You talkin' to me?
I am awaiting two forms to sign and return and I have to have £20, at least, credit on my account to cover the fee.
I have been with Sipgate about 5 years since VOIP was just starting-over this period of time it's just got more and more reliable so that you don't notice the difference at all.
I'll post again as soon as, as you say ,time is running out
The same thing has happened to me - letter arrived today with the bad news. (Addressed to the wrong person with the wrong account number but the correct address - and we do have the bypass and call diversion system.)
Tried phoning on the number they suggested, and I wish I had recorded the result. Several minutes of a useless automated system providing an endless series of multiple menus all with inappropriate choices and no sign of a human. It would have made a comedy video for UTube. In the end I gave up because I'd found this forum and realised the human would get me nowhere either!
Our problem obviously is that for about 20 years we have given the bypass number to almost everyone and now the ones we forget to notify will not be able to reach us. We asked a few months ago if we could merge our two numbers (normal and bypass) into our bypass number. A knowledgeable-sounding BT engineer said it was technically not possible as far as he could tell and that the bypass sytem was a very old legacy that newer equipment meant would be phased out soon.
Has anyone had any luck persuading BT to put some sort of auto answer on the bypass number to tell the caller they will need to redial a new number?
I received my letter this morning - though with BT precision and efficiency it was addressed to a different name at my address (where no-one else has ever lived).
Friends, relatives, businesses etc have phoned me on the same number for 22 years. It used to be my actual number then about 19 years ago I needed 'Star Services' call diversion (which was then a brand new facility) on a different number and my old number became my bypass number. The change cost me £10.
Over the last couple of years I have not really needed call diversion (though my last bill shows 65 diverted calls for which BT got £9.03, due to people thinking that phoning my routinely diverted number will get them answered more quickly at my place of work, which is not the case). As the bypass numbers are ending, I'm sure for no really good reason, then I thought I would try to get the numbers swapped back so that friends and relatives etc could keep phoning me on my 'usual' number and stop the call diversion service.
After 40 minutes on the phone this afternoon (a specific number re this matter would have been helpful!) I spoke with 2 pleasant but unhelpful English people, then finally with a man who was almost certainly in an Indian call centre. To my astonishment, he knew what I was talking about! He said there were 2 solutions. One was to simply swap them like I suggested, which was free and would take 3 working days. He said I would receive written confirmation of this number change and regarding my discontinuation of call diversion within 2 working days. The other option was to get the call sign service and he stated that my (either) BYPASS NUMBER COULD BE ASSIGNED TO THE CALL SIGN SERVICE. As others have suggested in this thread that this is officially not meant to be possible I am a little concerned that he might have been just telling me what I wanted to hear, perhaps also re the number swap option but I will check the written information carefully.
In the event that it were not to all work out as planned, then if my number had to change I would just start using my NTL/Virgin line which I never use (but is a compulsory part of a package) and say bye bye to BT. Call diversion with bypass facility is the only reason I have stayed with BT, so I might think of dumping them anyway except that calls on NTL/Virgin are more expensive. I wonder how many customers BT will lose due to this change - but they probably don't care!
I wonder how widespread the wrong name + wrong account number + correct address might be. How many people will think it is not for them and not read it properly or stick it back in the post? Don't suppose it is a deliberate plan to confuse customers and reduce phone calls regarding this change? I note that my latest bill (02/08/10) includes advance charges for bypass facility from 1st August to 31st October which might have led me to believe that the letter was an error.
Anyone not correctly and clearly advised regarding this matter could be rendered uncontactable by telephone. Friends, relatives, medical services, banks etc would not be able to phone about potentially serious matters. BT could be regarded as legally liable for any losses or negative consequences. In my opinion BT should have sent these letters recorded delivery and not stopped anyone's bypass service without checking that the information had been received. BT clearly have no idea that for many (?most) people with this service, their bypass number IS their phone number!
Just phoned (on her bypass number of course) my business partner to alert her to this matter and ask if she had received a letter too. She had - BUT ALSO ADDRESSED TO THE WRONG PERSON. She had already written 'not known at this address' on the envelope and was going to stick it back in the post! On opening it, it also has the wrong account number. Due to the loss of this facility she's thinking of changing to Sky, which will work out a lot cheaper overall.
If Divert with Bypass is technically difficult to continue then why is it still offered to business customers? My problem, as I have already stated, is that I would grudginly accept becoming a business customer to maintain my current setup but this major telecoms company (with no doubt a customer focused mission statement) seems incapable of letting me keep the same phone numbers for my bypass and divert numbers when they switch me. It is total rubbish and I am fed up of being told BECAUSE they are randomly allocated. BECAUSE it what you use to stop a 4 year old asking the same question over and over again. I want a techincally detailed answer as to why I cannot keep the same numbers. I am, as you might of guessed by now, not holding my breath.
I haven't even had a response to my updated formal complaint but that ceases to surprise me either now.
I have always had a good experience of BT in the past. Wooosh, that's gone
Have been reading all the forum letters on the above problem was assured on Thursday by a girl in customer service that she had passed my complaint onto her senior manager who would be looking into the problem, and he would ring me back. Guess what.... No call back as yet !!
Has anyone found another provider who can port these numbers over ?
I think if one was found we would all move from BT, but as what has been said before...Would BT be bothered ?
I'm looking at Vonage or Sipgate at the moment.
I appreciate that there's only so much that public-facing staff can do, but I do have to feel some regret for how BT handles things like this. It's impossible to get a rational response from most of the call centres (assuming you can even get past the IVR) and even the information you get back from human beings basically seems to have been cut-and-pasted from the corporate press office.
It's of little comfort to customers who are losing a service and a phone number which they have relied upon for many years to be told that "BT is constantly reviewing its products and services". It's irritating that the service is being withdrawn at all when it is obviously still available to business customers - and still listed on the OFFICIAL price list as being available to residential customers. It's rude to say that the service is being withdrawn "due to low customer demand" when the service has basically never been promoted. It's mistaken to suggest Call Sign or BT Broadband Talk (especially to customers who don't have BT Broadband!) as "similar" because they are unable to offer either the same number or the same service - i.e. the ability to phone a line which is otherwise using Call Diversion to route calls somewhere else.
I was an enthusiastic proponent of BT for many years. I had several lines, broadband, the works. But it's so easy to lose that goodwill. I ordered BT Vision only to find that the equipment didn't arrive and the call centre could only tell me that "something has gone wrong in a way we don't understand" and would I like to try ordering again. I didn't bother. BT Broadband offered me a free hub phone if I signed up for another 18 months, which I did. Then they charged me for the phone and said it was never free. So I cancelled BT Broadband entirely. This latest interaction with BT is causing me to think seriously about cancelling my calling features, unlimited calling package, and multiple phone lines, and moving the whole lot somewhere else. I never thought I'd say this. I always thought that BT was the best and that it was foolish to ever consider anywhere else. Never has a company fallen so far in my estimation. It's just such a shame.
So, as I say, for the moment, I think it'll be Sipgate or Vonage, or possibly Sky.
Sipgate have emailed the forms which I have printed off.
Now I have to fill them out sign,scan and email back. They are straightforward but comprehensive and need to be read carefully(perhaps a couple of times) before committing pen to paper.
All possibilities/combinations of phone/account numbers are catered for but must be filled out exactly as required for the port to succeed. I am optimistic about the process but nevertheless my mind is still whirring with the need to have "plan B" in place if the number can't be saved during the next 3 weeks. Plan B will be a nightmare as you have to get this sort of thing right quckly and in one go. i.e. no rehearsals. The best solution for those with broadband is simply a VOIP number which in many cases is free(just PAYG for the calls) and tell all your contacts the new number not forgetting to change the number in club diaries etc. where new people might want to get in touch. Any other ideas/tips please post
I think my only answer is to get a third line installed and try my best to get the bypass number transferred over and if all else fails, which given BT's response so far I fully anticipate, then my wife will have to let everyone know her 'new' number. I end up bearing the installation and running costs simply because of some completely arbitrary decision made by a bunch of marketing people who are endeavouring to define our phone usage into a limited number of packages with no allowance for any degree of flexibility.
Back in 2006 BT's Chairman said this...
We have summed this up in a new vision and mission.
Our vision is to be dedicated to helping customers thrive in a changing world
and a little later in the same statement
Of course, customers are not interested in vision and mission statements. What they are interested in, however, are services that get the job done and that are hassle-free.
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
I wonder what went wrong?