I signed up for BT Infinity in October 2012, predicted download speed was 36mb.
Extremely happy with the speed, confirmed at 36 megabits per second by speedtest.net and achieving in excess of 4 megabytes per second during downloads. I'd get the occasional disconnection then reconnection, taking about a minute or two, but generally 99% reliable & stable.
After several months I was aware the speed had dropped, from memory, I'd seen it at 20mb, then 15mb, then 10mb. By May 2013 I was as low as 4mb.
So in 8 months, I was only able to get 11% of the download speed predicted and achieved at initial installation.
My main PC had a new SSD hard drive installed in May, so previous speedtest results were lost but I have all since May 28th 2013. These can be seen here:
So my infinity connection was working, it hadn't failed, but it was performing well below expectations.
I now know that BT caps the performance when there are errors on the line, and by June my infinity was capped at 3.5mb.
Having read a bit about IP profiles and performed the three tests at the BT wholesale speed test, the site advised I contact my service provider.
BT were contacted, tests were performed again, and an appointment for an engineer to visit was made.
Engineer came on the 24th of June 2013, his exact words were, "this hasn't been installed properly, and your connection shouldn't be working at all". He then carried out some work, moved the master socket from a cupboard to the same room with the modem & router, but didn't actually attach the master socket to a wall, disconnected an extension cable, which wasn't being used. Then I believe he had my line reset and voila, I now had 33mb download speed again.
I assumed no charge would be incurred as he had stated the problem was with the initial installation.
A further speedtest on 7th July (14 days later) showed my speed had dropped to 21mb. This was still an acceptable speed, fast enough for HD video on demand etc.
By the 13th July it was 18mb.
21st of July it was 16mb.
By the 1st of August it had recovered to 23mb. The first upward blip of an otherwise downward trend.
My next test on 18th August showed it had dropped to 10mb.
Then 7mb on the 22nd, and 6mb by the 25th of August.
At this point I looked up my account number from my online bill so I could register another complaint, this is when I saw I had been charged £100 for the engineers visit in June.
I called to query this, and was told there was nothing in the engineers report mentioning the problem with the initial installation and that the charge would stand, I pointed out that the work the engineer had carried out had not fixed the problem, I was then referred to Lucy who would review the decision.
Lucy pointed out there hasn't yet been a 2nd complaint logged with technical, I pointed out I was trying to resolve this charge first and I was wary of having another engineer visit if it was going to cost me £100 every time and that the engineer had either lied to me when he said the problem was with the installation or he'd lied in his report to cover for a work colleague by not mentioning it, in any event, the work he'd carried out had not fixed the problem. Lucy advised to call the review team again after I'd contacted technical but that I wouldn't be charged for an engineer visit if it was to fix the same problem more than once in a 6 month period. I then asked if that meant I could still be charged again if after 6 months the problem was still ongoing, so £200 per year extra on top of my bill, the answer was yes.
I contacted technical and the same engineer who carried out the initial installation visited on the 30th of August, he performed line tests, all were fine, he replaced the modem and stated he would include in his report that this was purely precautionary, he then told me he would have my line reset to full speed but that because he hadn't found any faults, whatever was causing the problem was likely to occur again.
My speed went from 5.9mb to 34mb on 30th August. Today 13th Sept it is still a fantastic 31mb.
I called the review team again about the charge, was told this was the final appeal to look at this and was told “because it was longer than 28 days between the faults being reported, they couldn't treat this as the same fault and that the £100 charge would stand”. I tried to point out that the issue wasn't a fault, my connection never failed, the issue was one of quality, the quality of the service had been 10% of expected performance and 15% of expected performance. No he said, nothing could be done, the charge was going to stand because I hadn't reported the fault within 28 days and this was my fault.
So an engineers visits, resets my line replaces the master socket but doesn't fix the underlying problem, a second engineer predicts he also hasn't fixed it, although 14 days later we still have 92% of our expected speed, was it the precautionary modem change or is my BT Infinity superfast broadband line speed still destined to drop to sub standard broadband levels?
Either way, there is/was a fault with the BT installation, hardware or network, yet I am charged £100 with a possible further charge of £100 for the 2nd engineer visit, yet to be confirmed, plus any number of future engineer visits with a further risk of £100 charges each time.
An engineer has lied to me or omitted in his report what he thought the fault was.
One person from the review team told me I wouldn't be charged more than once in a 6 month period for multiple engineer visits to correct the same fault, another member of the review team told me any subsequent fault not reported within 28 days would be treated as a different fault.
I am less than a year into a 24 month contract, for large parts of that contract I have not been given the service I'm paying for.
If anyone with a concern for customer care would like to look into this for me, a positive resolution will likely see me remain a loyal BT customer for years to come generating thousands in revenue.
If not, I'll transfer my internet service to another provider, break my contract with BT, reclaim partial payments already made through the direct debit guarantee scheme and happily spend thousands contesting monies owed in court.
I'm willing to risk thousands in court over a matter of a £100 charge. This is where BT customer care has left one of its customers.
Solved! Go to Solution.
My advice would be to visit the infinity sales site get an expected speed for your line record this in someway and ask which part of from the Sale of Goods act 1979 which states that the item purchased has to be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose do bt use to charge you to fix their network because that is in essence is what they are asking.
In fact they are asking for less than this by charging you each time you bother them about their service not being as described when you signed up.
Only getting 3mb/s is an issue to remedied at their cost, not yours charging you for this problem is unacceptable, I would send them a letter before action and get ready to take them to small claims for not providing a service as sold.
A mod should look in on this tomorrow and take ownership to resolve things.
I can have this looked into for you.
Send us an email using the contact us form in my profile you will see this in the section 'About Me'.
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Have sent you a message and recieved this enquiry reference number: 130914-******
Thanks, appreciate your help with this.
Just recieved a letter dated 11th September 2013.
Detailing in writing what I've been told verbally why the charge is being upheld.
In response to my point that the first engineer visit did not fix the problem, I am told -
"I can find no further reported problems with the broadband service until approximately 2 months later, as such unfortunately we have no evidence of a continuous fault on this service and would have to conclude that the engineers report and the subsequent charge is correct".
My logged & saved speedtest.net results show I lose 40% of the performance within 13 days of the engineers visit, 33mb drops to 20mb.
My speed drops from 33mb to 20mb because the BT network caps my download speed (I am told this is because of line errors), is that correct? Isn't there a record of this capping? I have provided a link to my speedtest.net results here http://www.speedtest.net/results.php?sh=1034aaad444180356b1f475032640bb1&ria=0
If anything, shouldn't the capping of my broadband speed on a line that has just been supposedly repaired by a BT engineer be a cause for concern and have prompted someone at BT to contact me to notfiy me the fault is still ongoing.
Good thing I have proof of the continuous fault or someone might have to take my word for it.
Even with this evidence that I can provide, evidence which BT themselves must also have, do BT still get to claim this is not a continous fault?
That my speed recovers from a low of 48% to 70% of the performance, 36 days after the engineer visits, does that mean I miss out on the 28 days between faults being reported making it not a continous fault?
I am sitting on 18% of the performance by the time the 2nd engineer visits, 67 days after the 1st engineer, possibly costing another £100, still yet to be confirmed.
He performs various tests, but the only work he carries out is to replace the modem, a precautionary measure he tells me.
17 days after his visit, I am still getting almost 93% of the performance. If the speed is going to drop again, I hope it does so in the next 11 days, or this £100 recurring charge could get properly silly.
As this is the most consistent performance I've ever had on my line, I suspect the speed won't drop again, I suspect the modem was the problem all along, and if this had happened after the first engineer visit, this wouldn't be an issue, I would have happily paid the £100 for a BT engineer to change a piece of faulty BT hardware so that I can continue to be a satisfied BT customer.
Instead, I am still entirely unsatisfied, despite having a perfectly good working BT infinity service.
Why should I be charged when an engineers fails to diagnose the actual problem and carries out work that is chargeable yet fails to remedy the problem? Are engineers on commison for these charges, is this actual criminal fraudulent corruption that has occured or is just innocent incompetence? Either way, it's me that's footing the bill.
Did a moderator just remove my post on a public forum, which showed BTs response?
Is that really happening?
I'm not really surprised, your customer care is about as good as some of your engineers abilities to trace faults.
BT emailed basically to say "get lost, we don't care" I had posted the message in full but apparently that's a breach of the posting guidelines.
I think I've been as reasonable as can be and have given BT customer support every opportunity to remedy this.
As of today, 19 Sept. after a 2nd engineer visited 3 weeks ago, I have stable and fast BT infinity connection (31mb), it has been stable and consistently fast after the 2nd engineer replaced the modem, as far as I know and as he said, he carried out no other work except for testing the line and having it reset.
Evidence, hard evidence with my IP address showing is here http://www.speedtest.net/results.php?sh=1034aaad444180356b1f475032640bb1&ria=0
Common sense would suggest the modem had been the problem all along, unless some other part of the BT network which had caused line faults has coincidentally been repaired in the past 3 weeks.
Either way, some part of the BT products and/or service was failing me, but it is now corrected.
I am a customer with a fully working & stable fast internet connection, yet I am now about to switch internet providers and break my 24 month contract with BT and also seek a refund from my bank for direct debit charges, as is my right when I dispute a charge paid via direct debit.
I will seek to have this £100 returned from my bank once I'm with another provider and BT cannot interupt my service.
Then BT can try to make further charges against me for breaching the contract, unpaid bills etc. This can all go to court as far as I am concerned.
Of course it won't, it's not enough money to go to court over, BT will pass this onto some rancid doggedly determined debt collecters who I will wave away by pointing out the debt is disputed, BT at some point of in the distant future will then write off the debt and log my credit score with the £100 bad debt, plus charges & compound interest.
You may be aware by now, I've played this game before.
But the big loss for BT will be my lost custom, however many thousands of pounds that will be over the coming years.
And as you may be slightly aware by now, I know a bit about IT, I am the go to man for family, friends and friends of friends, which counts for hunderds of people, and each time any on them ask me about which internet company to choose, I'll tell them, don't use BT, and I'll tell them why. So you may have lost my thousands from me, but that loss will mushroom into tens and maybe even hundreds of thousands from all the businees I'll happily divert from you.
This will be linked on my twitter feed, my facebook page and although it won't go viral, enough people will read it and see how BT try to charge people for failed repairs.
Well played, BT customer care, well played.
And thankfully maybe all the sales calls that had started as soon as I returned to BT will stop again.
What a dodgy lot you are selling out all your customers to harrasment and annoyance.
I think that shows how much you care about your customers.
As the original poster, I think it's only right I have a post which shows an accepted solution, which is...
Switch internet providers and reclaim the money back through your banks direct debit guarantee scheme.
That's definiltey and acceptable solution to me!