(It all makes work for the working man to do)

I have been bemused, baffled, bewildered and any other be…… in my dealings with BT over the past few weeks.   Having read John the Ticket's comments on his experience with BT in a recent edition of the Lych Gate I thought that I might just share, or bore you, with my surreal experience.

We are always being advised to check/question/compare/change any of our 'service providers'.   As an avowed  'stick in the mud', but  prodded by the younger members of my tribe, I ventured down this path, starting with my 'phone provider.  I have been with Talk Talk for five or six years.    I 'phone around and decide that I will change to BT on the verbal 'offer' that they make during our 'phone conversation.   I receive a letter, congratulating me on choosing BT and saying that the change will be made on the 15th May.   It will cost me £50 just to make the change.

On the 15th we make a couple of calls.  On the 16th we get calls on our mobiles asking why our land line is down?   We call BT.   They say that everything is working fine but when we try calling 'home' on our mobile we hear that this number is 'not attributed'.  BT say they will send out an engineer. Engineer arrives and checks all matters within the house.   All, she says, is working well but we still cannot ring our home number on our mobiles.   Ah, she says, might be a problem with the 'box' and, wonderful, she asks if I would like to go with her to check.  We arrive at the 'box' opposite Laburnham Cottage, a spaghetti like mass of cables.  She locates ours and checks.  All working fine.  She is calling on her mobile and then I notice that the number she is calling is NOT ours.   Problem identified.   BT without a word have changed out number!

I call BT to moan.   I get a letter thanking me for my request to change to a NEW number.   NO, not a NEW number I just want the number back that I have had for FORTY-SEVEN years  and which you, BT, changed without a word!    Then I  get FIVE similar letters from BT thanking me and advising that they are changing the number from the one that THEY have given me to the one that I have ASKED for - my original number.   No I lie.  The first four letters say that they are changing the number from that which they had given me back to my 'new/old' number but the fifth letter shows an entirely different number to that which BT had earlier allocated to me.    This is the first mention of this number and, believe me,  I am getting more and more confused.   Then, eureka, we get our original number back!

All okay then.   Well perhaps, but by this time after three weeks I am, how shall I say, less than impressed with BT.   So, they have changed our number with not so much as a 'by your leave', I have spent three weeks getting our original number back causing me much angst and so I think that I will switch back to my original provider.

More telephone conversations with BT Customer Care people.   Eventually on the 6th June they agree that BT will reimburse the £50 installation fee that I had paid and that I can switch back to my original provider without any 'penalty'.

The 12th June, six days after that conversation, and  I received a letter from BT saying that I will be charged  £99.50 for terminating my contract with them.

Dear Mr. Ticket, just count your blessings!                                        

Alan Stanton

[Other providers are available, and switching isn't difficult - Webmaster]