Reading the experiences of other people our customer service issues are unsurprisingly similar, which reveals a clear, undeniable pattern of deceit on BT’s part. They constantly knock back any complaints made by a customer by a) making it virtually impossible to have a complaint dealt with and b) blaming the customer entirely. This continues to happen despite the reassurances (most recently by Sir Michael Rake) that BT’s complaints department is improving. Since its as bad as it could possibly be I find it very difficult to find any area that has shown any improvement.
I first realised we were dealing with a very difficult company way back in 2014 when BT began charging us over £1,000 a month for the use of internet phones that hadn’t even been connected. It should have been a very simple matter of calling BT and relaying this information to them, having the overpayment credited to our account and all further false invoices cancelled. Instead, we had to call BT’s complaints departments every month for almost a year as the false invoices continued to be issued – each time we called we were told by a different call centre operator that our account would be ‘put on hold and investigated’ – but it never was! The disruption to the workplace this caused cannot be overlooked, neither can the stress of trying to explain to someone that you’re being massively overcharged for a service you’re not using – but being ignored. Their whole operation is designed to wear the customer down while deliberately forcing them to pay for bills they know are wrong. This bullying cannot continue.
Each month another false bill for over £1,000 would arrive in the post with the threat of disconnection if we failed to pay. How is that fair BT? If a customer has a dispute with a bill he/she has the right to speak with someone who can actually do something about it – not be fobbed off with some meaningless scripted response which certainly doesn’t help get our money back. I was forced to pay thousands of pounds needlessly because BT have NOT got a complaints system in service that can actually deal with complaints – all the call operators did was answer the phone – nothing else!
In desperation one of my directors actually called BT’s complaints department herself, she couldn’t understand what was so difficult about explaining a simple problem – she spoke to a lady called Joanne and explained from the very beginning that we were being billed over £1,000 a month for something that we didn’t have connected. The response was from the same script that every BT call operator reads from; “your account will be put on hold and investigated” which of course we knew translated to “we’re not going to do anything about it”. My director persevered and explained that we were given the same response every month yet we continued to be billed, Joanne assured her that something would be done but my director asked her for her direct number just in case. Joanne revealed her direct number and assured my director that she could call her any time to discuss our account…..
The following month when we received yet another bill for over £1,000 for something we weren’t using, my director called Joanne on the number she’d been given, to her dismay the lady who answered wasn’t Joanne at all, the lady who answered had no idea who Joanne was as the number my director had been given was actually the number of a BT call centre which is answered by thousands of BT’s call operators up and down the country and possibly anywhere in the world!
Why did Joanne deliberately deceive my director? Where is the improvement that BT claim they have made to their complaints department? If everyone with billing disputes is treated in this manner by BT’s complaints department just imagine the amount of money and interest BT are able to accrue! No wonder they’re able to collect over £8 million a day in profits- I’m starting to realise that it’s not profit at all – a lot of it is generated from the false invoices they send to customers then deliberately fob off when they try to complain! How long are we going to be forced to put up with this? BT’s accounts department is in complete disarray but to try and complain about it? Forget it – BT don’t want to know. If this was any other company they’d be sued all day long, the sad fact is that to do that it takes a hell of a lot of money – and BT know it, that’s how they can be so arrogant.
When our internet phones were finally connected nearly fifteen months later we had even more problems – they didn’t (and still don’t) work properly. Trying to complain to BT however results in yet more fobbing off – as is their usual modus operandi, they blamed us – despite the fact that they’d sent numerous engineers to my premises over the last two years with no clue as to how to fix the fault. Why do we have to endure being blamed when BT don’t know how to fix a problem? Is it right that we should be treated like this? We are their customers, the very people who line their pockets, yet we’re treated in such an appalling manner.
In desperation my general manager spoke to someone about our problems and was put in touch with a lady known as ‘Dorothy’ – her title was ‘Chairman and CEO of Business Complaints’ – wow! I thought, we’ve finally got through to someone who is finally going to sort out all our problems once and for all. The euphoria didn’t last long……..
Dorothy did managed to refund some of our overpayments but it became very clear, very quickly that she wasn’t up to the task of rectifying our huge issues. After months of communicating with her and having been repeatedly told by her that the engineers were still insisting it’s all our fault, we realised that Dorothy’s title was used just to mislead us into thinking we had reached the head of complaints, she wasn’t the chairman or CEO of anything within BT, she was no more effective than a call operator – not only that, we discovered that there were many other people within BT’s complaints department with the same title!!
How can you have more than one CEO?? How can there be more than one Chairman?? The answer is simple, BT deliberately give these employees their grand title to dupe customers like us into believing their complaint is being dealt with on a very senior level – but it isn’t – shame on you BT for doing this to your customers who provide you with a very sizeable profit!
We communicated with another “Chairman and CEO of Business Complaints” by the name of James. When we presented our claim for compensation he actually stated (read the letter below) that since BT couldn’t find where the fault was (he’s accepted there is a fault) he couldn’t compensate us!! Great! BT know they’re at fault but won’t pay up as they don’t know how to fix the problem! How is that response possible in Great Britain?
We finally decided to write to the people at the very top; Sir Michael Rake – the REAL Chairman of BT, Mr Gavin Patterson the REAL CEO of BT and Mr Simon Lowth, Group Finance Director of BT. Not one of them bothered to reply, not even to say sorry for all our years of troubles. What we did get was a call from yet ANOTHER “Chairman and CEO of Business Complaints” by the name of Giovana who assured us she was going to deal with our problems. Well her method of dealing with us was to send us one email stating that she hadn’t been in touch as she’d been in ‘meetings’, since then we’ve heard nothing from her, despite sending over twenty emails asking for an update. After making it known to Sir Michael Rake, Gavin Patterson and Simon Lowth that we weren’t happy with their deliberate acts of misrepresentation – BT put us in touch with yet another one who as you can see, did nothing at all.
So where do we go from here? The fact is, unless we can raise enough money for the legal fees – absolutely nowhere, BT will get away with this shocking service. They will get away with supplying not just us, but every consumer in the U.K. with faulty equipment, they will get away with continuing to charge us IN FULL for something that was mis-sold to us in the first place, is not fit for purpose and can never be fixed. They will continue to fob us all off by blaming us, overcharging us, putting obstacles in our path and being downright deceitful.
Ultimately they get away with telling barefaced lies. It doesn’t seem to matter to BT that you have a problem, their whole modus operandi is to fob you off and hope you go away. They are quick enough to take your hard earned money but are totally unwilling to offer any sort of real customer service.
Please help us put a stop to this behaviour, we all deserve better than this. BT are enjoying huge profits while making our lives a misery. To win these giants we need to be united, on our own we cannot win.