I made the mistake of subscribiing to the BT Privacy at home service. It was marketed as a 'free' service but sneakily BT include Caller Display which is also marketed as 'free' but you get charged if you do not make a certain number of phone calls in a quarter. As I only have a BT line for broadband (which I get from another supplier) I rarely make more than 1 or 2 calls per month. As a result, this quarter BT have charged me £7.77 for something that I neither wanted nor actively subscribed to.
I wanted BT Privacy at Home to stop cold callers. I didn't want Caller Display but this was forced on me.
I had a nice online chat with a support chap but all he could do was to state that all this information was in the terms and conditions which is correct but doesn't get away from the fact that BT force upon you a service which you don't necessarily want but for which you do get charged.
So having been a BT subscriber (not through choice) for over 20 of my adult years I'm off !!
O2 offer home phone and as I get my broadband from them too this seems like a good time to finally get out of the BT stranglehold. If it hadn't been for this £7.77 charge I would have been too lazy to change my home phone supplier.
Well done BT. Another great marketing ploy that has backfired. I'm sure they won't miss my 130 odd pounds a year but if they continue to force their subscribers to pay for stuff they never wanted then I'm sure more people will migrate.
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And if like me who makes calls through an alternative provider, when you try to get out of the service, they try and force you to bring your calls back to them!
It seems I've fallen foul of the powers that watch this forum.
Not content to charge me £7.77 for something that I never wanted in the first place, they have now removed one of my posts as it clearly identified an alternative provider for home phone.
My fault. I should have read the terms and conditions of the forum.
'If in the event that BT rip you off and you use this forum to entice members to move to a competitor we will remove your posts.'
Thing is that if BT felt that they offered a decent service with no hidden charges and didn't engage in shady practices then it would make no difference to those customers who were happy with BT whether someone came on the forum and shouted at the top of their voices information about alternative suppliers. Customers who are happy will stay no matter what.
The fact that you feel threatened by a single post made by a user who was annoyed at one of your charges is very revealing. It tells me that BT are on the ropes. It tells me that there is a real danger of a significant part of their revenue stream reducing over the next few years.
The solution to this is not to remove posts.
Try something radical. Try making your customers happy instead. Try removing obscure terms and conditions from your service offering. Try unbundliing services that customers may end up paying for away from services that are completely free such as TPS.
Thanks for your very helpful post [which came up on Google] - your post saved me from ploughing through all the small print to find the 'Catch' which I suspected must exist in BT's 'Free' privacy service....
I endorse all you say about customer service & retention - I really don't understand the mentality of the so called marketeers who come up with these ideas, still less do I understand the incompetence of their managers in agreeing to implement their ideas.
Personally I consider the use of the word 'Free' in such cases to be blatent mis-representation - I'd love to see a rich philanthropist take a major company like BT to court to see if a case could be won - then perhaps the proper use of the word 'free' could be restored to the English language...
At the end of the day, all I want to do is to prevent anyone who with-holds their number from calling me, which is self-evidently technically simple. BT will doubtless say that then I may fail to receive calls from people that I'd like to hear from but who don't want to reveal their number to all and sundry - the solution's simple - callers should hear a voice message that telling them why they are not being connected, and then it is their choice as to whether they reveal their number or not. If they are genuine callers, they won't have a problem with that.
Rant - over - now I feel better....