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Message 1 of 3

Non-existent customer care for the elderly and vulnerable - Shame on you BT!

Background: My mother is 78 years old and has Alzheimer's disease, as a result  she moved into sheltered accommodation on Monday 18th August 2014.


On Friday 15th August I rang BT to order telephone installation at her new address. I clearly explained my mother's health issues to the Customer Service Adviser and the urgency of her having access to a landline, my mother cannot use a mobile phone.  I was informed that the earliest installation date was 28th August.  I explained that I would have to be present when the line was installed and that i would be booking time off work and travelling 30 miles, I was assured that the appointment would take place.


On Wednesday 27th August I rang BT to check that all was still going ahead and again I was reassured that all was well.


On Thursday 28th August I waited with my mother for the Engineer but by 4.00 pm I began to feel concerned and so I rang BT. I was told that there was no reason that the work wouldn't go ahead. At 5.50 pm there was still no sign of an Engineer so I rang again and was told that the work hadn't gone ahead because there was a fault on the line and someone would contact me again in 24 hours to reschedule the installation!


In the circumstances I insisted on speaking to a manager who rang back at 6.10 pm and assured me that there was no problem and that an Engineer was still scheduled to come to my mothers house that evening. We waited again and at 6.40 pm an Engineer arrived and began the installation work. When he went out to test the line he found a fault and told us that the job would have to go back to BT to be reassigned when the fault was fixed. 


On Friday 29th August I rang BT to follow up and for the first time since I had placed the order I spoke to a UK based Adviser.  I expressed my concerns that the offshore Installation team didn't understand the urgency of the situation as I was not sure that they understood what Alzheimer's disease was nor did they understand the concept of sheltered accommodation. I was told by the Adviser that I couldn't 'pick and choose' who I spoke to! Appalling customer service.


I was also advised that because of my mother's condition we should have asked Social Services to liaise with BT on her behalf and then the urgency of her case would have been highlighted. I was not told this when I initially rang to place the order on 15th August despite making her condition clear. Again appalling customer service.


I was then told that the fault would be rectified within 48 hours, i.e. 2 working days - Friday 29th August and Monday 1st September and I was put through to the Installation team (offshore) to discuss a new date for the installation.

Initially the Adviser told me that we would have to wait for up to 3 days for the installation following the fault repair, i.e. we could wait as long as Friday 5th September. I made the point that this was unacceptable given the time that we had been waiting for installation from 15th August and asked to speak to a manager.


The manager agreed that this was unacceptable and said that he would ring me back on Tuesday 2nd September  and that we would be given the next available urgent appointment. On Tuesday 2nd September I was contacted not by the manager as promised but by yet another Adviser and I was told that no Engineers had been available to do the work so there was another 48 hour delay. Appalling customer service.


I asked to speak to the manager again, who told me that he needed to speak to the Engineers in Openreach and escalate the issue. The manager told me he would ring me back to give me an update on the situation.


I received no call back - appalling customer service - and I rang again. The Adviser I spoke to reiterated that it was another 48 hours wait and there was nothing that could be done about it.  When I told him that I had been told earlier that I would get a call back and further information he was extremely rude. He raised his voice to me, he talked across me, he told me that I was wrong. Appalling customer service.


I asked to speak to the manager, he confirmed that the issue had been escalated but that as there was no new information to give me I hadn't been rung back.  Appalling customer service.


I am now waiting for a call back on Wednesday 3rd September with a further update. My mother still has no telephone and as a result is extremely depressed about the situation.


What appalling service BT and what a way to treat elderly vulnerable customers.  My mother relies on her landline to speak to her family, she cannot use a mobile phone. She is often confused and relies on the conversations she has with us to help he through the day.  Shame on you BT!    


Julie Brown

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Message 2 of 3

Re: Non-existent customer care for the elderly and vulnerable - Shame on you BT!

The moderators of the forum have been informed of your problem. Once they have read this they may be able to help. They are a BT UK based team and if they can help they will reply via this thread asking you to contact them via a link. Once you have replied to them by the link, it can at present take up to five working days for them to re-contact you.

Message 3 of 3

Re: Non-existent customer care for the elderly and vulnerable - Shame on you BT!

Hi Juliebrown5,


Welcome to the community forum. I am really sorry to hear your mom isn't well and that she has been left without telephone service. I would like to take a look at your order. Please could you send me in your mom's BT account details using the "Contact The Mods" link found in my profile.





Community ModeratorPaddyB
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