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Message 1 of 6

Lost number & lies from both sales and our Account Manager

Howdy folks.

Some advice, please...

I've just switched to BT, and I was lied to by both by sales team, and by our account manager, on at least 5 seperate occassions. These lies and delays ensured took us past the 14-day cooloff, whereas had I been told the truth, I would have cancelled the switch request and waited a few weeks, at least - I may've even not switched at all.


I was given two possible install dates - an earlier one if I took a new number, and the 25th if I wanted to keep the existing number on the line. I opted to keep our existing number. Yesterday came and went, and all of a sudden our telephone number returns as "number not recognised", and we've been given a new one. 


After giving it the day to see if it'd resolve itself, I've called BT only to be told it will take at least 3 working days to get our old number back. I did a quick search on these forums, and I'm alarmed to find people who've experienced this who haven't been able to get their number back at all. 

I was very clear that if I couldn't keep the same number, I didn't want to switch to BT. We waited the extra time to ensure we could keep our number, now I find it'll be out of commission for at least 3 days. Notably I found this out by enduring a 40 minute wait on hold to 150 last night, by a regular member of staff who called her manager to confirm that it couldn't be less than 3 days. I'm gob-smacked.

This number is registered with schools, hospitals, doctors and potential employers. My partner's disabled and stuck at home in a wheelchair half the time - she couldn't call out to ring me yesterday, and I had to rush home and stay in all day as I couldn't ring her, either, even when we worked out what the temporary number was by dialling 17070 (we have no mobile signal where we live, at all). 

Thankfully we can now dial out, and yes, we could just give the new number to the school, doctor and hospital - but not all paperwork will be possible to update, calls from the hospital WILL be missed, as will calls from employers, as due to BT's assurances, I've sent out many many job applications with this old number on - those employers now cannot contact me!


Another concern is they'll have lost it permanently, as other people have experienced.


I'm not a difficult customer 99% of the time - as long as I get what I'm told, I'm happy. I'm understanding about faults, outages, hell even billing discrepancies have been shrugged off with a grin -- but repeated lies, whether through lack of knowledge, direction or out-and-out tactical omission of truths I will not tolerate, and I'm really quite annoyed.

I've told BT if they don't fix it by close of play today then on a point of principle I shall argue that I was mis-sold the product, and cancel the entire thing, despite the added pain in the backside of having to switch provider again, and the likelihood of never getting the old number back.


At no point was I told there would be an outage of several days on the phone number. At no point was this mentioned as even a possible risk. In fact, I was assured by both Tina in sales and Shruthri, the account manager, that switching the number over was easy and in fact the word "seamless" was used. 

This is anything but seamless, and I'm highly concerned that the level of knowledge that BT Account Managers and salespeople have is so poor... It's either poor, or they intentionally lied to me.


When I first switched, and got a call from an Account Manager complete with text messages and follow-up calls, I was really quite pleased that BT had turned around on it's reputation for poor customer service. Turns out they just got way better at lying, and the cynic in me can't help but think that it's systemically planned to ensure people are invested in BT.... Otherwise, why would anyone switch, short of wanting a new number.


I feel very let down.

All calls are recorded, so as a followup question to "anyone know if this can be fixed", does anyone know who I need to contact to get copies of each call? On a point of principle, I won't let this stand.





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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 2 of 6

Re: Lost number & lies from both sales and our Account Manager

You mentioned an account manager, are you a business user?


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Message 3 of 6

Re: Lost number & lies from both sales and our Account Manager

Thanks for your reply, Keith.


No, but we have an account manager - my partner's disabled and we rely on the line and consistent communications for emergency use and of course her main source of contact and entertainment, I think this is why BT assigned us an account manager... I was surprised myself. She keeps in regular contact via text and call, but handily she was on leave yesterday I believe. 


Also, just for clarity, it's not a home move issue as stated in the "moved" post on the Faults board (sorry for miscategorising the post) -- though we have recently moved in here, the line was being switched from an active line with the Post Office, so it's a Provider Switch issue. Same house, same physical line.


Can you shed some light on the issue at all?





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Message 4 of 6

Re: Lost number & lies from both sales and our Account Manager

Update: Got a call back from a manager yesterday who advised definitely a minimum of 3 working days to get the number back with no guarantees. Was told a complaint had been taken and would be followed up in 4 days via a telephone call, presumably after they've got the answer to whether I'm actually getting my number back. £10 Good Faith payment being added to the next bill, which is all well and good as an apology, but doesn't make up for the fact that I was lied to. My request for copies of my call recordings (so I can write a properly informed chronological account in a written complaint) was refused ignored, though he listened to them and apologised profusely for the misinformation given. Apparently a key call had no recording, which sets of the cynic's alarm bells.


The simple fact is, I was told by Tina in sales (UK based) that I could keep our existing number on the line and that it would be seamless. This was then confirmed by Shruthri.R, the account manager who's been in fairly constant contact via texts and calls until yesterday. The fact that she now doesn't reply to texts etc despite telling me I should contact her again on/after the 26th is pretty frustrating.


I really am an easy-going customer, when I've not been lied to repeatedly. I can even see the potential in this for a systemic information-chasm, but if no-one actually owns it, and no-one makes sure that sales and AMs are giving accurate information, how can BT have any credibility at all?


I was really really pleased at the level of care and frequency of contact provided by BT, until it all started unravelling... Simply, ensuring the correct information is given is the FIRST step in good customer services, and it's no good being given the truth by a manager or complaints team after the fact..? It's the piece of the puzzle that's missing, otherwise right now I'd be an extremely satisfied customer singing BTs praises -- instead, I feel like I've been duped, and am left with the impression that you can't believe a word from anyone at BT, as even if they think they're being honest, there's every chance they themselves are basing it on misinformation. It's a shame, as I said, it's the only piece of the puzzle actually missing.... accurate dissemination of information and training really isn't all that difficult, which is why the cynic alarm keeps ringing.


We're looking at Tuesday at the earliest to get our number back - the manager (lovely chap, but tied by process) said they'd do their "level best", but fell short of assuring/promising me it'd be done, which I only picked up on after the call ended. This leaves me concerned that we'll never get the number back, as has happened to others (found a few via a search of the forum).


So, I'm currently missing calls from agencies and employers [who probably now have the impression that hey, if he can't even get his own number right on his CV, why would we want to employ him?] possibly the doctors and hospital - though I've given the new/temp(?) number to the schools. We're in a mobile blackspot, too, so most of the time you get voicemail on the mobile, making the landline essential - that's WHY I made sure it was abundantly clear that we needed to keep the number. Simply, I need a firm resolution date, and to know whether or not I should just be updating as many people as possible with this new number rather than holding out hope. All I've had thusfar is a tenner and the equivalent of a shrug.


I'm should be livid, really, but I'm just woefully resigned to the fact that I've been lied to and can do nothing about it. There's little point in getting irate, but it is very shonky behaviour, and a horrendous experience for a new customer.


This has basically cost my reputation to all the potential employers I've applied to over the past month, this is what I'm most annoyed about... I've already had an email from a recruiter pointing out that my CV has the incorrect landline number, and that it's not a good impression to give. £10 doesn't make up for that - no amount would.


Britain's oldest and original telephony provider really should be able to do so, so much better. I know they have no power over openreach, but there is no excuse for misinformation from multiple sources on multiple occassions. I was very clear that if we couldn't keep the number, we would NOT be switching. Technically, I was missold to, something I am keen to prove, even if BT manage to fix this narf up. They need to ensure this sort of thing does NOT happen to people in the future. Simple, honest communication.... it's not hard!


More updates will follow as, if and when BT have new information from me.


@NeilO - any chance of mods picking up on this and owning it slightly? I see from other posts that you've done so in similar circumstances... It would reassure me somewhat to have someone UK based on top of it, as frankly, I'm not convinced that the outsourced callcentre isn't just trying to keep the mistake and complaint in-house, as Shruthri the account manager made several innaccurate statements, which compounded Tina's original mis-statements.


Edited to tidy up accusatory tone.

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Message 5 of 6

Re: Lost number & lies from both sales and our Account Manager


Paul from BT called after I used the Chat service to request confirmation. Lovely fella; informed, honest and forthright. He checked into the details of it all before he said anything at all, and was as bemused as I am.

Turns out there shouldn't have been a problem in the first place, the order hadn't been placed properly, and as the number was returned to openreach on the day of the switch, it should have been a simple 1 working day change for them to log from the time I first raised the query. He has no idea where they got the idea of 3 - 4 days from, evidently it's as simple as checking the number with openreach and placing the order, and has been for a while...?


So, looks like Monday.... I still can't hold my breath, but we'll see.

Doesn't fix the issue of the number having been out of service for nearly a week, though... I dread to think how many calls have been missed from recruiters and potential employers.


Still, that's not BTs problem, is it? S'long as they get their money...!

For an account manager to screw up that badly as to not process the order to keep the number is shocking though, and for her colleagues (2 of them) not to have known how to, and to have not placed an order already for the number to be switched is amazing.


Some serious, serious issues with your outsourced callcentre, BT... I will be following up with a written complaint, but at least it turns out Tina from Sales wasn't lying nor misinformed.

Unless that opinion changes on Monday, of course...


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Message 6 of 6

Fiver if I'm wrong, Kudos if I'm right. Who dares wins and all that gubbins...

Mini-update: Chucklesomely, I just had a call from a Complaints Manager in India who advised that the number should be reassigned by midnight tomorrow.


After I said that I'd already been told Monday, and asked if he was sure, he clicked his mouse a few times and hurridly said "Well, well, you put the request in so long ago so we're working hard to get it tomorrow. As the engineer doesn't work Sunday, it would not be Sunday, so if it's not done by tomorrow midnight, it will assuredly be completed on Monday, for sure" - almost exact wording.


Now, when I used to deal with them, Openreach didn't consider Saturday a regular working day, they respond to emergencies only.... so with this in mind, I've an offer for the community;


I'm willing to put a £5 giftcard of your choice on it not being tomorrow, and this being more misinformation. If I'm right, you owe me nothing, just some Kudos (or Rating, as it's called here).


Anyone willing to accept that, or would you rather save face and just see what happens?


I'm almost amused... Almost 😉 

Note to mods: Please don't moderate me, this isn't technically a bet, nor a giveaway, as there's sod all chance of it happening tomorrow. If you must moderate me, please merely replace the phrase "£5" for "kudos", to make it legit.

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