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Nihil
Aspiring Contributor
815 Views
Message 1 of 3

Line Disconnected in Error

So, around the 20th of August I received a letter from EE stating that they were in the process of switching my phone line service to their own.

 

This was apparently in error and they were notified of this, as were BT, within ten days of the date provided on the letter from EE.

 

An ofcom complaint was also filed on the 1st of September (I was suspicious of EE, as I'd never made an application with them and they failed to address their intended client by name so I assumed this was a case of them slamming customers in bulk). I'll be quoting from their official response to that complaint below.

 

So after hearing back from ofcom it turns out this may genuinely have been an error on the part of EE: 

 

Spoiler

Turning to the information from Openreach, it suggests that EE took over your line on 3 September 2014. It also appears the transfer was performed in error, rather than intentionally.

 

When a consumer’s line is transferred without their permission, this is known as ‘slamming’ which is a form of mis-selling. Regarding an erroneous transfer, this can happen as a result of a consumer having their line switched accidentally. More commonly, it can occur when a customer has requested service but instead it is supplied to a neighbouring house.

 

This is primarily caused by current limitations in providers’ systems not reliably identifying the new property and therefore the wrong property is accidentally targeted for takeover. It would also mean the account would not be in the original customer’s name. Even so, an erroneous transfer is still not acceptable.

 

However... My line has actually been disconnected. This is despite calling BT and telling them not to disconnect my line, and no correspondence was received from BT to notify me of this disconnection until two days after it occurred.

 

On calling them to complain about this, on the day they disconnected the line, I was passed to a sales team who told me to wait two days and that they would call back. My issue would be resolved and it would take ~15 minutes.

 

So, after waiting two days they called as agreed. The call was from this point forward treated entirely as a sales call, offering me the standard three month introductory reduction of a few pounds per month "as an apology", and selling me up front line rental (I presume they are targetted on this) on the grounds that it's "what I had before" (it wasn't).

 

So eventually they set me up a new account and contract, with a new waiting time for reconnection of 14 days (plus the two days prior I spent disconnected). The complaint was not logged and no mention was made of the emergency reconnection service:

  

Spoiler
If it is the case that EE has now taken over your line, you should ask BT if they can use the emergency restoration process. This should enable your service to be restored quickly. However, if BT has chosen not to adopt this process then they will need to follow the standard order process which can take up to two weeks.

 

I can only assume from this, and from other forum posts, that BT have chosen not to incorporate this into their procedure for reconnecting clients. Which begs the question, why the hell not?

 

There was also no mention by the agent I spoke to of their code of practice regarding erroneous disconnections:

 

Spoiler
Disconnecting your phone by mistake
If we cut off your line by mistake, you can claim daily-rate rental credit. We’ll work out the compensation from
the moment we cut you off and take this amount off your next bill.
Spoiler
Daily-rate rental credit
If you don’t ask us to divert your calls and we fail to supply or repair your phone line on time, you can claim a
‘daily-rate rental credit’. We’ll work out the daily-rate rental credit by:
• multiplying your quarterly phone service rental by four;
• dividing this by 365; and
• multiplying this by the number of days we were late in installing or repairing your phone line.
• If you can prove that you’ve lost money as a direct result of us not being able to provide or repair your phone
line in the time we said we would, you might be able to claim that financial loss. You can find out about the
limits on how much you can claim for each line affected at bt.com/terms. You can claim a financial loss on top
of a daily-rate rental credit.
• You can claim for financial loss if you’ve asked to have your calls diverted, but not for the cost of extra mobile
phone calls you make within the first five days of us going over our promised times. The terms and conditions
in the contract between you and us apply. You must make your claim within four months of us putting matters
right. If you’d like a financial loss claim form, please contact us (see ‘How to contact us’ on page 18).

 

In regard to their correspondence regarding the disconnection: I do especially like the way that they only bother to send letters and emails regarding them charging you for disconnection. Absolutely no warnings or notifications prior to disconnection (which according to ofcom's website, should also be sent by your current supplier) and my phone call to them to tell them specifically not to disconnect me was completely ignored.

 

Anyway, I thought I'd post on here as responses from the online complaints submission form are slow as hell. Hopefully a mod will pick it up as they appear to be quite competent based on responses to other forum threads.

 

Plus at least this way my issue will show alongside others in google search results (and oh my, does this appear to happen a lot.)

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Moderator
Moderator
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Message 2 of 3

Re: Line Disconnected in Error

Hi Nihil,

 

Thanks for posting. Sorry you've had such a bad experience. I'll take a look into this for you. Drop me an email with the details. You'll get the 'contact us' link in my profile.

 

Cheers

 

David

 

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Nihil
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 3 of 3

Re: Line Disconnected in Error

Thanks for the quick response, I've submitted my BT account details via the form provided.

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