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Message 1 of 2

I'm so Frustrated!!!

Back story ...
  1. We live in a house with a barn at the end of the garden.  We have converted the barn and are moving into it for the next year (or maybe for ever) whilst we gut and renovate the house. 
  2. My first book has recently been published and I both urgently and constantly need phone and internet access for marketing it. I have sent out press releases and magazine pitches via email and need to respond immediately to replies. I tweet and use Facebook, Linkedin and other social media, all of which have a positive effect on sales and keeping my name and my book in people's minds.  My agent, publishers and publicist communicate via a joint Dropbox in the cloud which now, of course, is not available to me.
  3. Even more importantly we have a family member with terminal cancer and need to be in touch with him (so far he is still living alone in his own home inNewcastle) on a daily basis.
The transfer of the line was arranged for Friday 26th July between 8.00 am and 1.00 pm.
Friday 26th July
•                     No-one showed up all morning but in good faith we completed moving our home into the barn. At 12.55 pm our phone line was disconnected and about 15 minutes later I received a text message on my mobile thus ...
"We are really apologize (sic) that the engineer could not visit your new address to activate the telephone line.  Reason for Delay: Job Delayed with TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT.  Next Update Friday 16 /08/13.  We will keep you updated so that you needn't call us back.  Thank You Bt (sic)"
•                     We borrowed our neighbours' phone to call the 0800 number (0800 800 150) and were held in a line for about 20 minutes. I then spoke to a very helpful and sympathetic girl in India who gave me the number to call. It was 0800 800 150! 
•                     I called again and got to talk to a guy in Birmingham who was also very helpful and he got in touch with the engineers who told him that the work could not be done because "it is a very busy road" and they need clearance from the council.  Seemingly they assume a road is quiet till proved otherwise! 
•                     I asked, of course, for the line to be switched on again but was told this is not possible and I would be updated (just updated mark you, not transferred and connected) on 16th August.
•                     I asked if there was anyone in charge I could talk to and was told I could write to someone called Warren Buckley or something similar, I think.  I said it was more urgent than that and was told a manager would call me back on my mobile within the hour.  He/she didn't.
•                     Just after 4.00 pm I called again and spoke to another sympathetic and helpful girl who said she would do her best to arrange for the service to be switched back on sometime Monday (although transferring the line would still not happen till at least the 16th) and would call me back to let me know how she got on.  She didn't. 
Monday 29th July
•                     I spoke to a more useful sort of guy who set us up a temporary phone number to our house and suggested I get a dongle for temporary internet access.
•                     As it happens I had a radio interview arranged for this day to be conducted over the 'phone and as I had to use my mobile with less than perfect reception the interview was cut from fifteen minutes to five. 
Tuesday 30th July
•                     I spent the day at the home of a good friend willing to let me take over her internet connection for several hours contacting people saying that I would be out of action for day or two till I got a dongle.  Sadly this information was wrong.  My friend lives 16 miles away so this is not something I can do frequently especially as I don't drive.
Wednesday 31st July
•                     I tried to get a dongle but without success as all suppliers say there is not sufficient reception where I live - PL26 7YH.
•                     Although the account is actually in my name, as I was getting so very upset by this stage, my partner then rang 0800 800 150 and spoke to a girl in Durham who said we could cancel the order and have our old number back with 48 hours,  We could then rearrange the transfer for a later date. This seemed the best answer since I need the internet as soon as possible so, to enable us to do this, she said she'd transfer us to the correct department but unfortunately it was a wrong number!   
•                     He re-dialled and got to talk to a guy in India who didn't really understand what he was saying but eventually decided he couldn't do what we were asking and indeed said no-one in India could deal with this problem and he couldn't transfer us to anyone who could. 
•                     We tried again - same result. 
•                     Third time lucky-ish he got a Scots guy who refused to say where he was but at least they understood each other.  After about half an hour of explanations and discussion he came up with the information that he couldn't deal with it - we needed to speak to Open Reach.  He said he was transferring us to ....
•                     ... Open Reach, their Indian office, who after about 10 minutes pondering decided to transfer us to ...
•                     ... Open Reach in Warrington I think  My partner went through the whole thing again, phone number, order number, address, what the problem is, etc. etc and they had a long chat and she was so helpful he asked to have her direct number in case he needed to speak to her again but she said there was no direct number. She did say, however, that in her opinion cancelling the order was not the right thing to do as it would take until at least Monday 5th August to reconnect and probably take our internet provider another 5 working days to reconnect us.  She also said there was no guarantee that we would get our original number back. 
•                     He was then transferred to Order Management in India, the guy's English was not very good and he kept saying he would "do something to make" my partner speak to his supervisor which eventually he did.
•                     The supervisor asked for my partner's name, Paul Clementson, and thereafter referred to him as Mr. Poll!   Asked if it would be possible to speed up the procedure and transfer the line within the next few days he said "no".
Thursday 1st August
I posted the above in a letter to the BT Correspondence Centre at an address given to me by one of the friendly folk above.
Saturday 3rd August
I received the following text ...
"Hello - this is a message from BT. This is to confirm we will contact you20/08/13 by 20.00 to discuss the delay in activation of your services.  There is no need to contact us as we will not be able to provide you with any more information.  Thank you. Sender 2123001"
As you see they will call me on 20th August to "discuss the delay in activation of your services" but I may have self destructed with sheer rage and frustration by then!
So far we have spoken to about 12 different people being held in line over and over again for about 20 minutes per time, repeatedly giving all the details and telling our story.  In the end we heard so many different versions of what could or should happen that we don't know what to believe. 
The road we live on is fairly busy but nothing out of the ordinary just a single carriageway main road through a village in Cornwall, the telegraph pole is on our side of the road directly outside the house, the line needs to be extended for a few yards down our garden.  We own both properties. 
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Aspiring Expert
Message 2 of 2

Re: I'm so Frustrated!!!

That is a beautifully written account and reminds me of my own experience, which is with a line fault.  For some reason it seems that if anything occurs that is out of the ordinary, even just a mistake, then rather than being dealt with as a priority you slip to the bottom of the pile and face a really long wait.


In my case BT have needed to call in digging contractors three times.  The first time it took 6 days for them to come.  The next visit was after a further 12 days and the third visit will be 24 days thereafter, if it happens on schedule.  One forms the impression of an increasing reluctance to take action, rather than an increasing urgency.    

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