I'm an ex-BT employee, having left in Feb this year. As part of this my previously free BT Infinity 2 / BT TV employee package was ported to an equivalent deal as a paying customer, and I was invited to adjust it after that. My BT account was in my wife's name, so the employee deal was effectively gifted to her.
I called BT customer services today (0800 800 150) to downgrade my package to Infinity 1, and a few other adjustments. The cost of the deal I was offered looked too high (£53.99 per month), especially compared to the equivalent deals I could see on BT.com. I was advised by BT that this was probably because the account was on 'standard terms pricing', possibly because of the employee gifting set-up.
A 'working line takeover' was suggested to create a new account in my name. This resulted in an improved offer of £38.99 per month for the same deal, which I agreed to, with an activation date of 1st of May.
Here's the kicker; on receiving the confirmation emails, I noticed that my landline number will change as part of this. I perhaps should have spotted this, as the BT guy asked me during our conversation how I wanted my phone number to appear (ex-directory etc.), but at no point did he advise that my land line number would change; and to be honest, I had so many things to deal with, what with all of the various BT package options I was considering.
I immediately phoned back, and was advised that there was no way of avoiding the number change as I was effectively registering as a new customer with a new account number. My best bet would be to call BT at 9 a.m. on 2nd May (the morning after account activation) and ask to change my new landline number back to the old one, and hope that my number hadn't been given to someone else in the mean time.
So, my question is, does this sound like the right advice? (I ask as the person who gave it to me admitted that she hasn't dealt with a phone number change before). Also, how long does the process take? Should I expect it to go smoothly, and should I expect to be charged for it?
I've asked a mod to drop in on this as I don't think the community can help.
@ludwiggj welcome to the community and thanks for posting. As you're essentially an new customer and an new account is being set up then a new number is being provided. There are no guarantees that you would get the number back but at the same time it is unlikely that it would be reallocated to another customer so soon after being disconnected so a renumber could be organised if the number was spare. We can help with the renumber if you want to take this option?
Alternatively you could cancel the order and a request if there are any retention deals on your existing account by speaking to the loyalty team on 0800 800 030. This would ensure that there are no changes to the number as it would still be in your wife's account.
I spoke to the loyalty team as suggested, and whilst the advisor could not offer a better deal, he had dealt with many renumbers before, so was able to give me good advice. I will be going through with the line takeover process as a result.
It's a shame that BT appears to have a policy of only offering better 'deals' to new customers. I wonder how many people create new accounts via this process every time their contract is up for renewal, and how much extra work BT is creating for itself as a result, not to mention the poor customer experience this creates. As the advisor said, "it's frustrating that customers are being asked to exit the house through the front door, only to climb back in through the window!""