I contacted BT to cancel my broadband package as I'm moving to full fibre which BT don't supply in my area. I thought everything had gone smoothly until I received the email telling me what had been done.
Not only had they cancelled my broadband, they had cancelled my phone contract as well.
I called back to tell them I still wanted my phone line and was told they would have to cancel the cancellation?? and I would have to phone back the following day to re-cancel. When i asked why they couldn't do it there and then, I was told the "order" (cancellation) would have to go through the system first and it could take till midnight. The advisor told me he would make a note that the 30 day cancellation would take effect from today.
I called back the following day to re-cancel and was told the cancellation takes up to 24 hours to come off the system.
I phoned back the following day to be told the cancellation takes up to 3 days to come off the system.
I left it for 4 days to be sure, and phoned back to cancel. All went well this time and it appeared that my broadband contract would be cancelled as of 14th August.
Went to use my internet today (25th August) to find it had been disconnected.
Phoned BT to find out why and advisor said he hadn't a clue why, but there was nothing he could do because the contract had been cancelled as of today.
I am fortunate in that my new supplier gave me 30 days free in order to cover my BT cancellation period. Otherwise I would have been three weeks without any internet access! I await my final bill to see if I've been charged up till the 14th September!
Who trains the BT customer service advisors?
You obviously did not realise that your package is broadband and phone not just broadband so cancelling your contract automatically cancels both broadband and phone. As BT are moving to digital voice which is VOIP and requires a broadband connection and the use of the SH2 then you cannot get phone using another ISP
You need to get phone provided by new ISP
By 2025 you will have to move to VOIP as openreach stop ability to use existng copper line for phones
The fundamental point still applies, your ‘account’ was for line and broadband, asking for the broadband to be removed , isn’t simply case of pressing a button and removing one facility and leaving the other in place , it’s a cessation of your combined LR/BB , to get rid of the BB , and a new order , to provide a standalone LR service, transferring the number from the ceased LR/BB account, and a consequence of the way Openreach have to set up their business with inputs from hundreds of Telcos , is than once an order is in the system, other orders have to wait until the one ‘in flight’ finishes its journey before another can ‘take off’ , even if an order is cancelled, it still has to ‘clear the runway’ , ( sorry for the flying analogies) imagine if two companies were allowed to order the same thing at the same time the chaos that would ensue.
As stated the PSTN switch off and the fact that soon any telephone service provided by BT will be ‘Digital Voice’ an all IP service ( so delivered over broadband ) adds to the complexity.
That’s not to say it’s inevitable that it will go wrong, it should (obviously) be possible to do what you wanted without the amount of ‘grief’ you have had to endure, but to suggest it was just a couple of buttons to press is a little simplistic.
If one of the five advisors I spoke to had explained that, I might have been a little more understanding! I've had my broadband/line rental from BT for more years than I can remember, so I certainly wasn't aware of the fact that they were joined together, and nobody took the time to explain that if I cancelled one, I was cancelling both.
Can you explain why my broadband was switched off the day after being cancelled instead of after the obligatory 30 days notice? I'm sure many people try to coincide switching off one at the same time as the new one gets switched on. Fortunately, I have my new one free for 30 days during my notice period with BT otherwise I would have been stranded with no broadband during this period.
Obviously without knowing the exact conversation you had , and if the advisor fully appreciated what you were trying to achieve, who knows what happened, but AFAIK, 30 days notice is more a billing requirement rather than necessarily a service end date , if someone asked for their services to be ceased immediately, they would be billed for the 30 days because that’s what the T&C s stipulate, you would think that service would continue during those 30 days , but maybe not, perhaps the language used may be key, your requirements were more involved that simply saying , here is my 30 day notice to quit .
Pure speculation , but if you said cease my broadband today and assumed it would continue for 30 days , that may not be the case , with FTTC ( assuming it’s FTTC you had ) it should continue to work irrespective of the physical status of your PSTN ‘line’ ,( ceased , stopped , stopped /renumbered, etc but ceasing OSTN does trigger the cessation of broadband ) so presumably the broadband was programmed to be ceased on the day you called ( well the day after so it works until at least midnight ) or coincidentally there was a waiting customer on the FTTC cabinet, and as soon as your FTTC port was deemed ‘spare’ it was allocated to another ISP customer and the connection physically moved to service a different address , or even your BT Broadband account was suspended pending cessation, so your connection FTTC remained in tact but your account effectively blocked from internet access , the status of the router would be informative here.
Its impossible to know for sure , sage advice for anyone moving network providers, where keeping internet access important, is only once the new network is in and working, cease the old network, even at the cost of paying for both for a period, as you say , luckily your new provider gave you a month free anyway.
I think a lot of BT customers will not know the two are linked. I became a BT customer in about 1984. Lots of people have been with them for decades and will not have followed year by year the various changes to things. I have been at my address for over 25 years without changing from BT so a lot of the new things like a phone number account and internet (which used to be separate in the days of dial up and the analogue landlines many of us still know love and use) being linked will not be known. Perhaps BT need to tell their telephone answering people to say - you can only cancel both broadband and the telephone, you cannot do one or the other. It is one reason I try to change nothing ever as it always seems to take time and go wrong when you change things.