing and reveals that the person on the other end of the line was themselves unclear on exactly what she was trying to say - stuff about an appointment being generated to complete the work by the authorised team on Monday, at which point they would be in touch. Dealing with barrages of technical jargon is part of my job - this was simply meaningless procedural speak designed, it seemed, to disorient me and put me at bay for a few more days.
Unsurprisingly, Monday came, with no contact from anyone. My next conversation, initiated by me on Monday at 4pm, resulted in the customer service rep ringing me from the web chat, to explain that the order had been delayed (yes, I know) and that mine had been classed as a "bridge case", meaning that it was going to get passed to an "offline team" (for this, read: a team with no phone number and no way of getting in touch) who would look at it and get back to me within 5 working days. I requested to speak to someone in a technical capacity who could explain what was wrong, the reason for the delay, and when I could expect it to be fixed. There was no such person, I was told. I requested to speak to the customer service rep's manager. She was on another call, and would be available to call me back in two hours, at 6pm. I waited until 6pm. No call, either that evening or the next day.
After the endless assurances of the broadband line either working, or someone being in touch, within a stated time frame, every one of which had been completely and utterly broken, I held out no hope that a promise of 5 working days would be the end of it, of course. The next day, I was contacted by a member of the BT complaints department, informing me that a complaint had been raised in my case, and that, again, I could only expect services to be activated at my new address after that 5-working day delay (after having already been overdue one week from the original promised start date of 19th July). 31st of July, the service would begin, I was promised. I had a number of questions for the complaints guy - why was this process not begun the moment the broadband activation date was missed and overdue? Why on earth will it take exactly 5 working days? What is the reason for the delay (still no-one can explain this to me)? Why can't it be activated sooner than this? Is the fact that I'm losing money and time to this, not to mention the hours spent contacting BT, at all relevant?
I was promised that there would be some degree of good-will compensation for the delay in the service, which will now be activated at the earliest a month after us moving in to our house. I have become increasingly frustrated (yet entirely courteous and polite, yet firm, on the phone) by the assurances being made which have been utterly meaningless, so I requested that the assured date (31st July) and details of this compensation be emailed to me so I have a copy in writing. A day later, I have received no such email, and heard nothing more.
It seems ridiculous that the whole of BT's customer-facing support network is united in its goal of preventing customers from knowing what's going on, accessing reliable estimates of completion of work, or getting through to anyone who either works in the United Kingdom or has an on-the-ground understanding of the case. BT is an impenetrable fortress, guarded by offshore customer service teams whose client is not me, the client, but BT - who don't seem to want to be bothered. No conversation is had in the context of previous conversations. Each customer service rep is an island, able to promise whatever they like with no consequence. Perhaps posting here, like others before me, will result in a more useful response.
@chrisfulton I'm really sorry about the delay getting your broadband activated and I would like to apologise for the inconvenience this is causing you. If you send over your order info on the 'click here to contact the mods' link we'll find out what's happening. You can find the link by clicking on my username.