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Stevie-m
Beginner
1,329 Views
Message 1 of 10

Elderly father left without phone line.

Yesterday a BT engineer was working near my 94 year old father's home. When my father returned from the day centre, his landline was not working. It is coupled to his telecare alarm system which obviously now no longer works. He is 94, partially sighted, partially deaf, has chronic arthritis and lives alone since my mother died. The alarm system is our safety net, in case anything happens . Without it, he could be at risk, without any means of contacting anyone. The fault was reported by his neighbours, AND the care agency, to somewhere in India.... The customer service rep assured them that the line would be fixed this morning, but, guess what? Nothing. The neighbour's son works for BT and kindly traced the fault to the pole outside my father's home, but obviously couldn't actually do anything to fix it. He also reported the fault as urgent. After many calls to the helpline ( during which I was disconnected twice) I finally managed to speak with a csr who informs me that there IS a fault, they know he is a vulnerable adult, but there had been - and I quote- " technical issues" which meant that the report had gone no further. Excuse me for being cross, but for crying out loud if the man KNEW that it had not been processed, why did he not do something about it. He assured me that this time it would be " done properly". When you know you have vulnerable people who are at risk without their only means of communication, why are they not a priority? Especially as the fault was presumably caused by your engineer in the first place! I was disgusted to read other threads along a similar vein. Surely your helpline has the ability to prioritise emergency repairs? I eagerly await your response. Doubtless, there will be a plausible excuse.
Yours, Stephanie McAndrew
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9 REPLIES 9
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.


I am sorry to see you are having problems


I suggest you contact the forum mods they should be able to get this problem sorted for you this is a link to them http://bt.custhelp.com/app/contact_email/c/4951


They normally reply by email or phone directly to you within 3 working days they will take personal ownership of your problem until resolved and will keep you informed of progress


They are a UK based BT specialist team who have a good record at getting problems solved


This is a customer to customer self help forum posts made here do not go directlytoBT

The only BT presence here are the forum moderators

Distinguished Guru
Distinguished Guru
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Message 3 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

I don't believe the helpdesk can prioritise repairs. Anyone with a fault is likely to regard their own case as urgent, and I daresay the helpdesk gets all manner of reasons, real and fabricated, why individuals should give priority. So I would take any assurance with a pinch of salt.

 

Having said that, there is a Free Priority Fault Repair Scheme for vulnerable people. If you can get your father signed up for that you should be able to rely on genuine priority in the event of any future problems.

 

Meanwhile, john's advice is the best for the current issue.

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Stevie-m
Beginner
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Message 4 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

Thank you both for your advice. I am waiting to hear from the CSR concerning the current state of repair, but will definitely get my father to join the scheme. Thanks again.
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michty6
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 5 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

I was in a similar situation with my disabled mother not having a phone line.

 

It makes absoultely no difference to BT.  Their Customer Service will literally lie to you over and over and over again - promising calls to reassure your relative (which they won't follow through on).

 

You just have to keep pounding at them over and over again till you eventually get someone who can do something (rare).  Like as soon as you've hung up with Customer Service call back immediately and see if what the person just told you is actually being done or is just an outright lie (90% of what they say will be the latter).

 

Post messages on here, write the mods and post to BT's Twitter about how they are treating an elderly vulnerable person.  Keep pounding away and eventually (it will take a while) something will get done - this is the only way to get BT to do ANYTHING.

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 6 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

The Forum Mods will take personal ownership of the problem until fully resolved
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Stevie-m
Beginner
1,255 Views
Message 7 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

My faith in BT is restored. They repaired the line yesterday morning, the CSR called me at work to say it had been done, and also texted confirmation. The repairman introduced himself to my father, and checked that the telecare alarm was switched on and working. We are very grateful. I must also add that the CSRv who dealt with this was very polite, understanding and DID seem concerned about my fathers' predicament. He certainly kept me up to date with proceedings.
We will definitely be applying for the priority repair scheme, so thank you for that information, too.
Distinguished Guru
Distinguished Guru
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Message 8 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

Good news! Thanks for letting us know.

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 9 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

excellent result nice to see a positive outcome 😉
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rhyds
Expert
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Message 10 of 10

Re: Elderly father left without phone line.

The actual Openreach/BT engineers are usually very good eggs. Always ready to get stuff sorted. Unfortnately they're controlled by BT, which means that they're stuck in the seventh circle of hell...