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Message 1 of 2

Complaint: Poor download speeds & connection reliabilityand HORRENDOUS customer service!

I have been a BT broadband customer for approaching two years, and throughout this time have been left extremely dissatisfied with more than one of the services provided. In August 2014, I purchased BT Broadband Infinity after reading one of the many leaflets that had been delivered via post to my address. Here is the current package I have with BT:


Broadband: Unlimited Broadband with BT Infinity 1 - £26.14

Phone: Unlimited Weekend Calls - £17.99

BT Sport: BT HD Sports Pack on Sky - £15.75

Total Monthly Bill: £59.88


At the time of taking out these products, I was impressed with the services that were being advertised, such as the ‘unrivalled broadband speeds’, which apparently deliver download speeds of up to a maximum of 52mbps and upload speeds up to 9.5mbps. Sounds brilliant! We regularly use streaming services such as Netflix to watch films or TV shows and, as a full-time university student, the use of speedy broadband would is of great benefit to me. For the first 6 months, despite the price of my package being increased on a regular basis for reasons unknown to us, the services provided were largely problem free. There were no issues to report. However, after around 6 months our broadband hub, the “BT Home Hub 5”, began to falter and we lost any form of dial tone on our landline. This occurred, to begin with, perhaps once or twice a week, but within a few weeks the Hub was switching off at least once per day. The blue light on the hub would turn to orange or red and a reboot was necessary to sort the problem. Not the most serious of issues, no, but considering the BT Home Hub 5 is supposed to offer ‘unrivalled reliability’, this was rather annoying. This has continued to be the case for over a year. I tried to phone the customer service helpline over the matter a number of times, and never reached somebody who I could describe as even remotely helpful. For this reason, I decided to give up and just accept that I would have to spend the duration of my contract with BT restarting my hub on a daily basis, and the landline was very rarely used so we managed to live without that.


These problems were trivial in comparison to the main complaint I wish to discuss now. On around the 14th May 2016, I noticed, once again, that the hub in our home had begun flashing orange and we had no connection. So, I began the tedious process of rebooting the hub. This process, by now, had become as normal a part of my day as eating breakfast or brushing my teeth. I waited a couple of minutes for it to reboot, it momentarily turned to blue but then immediately changed back to orange. Not good!! I checked the ‘my BT’ app on my phone, to check for any problems with the line in my area, everything came back clear. So we had no broadband, and no reason why. The following day after coming home from work, I noticed the connection was back. Relieved and just pleased to have a signal, I put the previous night’s issues down to some sort of problem on the line. However, within a couple of hours, the problem began again: a flashing orange light, unsuccessful reboots and no connection. This stopping and starting continued to be the case for a good three or four days until on the 20th June 2016, the connection cut out completely, no amount of reboots would restart the connection.


I decided begrudgingly, due to the poor service I’d received on previous occasions, to call BT customer services on Saturday 21st June 2016. Once again, I reached BT’s call centre based in India and struggled to get the operator to understand what the problem actually was. After being put on hold more than once I was told that BT’s system had detected a fault on the wire coming from the telegraph pole across the street to my property and that a technician would arrive on or before Thursday 26th June to take a look at it. I then mentioned to the operator that I had already been without a connection for a week and that I hoped I would not be expected to pay for the days that I was without a connection. The operator seemed offended when I asked this simple question and snapped that I would not have to do so. He then went on to explain to me that if there was any problem found within the boundaries of my property that I would, however, be liable for a callout charge of £129. I was slightly concerned about that so had a look around the house to look for anything that may have caused the problems. I found nothing. Nevertheless, I was comforted by the knowledge that someone would be coming to take a look and solve the problem, even though I would be without a broadband connection for almost a week, having been without one for a week already.


As informed, a technician did arrive at the property on Wednesday 25th June. She was extremely helpful and explained that one of the wires connecting my property to the aforementioned telegraph pole was of an old type and needed replacing. At last I thought I was getting somewhere, until she explained to me that she couldn’t replace it herself so I would need to make an appointment for another engineer to come and fix it. At this point I was beginning to get frustrated with the whole situation. I immediately called BT, again reaching the India based call centre ( not once throughout my entire time with BT have I reached a UK based operator), and was put on hold for at least ten minutes by someone who, again, seemed unable to understand what I was saying. This time the call was ended, I assumed that I had been cut off so waited for a return call. I did not receive one. So I called again and was put through to the India based call centre for what felt like the thousandth time, and explained that I had been told to book an appointment for another engineer to come and sort the problem. This time, the telephone operator explained to me that his system detected a problem within the boundaries of my property so if I booked an appointment with a technician I would be billed £129. As you can imagine I was furious at this point as the very helpful technician had explained to me less than half an hour earlier exactly what the problem was and that it was not to do with my property. I battled for at least 15 minutes trying to explain this to the telephone operator who just did not understand. Eventually I just told him to book an appointment for a technician to come and I would explain to them when they arrived what the problem was.


The earliest appointment available was on the morning of Tuesday 31st May, another 6 days away. I reluctantly agreed and ended the conversation. I would like to explain now that I had been without a full broadband connection since 14th May, so by the time this second technician arrived it will have been 17 days, plus the fact that we’d had no landline for the best part of a year. Not ideal for a full time university student in the final week of the second year of my degree. Nevertheless, I was delighted to see the technician pull up outside my property at 8am on Tuesday 31st May. He had a quick look around the property and after I explained that the problem was with the wire outside, he got straight to work changing it. He showed me the old wire and said it was a miracle I’d been getting any signal at all because the wire was so bad (rusted and old). Anyway, after roughly and hour, he left and everything was in full working order; internet connection, phone line, the lot. That was until that evening after I returned from work.


That evening I attempted to download a TV programme from our Sky box and noticed that after around ten minutes it still said the download was only 2% complete. This did not seem right, so I again logged on to the ‘my BT’ app and proceeded to check the speed of my connection, I was amazed at what I saw.




I thought, maybe it just needs time for the connection get itself up to speed. So I checked the speed at regular intervals in the days after: 3.8mbps, 2.3mbps, 3.3mbps and on Monday 13th June, only 3.8mbps. Upload speeds at each of these intervals were all slower than 1mbps. To top this off, on Tuesday 14th June I received my bill for that month and, thankfully, I had not been charged for the technician coming out. However, amazingly, I had been charged my full bill of £59.88. I had been without a connection for 17 days of the previous month and still was being charged almost £60 for such a, what I can only describe as “shoddy” service. This was the final straw for me, I immediately phone customer service to explain the problem. I reached the Indian call centre once again and, once again, failed to get the operator to understand my problem. I was told at least three times that: “ah yes, it says here that you reported a fault on the May 31st and the technician came and fixed it immediately”, that is categorically not true, a lie! I had lodged a number of complaints in the 2 weeks prior to the 31st May. Eventually, after being placed on hold for a grand total of more than 15 minutes on Tuesday morning, spanning two separate phone calls, I was informed that a refund of £7 would be awarded to me. I found that insulting and unacceptable.


At this point, my partner decided that she would call and try to explain the situation. She too reached the India based call centre, and struggled to make herself clear to the operator. Eventually she was told that a refund of £10 could be given to me. Marginally better but, considering I spent longer than half of the previous month without any broadband and an entire year without a landline, still unacceptable. In addition to this, my partner explained the low speeds we have been receiving and she was told that if we upgraded to BT Infinity 2 this would significantly improve our speeds. I find it shocking that instead of attempting to find out or explain what our problem might be, my partner was coerced into giving more money to a company that had been so unhelpful and appalling up until now. Nevertheless, she accepted the upgrade and was told that our now package would be in place within 24 hours. 


I woke to find, on Wednesday 15th June, that the new package was in place, at which point I thought I would check the download speed to see if it had vastly improved as was promised. This time I was not so suprised to see:




This is less than it the previous day on the original package. Having researched the speeds of BT Infinity 2 I found that this package offers a minimum speed of 20mbps. I also discovered that there are no restrictions regarding my geographical location that should prevent me from receiving at least this minimum speed.


So, after calling to make a complaint about the price of my bill, I have ended up with a more expensive package than what I already had. Also, after complaining about the speeds of our connection, instead of the problem being solved, we have an upgraded package that offers no improved service whatsoever. I am writing to you today to beg for someone to explain to me how on earth this can be acceptable? Over the last month I have been left frustrated, angered and, quite frankly, appalled, by the poor quality of the services provided by BT and even more so by the simply inadequate performance of BT customer service. If the decision to leave was solely with my partner, we would have washed our hand with BT by now as she is completely appalled with how we have been treated. However, I am a reasonable person, which is why it has taken me until now to make this complaint. This is the same reason why I have not automatically called to cancel my contract with BT and switched providers. I am willing to wait and hope that these issues regarding my bill, my unwanted package upgrade and my poor upload and download speeds can be rectified both quickly and efficiently by someone who genuinely understand the problems I have had. Otherwise I will be left with no choice but to switch provider.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 2 of 2

Re: Complaint: Poor download speeds & connection reliabilityand HORRENDOUS customer service!

This forum as it says at top is a customer help customer forum and your explanatory post does not go to BT.  however if you would like some assistamnce from forum members can you post some information


if you have a HH5 can you go to hub manager then trobleshooting then helpdesk and post 1-12




can you run btspeedtester and when first test completes then run diagnostic test and post results  must be done with wired connection  btspeedtester


are you using the test socket with a new filter to eliminate your internal wiring as causing a problem 


can you enter your phone number and post results  remember to delete number wholesale FTTC check




try quiet line test   dial 17070 option 2  should be quiet and best with corded phone

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