I am writing to state my concern at the state of your company and customer service . When I originally told people that I would be moving to BT I was warned of the appalling service I would receive but I am of an age where the name BT used to be associated with excellent service. Unfortunately this email is to register an official complaint about the service I have received since coming to your company and to put in a claim for compensation for the negative effect and lost revenue my business has subsequently suffered . I will lay out the catalogue of mistakes and effects chronologically .
I originally contacted your sales department back in April and explained that I currently had a phone line with Virgin at my home address and that i was moving my business to 11 Prittlewell Chase in August and I requested to know how to go about BT taking over my phone and internet and that I also would need to keep my current number of 01702433959 . I spoke to a lady called Anne who explained that having checked the numbers were on the same exchange ( which they were ) that this would be no problem and I needed to give up to 4 weeks notice .
The beginning of August I then recontacted Anne and booked the phone line to be put into 11 Prittlewell Chase on the 31st August . I was told this would then mean the internet could be activated 7 days later which we agreed would be 8th September . My old number would then be brought to the new address 2 weeks following . Having booked and confirmed all the details I felt confident to push ahead with a big promotion campaign including dropping leaflets , radio interview , newspaper adverts , banners etc . At great cost .
On the 31st August I was at 11 prittlewell chase awaiting the arrival of your engineer. I waited the whole day and finally at 4.45 I phoned the only contact I had which was Anne at sales , she then informed me that I had got the day wrong and that the engineer was coming the next day the 1st sept ,it was on her system . I found that unlikely as I am meticulous at documenting all the appointments I have . However I gave her the benefit of the doubt , and cancelled all my patients for the following day as it was too short notice to get anyone else in . I waited all day and then finally phoned Anne late afternoon , she put me through to another department who informed me that the job had been cancelled a couple of weeks ago 2 questions here;
1. why was it cancelled and why was I not told it had been cancelled ?
2. why was I told the day before that I had got the day wrong ,meaning I had to take another day off work for no reason with loss of revenue .
My next job was to contact virginand ask why they had refused BT request . They informed me they had NOT refused as there was no reason to refuse, this type of request happened all the time .Back to BT , aka Anne who apologised but informed me it would now take another 3 weeks to put in the request .When I said that was unacceptable and asked to speak to her manager ,The manager( whose name I have forgotten possibly Mark) then advised me that everything possible would be done and gave me Sam Harts email .
Meanwhile I am still without a phone and the internet and my opening day is looming .
The job was rushed through and I was given a date of Thursday 8th September . Once again I cancelled my day of work , as at this stage I was still working at my previous place of employment . So once again I found myself at 11 Prittlewell Chase waiting for the engineer to arrive . Late afternoon I receive a text saying the engineer had arrived, nobody was on site , that the engineer had now left and I would be charged a call out charge . I immediately phoned the number given and was informed that the engineer had gone to the WRONG address and had been at my home address 100 Silverdale Ave . The next day I again contacted Sam Hart , I am still without phone and internet , and my new business opens on the 12th sept, in 4 days time. I have promoted the centres opening I have therapists waiting to start , I have done a large leaflet drop AND NO PHONE . this is the lifeblood of a business like mine . If somebody is in pain and needs treatment they don’t wait to try and find a number they will go onto the next therapist on the list .
I am now given the date of the Saturday 17th Sept (5 days after I have opened ) .Now I have had to put a mobile number on the answer machine of 433959, as virgin would not divert the calls, as BT had already requested the transfer . Now mobile numbers puts some people off phoning and the hassle of writing down another number , on top of this it makes the business look unprofessional and disorganised . Who knows how much work we have lost through this .
So finally sat 17th arrives and so does the engineer , I now have a phone line and hopefully things will now run smoothly . How wrong can I be !!!!!!!!!!!!! We can now put the number on my answer machine but the calls cannot be diverted due to the 433959 line still being with virgin .
At this point my ignorance of telecommunications meant that I thought, much like changing your electric, when a new company took over , it was automatic so I had no idea that it would be necessary to go to my home to change the line . So when I received a call to ask to book a visit I explained that the line was in , in my understanding that was the case . NO ONE EXPLAINED OTHERWISE . and as they had already incorrectly gone to my home address I assumed it was another mistake .
It took a while before a lady called lisa took over the case when Sam was on holiday , she sat and worked out that it was this that was causing the problem . Bizarrely I assumed the people dealing with this would know this information .
So the next available date for the engineer to go to my house is 6th October . So meanwhile people are still having to phone the 433959 number to go to answer machine to get the centre number . I have been told by a number of people how they were unimpressed with this and I have explained that this was all down to BT . bearing in mind that myself and a total of 12 other therapists work here . I also had to put the information on my website that the reason for the problem was entirely down to BT , my website receives 100-200 hits per day .
When I asked the time the engineer would be arriving at my home address I was told between 8.00am and 6.00pm . Not even morning or afternoon .
So again I had to cancel a whole day of patients ,. The engineer arrived and the line was changed , so the 433959 number at my home address is now a BT line and the phone calls can now be diverted . The end of the problem I thought , no not to be . I was informed that the renumbering of 330299 to 433959 would take place on Friday the 14th October , I was told the change would mean just minutes without a line . Not a problem I thought , until 12.45 pm on Friday 14th October when I received an email from a colleague stating that she was unable to phone the centre . We checked and realised the phone line was dead so I again emailed Sam hart who told me she would look into it and get back to me and that it would be sorted out that day . This was the end of the week I had done a large advertising campaign , I had 2 adverts and an article go into 3 different daily and weekly local papers and another leaflet drop . I had felt confident that the phone problem had been sorted out . The advertising had cost me £300 alone, as well as the cost of all the leaflets . Now with our local papers the most likely response would come on the Friday or Monday morning , also Monday mornings are historically a very busy time for the phone .
So Friday 14th I trusted that everything possible was being done so when I finished work at 5.00pm it was a big shock to realise that nothing had changed, on top of which nobody had even had the decency to contact me to explain the situation .I assume as it was friday everybody had busy weekend plans . Now as a brand new business trying very hard to get off the ground in this current economic climate the impact all this has had is totally devastating .
Saturday morning 15th October I then contacted the business help line , A very helpful man I think called John explained that the job was booked in for Monday morning, that a wire in the exchange needed to be moved and that was why it had not been done . He then kindly temporarily reconnected the 433959 number and set up the divert again . This whole thing took 7 minutes . So why could this not have been done on Friday , when I asked this on Monday I was told that this information was not accessible for them , this is obviously something I suggest is looked into for future customers , however if I was able to find it out from a phone call why was this not done by one of your team.
Now Monday morning from 9.00am the phone is cut off , I have had no contact from anybody , no explanation of what is happening and no idea of time scales. Monday morning the busiest time on the phones and the first Monday following the large advertising campaign.
Once again I contacted Sam Hart through email , no response . I requested that a supervisor phoned me immediately , finally 2 hours later Paul phoned me. I explained the situation and was then told that the phone would be back on at 5pm . The whole day would be without any phone .
So once again just as I am trying to boost my busines through a carefully thought out advertising campaign, Bt let me down
Since Monday I have had a number of irate patients contact me through post and email and finally from yesterday by phone to complain how many different ways they tried to contact me . One lady for example had assumed I was no longer practising , thankfully she knows a colleague of mine who was able to explain the situation , but what about all those people who I don’t know about . There are 13 therapists working from here in total , all have been promoting themselves we have no way of knowing the impact this disgusting situation has had but be assured there will have been an impact .
I now would like somebody to contact me and tell me what BT intend to do about this . I expect the person to have fully understand exactly what has happened.
Just in lost earnings waiting for the engineers and the negative impact on all the advertising, let alone the other therapists. The cost to my business is running into the thousands . Not something a new busines can afford I am actually feeling quite desperate at the whole impact this has had .
Meanwhile I intend to send this letter to
Federation of small businesses
David Ames MP
and to post this full email on my website to explain to my patients why they have had such difficulty contacting us .