I'm not a BT customer at the moment (nor do I wish to be).
I have recently moved into a new flat and today received a letter for one of the previous tenants which I opened in error.
On looking at the letter I realised it was a BT bill for a line in the property which is obviously still active - The bill was for just over £150 and includes future line rental up till December. It appears to be a bill for phone, broadband and BT Sport.
Can you please advise how this can be cancelled? I have no means of contacting the previous tenant to ask them to do this but I understand (from reading a similar post on this forum) that this will be necessary if I ever want to get a line installed in my own name with an alternative provider? I may wish to do this in the future but my main immediate concern is the number of debt collection and bailliff letters arriving at the property for this tenant which I am trying to put a halt to! As they were clearly irresponsible and running from debt I think it's highly unlikely they are ever going to contact you to cancel this line themselves. (NB: The flat I am in is council property and the council will not give out a forwarding address for the previous tenants).
Please advise what can be done here?
NB: I will happily provide specific details to anyone from BT via email but I am not interested in being asked to call your customer service number (I used to be a BT customer a few years ago and had so many problems caused by incompetent customer service staff that it has put me off ever being a BT customer again myself!)
Thanks in advance
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Thanks for replying but I've got to admit I'm a bit perplexed by your reply.
I was reading some other posts on this forum earlier and it seems that very often advice is given such as the following (cut and paste from another post): "Once the Forum Mods have read your post they will post an invite here once you reply to them they will take personal ownership of the problem until resolved"
I got the impression the "Forum Mods" were people from BT who intervened where there were issues they could resolve?
If this is not the case then can anyone else reading this advise me on this issue?
I appreciate I could contact BT customer service directly at this point but I have so little faith in them due to several previous bad experiences when I was a customer of theirs that I wanted to see if there was any other way first. I also wanted to find out what the legal position was with regard to getting someone elses account to my property cancelled.
Can anyone help?
Thanks John - if mods are likely to read this in 3 - 5 working days then I would rather wait on that and if it doesn't happen I will simply mark the bill as "not known at this address" and send it back to them (even though I suspect this will be a painfully slow method of resolving the problem).
I looked at the "Contact Us" link for them but there is absolutely no option for contacting them via the contact form as a non-customer. Every single method of contacting them in writing involves filling in a form which pre-supposes that you are a customer (ie in the case of billing, the assumption is that the bill you are enquiring about is YOUR bill). I appreciate that anyone reading this may think well why don't you just tick the nearest box and then go on to explain the situation? I would have done this a number of years ago but, as I hinted at in the original post, I had a farcical problem with BT myself a few years ago which was compounded by sloppy individuals at BT Customer Service making mistakes with simple processes then lying to cover their tracks. Because I have had so many issues in the past with BT Customer Services, in this case I am working on the assumption that if there is a chance something can go wrong then it probably will. As a non-customer now the last thing I want is to fill in a form with my name and contact details and and an enquiry about "my bill" (which really is someone else's bill) as there is a high chance (based on previous ineptidude I have witnessed) that this will result in the aforementioned bill being re-issued in my name! I imagine it is also likely that this issue is well outside the remit that a normal customer service person can deal with anyway (they will more than likely cite "data protection issues" as a reason why they can't discuss this bill with me).
The reason I was hoping a mod would reply on here is that I am working on the assumption that they will be significantly above the knowledge and intelligence level of a normal customer service person and may actually be able to help resolve the issue. I would appreciate if this thread can be left open to see if a mod replies, or equally if someone who has experienced a similar issue can offer any insight. Many thanks.
As you are not a BT customer, or trying to place an order with BT Retail, I doubt very much that the forum moderators will help.
You may be best waiting until you place an order with a Service Provider, for phone/broadband. It should not affect your ability to place an order in your own name, and the existing line would have been ceased anyway. The lines are owned by Openreach, who supply all lines, apart from some cable services.
Remember, its only BT Retail that is owed the money, and its up to them to chase up the last tenant. All you can do is to send any letters back. This is the sort of thing that happens with other utilities as well.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
I appreciate what you're saying however the reason I thought I was likely to have problems getting a broadband contract in my own name (even with another provider) is as a result of the advice given in this thread which highlights a similar issue. In that case however the person was able to successfully get the original tenant to cancel the contract in order to obtain a MAC code which apparently is apparently necessary to release the line? I'm actually not in a desperate rush for broadband for various reasons and it may well be several months before I decide to get it but would be good to know if I can get it as and when I need it.
My main immediate concern is that if the situation drags on I will continue to get demand letters for this tenant which will eventually escalate to bailliff letters and/or visits from bailliffs which I really can live without. I am also worried that debt letters to the property could affect my own credit rating.
I am going to send this letter back to BT anyway but there was another thread on here in which someone said they had sent 20 letters back as "return to sender" and still continued to receive demands from BT.
You're probably right that no one from BT will reply to this (I live in hope!) as from previous experience with them as soon as something is moderately complicated no one wants to take responsibility for it.
The mods generally only step in if a problem can't be solved by other means, or if the conventional customer services have completely messed things up.
Most of the time, the mods operate in "stelth mode" - you can only contact them if they invite you to. A limited number of users on this forum have been granted the privelege of contacting the mods to ask them to review posts.
They aren't likely to step in if people just don't want to go down the regular customer service route. Let's face it, anyone who has had the misfortune of needing the customer service centre in India would want to use them again if they could avoid it.
It's not quite the same thing but if you see:
http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/questions/askjames262.html they recommend: "...if you do receive debt demands addressed to the former tenant, simply return them to the sender marked ‘no longer at this address...' "
There will be a return address on the back of any letters. Just score out the original address and mark as indicated above. If you happen to possibly become aware of a mobile number for the previous tenant why not list that as well 🙂
Maybe even suggest they contact <whatever> council who may have a forwarding address. No need for a stamp either!
BTW - make sure you don't use this phone line or BB as it's not in your name.