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Shtiffirg
Newbie
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Message 1 of 14

Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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More appropriately, BT Customer Care ought to be called the BT Customer Barrier. Its primary function is to defend BT from the problems its customers may be having and its fundamental ethos is that the customer is always wrong.

 

This is made abundantly clear at the point of initial contact, its internet pages, where the first thing to greet you is the statement that most faults occur within the customer’s own infrastructure. This bizarre assumption is carried right through the extensive faults procedure where each step is directed remorselessly toward persuading the customer to find and fix a fault that without further investigation is undoubtedly on their own premises and of their own making; BT does not admit that faults might occur outside of customer premises or make provision for those who are competent enough to have already carried out these basic checks and want to move on. Neither is there a clear onward step for BT to take ownership of a reported fault after the checking procedure has been completed – again there is an assumption that all faults are the responsibility of the customer. For a persistent customer it leaves the complaints procedure as the only option to progress.

 

The complaints procedure is another mechanism dominated by the customer-is-always-wrong ethos. The first thing a customer service operator will do is to insist a customer go through the same step by step procedure covered by its internet pages, regardless of whether or not the customer has already done this. Presumably the operator is trained to believe that the customer is incompetent. There is a pre-scripted, condescending and belittling conversation that follows which often involves the customer service operator magically changing from a care representative into a sales representative, offering new packages and various pieces of equipment that he is almost sure will cure the fault. The last resort, if a customer manages to stand firm and turn down all these alluring offers, is for the operator to reassure the customer that everything will be all right if they just be patient and give it a couple of weeks. Then it’s goodbye.

 

During the lifetime of a fault this procedure will repeat itself several times and each time the customer service operator will behave as if it were the first. BT appears to have no method of gathering useful retrievable information about a specific complaint or sharing it between operators. Eventually frustration and anger from a customer will lead to elevation where the customer is promised a call-back from a BT engineer. Call-backs from BT engineers are not lightly won.

 

If you are lucky to be promised a call-back you will be given a time slot and an automatic telephoned reminder first thing in the morning while you are still in bed. A pre-recorded voice message from a hugely condescending and suspiciously sceptic female will make sure you are awake and ready for your call, which may not be for several hours. If you are very lucky your call-back will be made, but often they are delayed or forgotten or have not been booked at all. And, of course, it will be your fault.

 

I know all this because I have been through it on more than one occasion. My latest battering against the BT Customer Barrier began four or five weeks ago after I had meticulously carried out my own checks. For some months I had noticed that BT broadband was either dropping out completely or reducing strength to download speeds that were unusable, sometimes as low as 0.01mbps, but mostly between 1 and 2. This always seemed to coincide with peak times when my BT contract assured me my signal would not fall below 5 or 6. My own checks consisted first of looking closely at my wifi which at the time admittedly was quite weak. I installed a wifi repeater which boosted the signal but did not resolve the problem so I changed my phone filters but this did not resolve the problem either. I tested the line using quiet mode but there was no noise on the line, I changed my router, I repositioned my router, I changed to Ethernet and used only the BT service socket cutting out all intermediate infrastructure in my home, and I tried all of the above whilst turning on and off various devices I thought might affect my broadband signal. Nothing solved the problem.

 

At this point I fully believed I had covered every possible self-check known to man, but BT felt differently and tried to make me go through them all again. BT then told me it was my router, which I knew it wasn’t, and that I would have to buy a new one, which I already had, so I declined; then they told me that most probably there was work going on in the area that I did not know about, but neither did the operator because when I asked him about it he admitted he did not know if there was work going on in the area or not. I actually admire him for making that bit up; it showed a spark of spirit. Eventually he told me everything would be all right if I was patient and to wait a couple of weeks, and then he said goodbye.

 

Everything was not all right and after two more weeks, two more emails and two more conversations that had to begin from scratch because BT had forgotten everything I’d said previously, I eventually won my call-back from a BT engineer and an agreed time slot. Only it didn’t happen. I waited for the call but it never came. A call did come, nearly an hour after the allotted time slot, but I was not there having already given up waiting for it. And that was my fault again.

 

So, what is wrong with BT Customer Care? Well, just about everything to be honest. It is fundamentally flawed from top to bottom. It has a preconceived conviction that the customer is always wrong and does nothing to hide that conviction. From a customer perspective it is like trying to swim up a waterfall. They make you feel so small. BT Customer Care needs dismantling and rebuilding from scratch, it is an appalling, abhorrent and arrogant organisation that ought to be banned from having the name British in its title; I am pro-European and British, and I am ashamed that BT Customer Care can use the same designation, which is less confrontational than it sounds given that it is mostly located in India. It has become the benchmark by which all poor customer service in Britain is measured by, a level of incompetence to avoid. It’s no coincidence that other internet service providers make a major selling point of not having the same customer service setup as BT.

 

Eventually my call-back came after weeks of trying and BT agreed to monitor my broadband speed to see themselves what was happening – an appropriate course of action I suggested at the outset. No apology because, naturally, I had been wrong to suggest it and it had only become the correct thing to do when they thought of it. They agreed to monitor my broadband speed and to call me back after three days. After only one day I received an email saying that I should monitor my own speed and send them the results. I pointed out that I had already done so, several weeks earlier. I sent them new results. In all the speed test results sent to BT a clear pattern of drop-out and poor signal strength at regular times during the day were obvious. BT then took to calling me back at times when they knew my signal would not be dropping and asking me to run a speed test, thereby proving I was wrong about having a fault on my line.

 

Fault or no fault, BT Broadband remains unusable for around two hours per day. When this current contract ends I shall be looking for a new provider.

13 REPLIES 13
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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welcome to the BT community forum where customers help customers and only BT employees are the forum mods

 

By posting on the forum I assume you would like assistance and not just a rant to blow off some anger

you appear to have tried what normally would be suggested but in order for the forum members and/or mods to help please can you post the adsl stats from your router you may need to 'show detail' to get all stats (if hub enter 192.168.1.254 in your browser and navigate to adsl or if HH4/5 then go to troubleshooting then logs and you are looking for 2 line together when hub last connected to internet and they will show your connection speed and noise margin or if netgear enter 192.168.0.1). Then run  btspeedtester  (MAC users may have problems). when first test completes then run diagnostic test and post the results ( do not reset the router).


are you connected directly via a filter to the NTE5 master or test socket or to somewhere else? Is the master the only phone socket in your home?


Someone may then be able to offer help/assistance/suggestions to your problem

 

 

 

test socket.jpg



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mick2165
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 3 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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I fully understand your frustration because I am going through it at this moment but I believe the problem is with Openreach which looks after all BT lines even the other providers supplying broadband, currently there is fibre upgrades taking place and this could be causing the problems.

Distinguished Sage
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Message 4 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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the lines are owned by openreach not BT retail and as such any repairs/installation will be done by openreach regardless of ISP apart from cable



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Shtiffirg
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Message 5 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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It may well be Openreach who are responsible for line faults but Openreach will not take requests for fault checks from individuals. They will only deal with internet service providers. Openreach is another BT company but they do not share information with BT Broadband who in return will not refer faults to Openreach. BT is becoming an incestuous anarchy and may have aspirations to take over the world were it not for their own ineptness.

 

I have a couple of things to try on the QT courtesy of a friendly Openreach engineer. I cannot tell anyone if they work as he will lose his job if I do. We live in very sad times.

 

Thank you to everyone who replied. This message will self-destruct in one minute.

michaelkenward
Aspiring Expert
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Message 6 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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@Shtiffirg wrote:

 

Openreach is another BT company but they do not share information with BT Broadband....


That is the law. If the two companies were too cosy – some say that they are already – then others suppliers to the end user will complain.

 

Openreach has to treat all of its customers – the ISPs – equally or it could be on the receiving end of a "large" fine from Ofcom.

 

By the way, if you want to experience truly carp service, try TalkTalk. It took me many months to get them to fix an issue whereas BT sorted a similar fault in a few weeks, although there I was misled as BT and Openreach argued the toss.

Stevenorris
Beginner
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Message 7 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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I support everything you say been in the same position for the last 2 years network records indicate I lived in the Salford City Reds Stadium for the last 2 years which is 2.5 miles from where I am. I had to telephone the records dept to get it rectified myself after 24 engineer visits could not correct it, only had broadband and phonefor 7 days this month it is costing me a fortune for mobile broadband. But what can one do BT own the infrastructure so it all the same no matter who you go with unless you want to pay Virgins rip off prices. I sometimes think we may get a better service if TATA owned BT and rename it TATA Openreach.
Moderator-Retired
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Message 8 of 14
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Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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Message 9 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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Having just experienced exactly the same issues with BT myself, I am almost glad to see that this is the norm for them, I was beginning to think I going mad!  After days of insane conversations with BT which followed exactly the same pattern each time, I was reduced to practically shouting at the poor Indian person on the other end who clearly had a set list to go through, which was the same every time I called and from which they were incapable of deviating. After continually going round in circles, waiting for call backs that never came, and spending hours of frustrated time trying to explain that I had already done all these schemes, I began to suffer from migraines because of the stress. Finally, I sent a complaint to the email address given on the website and today received a call back from India which didn't address a single item on my list of complaints and told me I would have to buy a new hub.  Apparently, my contract with BT has expired, a small fact they haven't deigned to inform me of and the "Customer Service" adviser wanted me to ring a different number to set up a new contract.  Not a chance!

 

in the meantime I rang Sky and spoke to a lucid human being who explained to me that my internet service would always be poor because the exchange is over half a mile from my home, too far to provide adequate service, and that although they would be happy to switch me to them, because they are stuck using the same lines, it wouldn't be any better.  They also said they tend to get worse support from Open Reach than BT do.  However, I will still switch to Sky because they may at least keep me informed of my contract, will give me a new hub, but most importantly, will treat me as a normal, intelligent person when I speak to them.

 

I think the monopoly open reach has on the network is appalling. If they can't get it up to scratch, considering our average internet speed in the UK is slower than South Korea, then it should be opened up to other companies who could potentially do a better job.  

http://www.cps.org.uk/blog/q/date/2016/02/17/break-bt-s-monopoly-on-broadband-infrastructure/

 

 

 

Finally, I had to laugh that this thread is listed as "solved" when so clearly it is very far from that.

 

Distinguished Guru
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Message 10 of 14

Re: Why is BT Customer Care So Bad at Dealing With Complaints About Broadband?

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The original poster to the forum posted in 2014. He may have had the issue resolved and marked his post solved.
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