A BT Adventure

I was telephoned a few months ago by BT asking me if I would be willing to switch to them as my ISP. I said I would not. When asked why not I said it was because they are well known for their terrible customer service.

The following is an example of a skirmish with BT hell. Bear in mind that to speak to someone at BT you first have to play the game of ‘find the phone number’ on the BT web site. Next is the hateful experience of choosing options on the phone “If you wish to … please press button 2”. You would think a company whose business was telephony would try to avoid anything that would make using telephony an unpleasant experience. You would think they would want to be an example of excellence in the telephone experience.

I have two telephone lines at my house from the days of dial-up internet when my main office was there. I recently decided I only need one line so I would like to switch my broadband ISP from one line to the other. I have used Freedom2surf for a few years now and have found their customer service very good.

Freedom2surf told me I must cancel my ISP on the one line and order a new one for the other line. Sounds simple. I made the order and awaited developments.

19 February 2010 – From Freedom2surf, email
After conducting a further investigation in to the post code discrepancy with your order, we have deemed the difference to be too great between the post code you have supplied for 01904XXXXXX and what BT say the post code is.

You have given us: YO32 XXX. BT say the post code is: YO3 8TJ

If you are positive the details you have supplied are correct, then please contact BT and have them fix their records. Once this has been done please let us know by reply to this email or by calling.

19 February 2010 – Me, email
Dear Freedom2surf

I checked my postcode on the Royal Mail postcode searcher and the post code I gave you is correct for my address:


I have just spoken to BT customer services (a lady in India called Rashmi) and she insisted that the postcode I have given to you is the correct one for my BT account, YO32 XXX. She was unable to explain where YO3 8TJ could have come from.

Is there anything else I can do?



22/02/2010 – Freedom2surf, email
Dear graham,

Thank you for contacting the freedom2surf Provisioning Team.
We are unable to process your order as BT hold the post code YO3 8TJ for this line. You will need to contact BT again to get them to update their systems. If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Many Thanks and Kind Regards

22/02/2010 – Me, email
Dear Freedom2surf

I have just spoken to BT (1:50pm, spoke to Lisa XXXX) and they say they have no authority over BT Wholesale. They admit that BT Wholesale has the incorrect postcode for my address but say that my new ISP are the ones that must have it corrected as I am not a customer of BT Wholesale.

22/02/2010 – Me, telephone
I telephoned Freedom2surf and they said they were not yet the customer and had no more authority over my telephone line that I did. They said BT had simply not updated the tags on my line and should update them. They said the postcode discrepancy was too great to ignore (YO3 instead of YO32). They said they would try BT again]

22/02/2010 – Me, telephone
I telephoned BT and after waiting, spoke to a very pleasant man in India who eventually said he could not help me and said I must speak to a different department. He put me through to someone else, an English voice, and I started to tell my story again.

As I told my story, sitting in front of the computer, an email came it:

22/02/2010 – Freedom2surf
Dear graham,

Thank you for contacting the freedom2surf Provisioning Team.

We have been in contact with BT and they have now updated your postcode to YOXX XXX in their systems. We have therefore resubmitted your order for processing.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Many Thanks and Kind Regards

22/02/2010 – Me
I am currently skipping with delight. Relief? I hope so, it has not been connected yet.

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