Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The blinding incompetence of BT

So this is what BT have managed to do in Wells, Somerset.

1. The phone number of the previous owners of our new house has been ported to their new home. Unfortunately, if you dial it, you don't get through.

2. We were allocated a new number. However, if you ring it, you end up connected not to our new home but to the new home of the previous owners.

How did BT engineering manage to misconfigure the local switch so spectacularly?

Since Clare is there at the moment cleaning the house before the carpet fitters arrive tomorrow, I thought I would give her a call. I ended up speaking to the daughter of the previous owners who was at their house making them dinner.

I then called BT. After waiting in a queue for 25 minutes, I was put through to an anxiously helpful woman at the call centre. After the usual explanations, she admitted that the records were in a complete mess and handed me across to "customer services" in India.

The Indian call centre guy was under the misapprehension that my problem was with broadband. I had just got to the point of explaining the situation above when the call dropped. I decided to kill myself.

Actually I decided to go home, get some dinner and try again. All of this post so far has been written while I'm in the BT queue again. The recorded announcement explains periodically that they're very busy. Are you surprised?

Clare drove down to Wells in the new car which seems to be working well. I'd tell you more but for some reason I'm unable to get through to her.

Work is good. I've got through that stressful early part where one doesn't have a clue as to what's going on, and now we're starting to put some shape on the project. The only problem is Reading's traffic, especially in the morning. I so hate the gridlock experience.

Well, I'm still in the queue ...

Update: Wednesday Feb 3rd. 20.52

I eventually got routed through to the Bangalore customer services centre last night after more than an hour. At 9 p.m. the call-centre person eventually semi-figured out what my problem was and said he'd call back in an hour. As I expected, no such call occurred.

Earlier this evening, twenty hours later, I had a call from a small elite BT group up in Leicester. Apparently they operate in the interface between BT Retail and Openreach. After I explained all over again what the problem was they said they were on the case: I would hear more soon.

So far that's it.


Clare just back from heroic work down in Wells sorting out carpet people, lino people and builders bearing quotes. Plus the new car and no telephone contact!