Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Woe's with BT Broadband

(Circa April-May-June 2002)

I ordered ADSL (Fast Internet) because I was so sick of slow internet connections at home, and I was trying to get a Home Web-Design venture off the ground. So I ordered it over the phone on Thursday 11th. APRIL, and was assured that by 24th. April I'd have it up and running, this was all promised via the smart web campaign as follows :

"Life in the Fast-Lane - You can order broadband fast and be installed in around 15 working days. Or with our new Plug & Go installation option, you could be on line in just 10 working days"

I recieved my box of tricks for the self install within a week or so and plugged it all in, this was well before the aformentioned date, but was hopeful that it may indeed be working, alas the light on my little ditty ADSL box was flashing which meant 'No ADSL Dial-tone' ho-hum it would have been nice, but alas not.
I thought I'd try it on and ring the customer support line and ask if it could be activated at the exchange before the due date as I had the kit; I rang the number, waited and waited and waited and 35 minutes later, I got a
'No! Sorry!'
Ah well I thought, I'll just have to wait till next week. (As it happens, the first thing you now hear on connection to the Customer-Support line is a recorded message saying that they cannot bring activation dates forward!
The 24th. Came, I arrived home, full of high-hopes to find my wife (then girlfriend) stood in the hallway...

"Are you in a good mood?"
"Err.... why? whats up?"
"Seriously... I'm asking now... Are you in a good mood?"
"Why? What've you done???? Whats up??? Are you pregnant? Pranged the car? Maxed out the Credit Card?"
"Of Course not!", she replied, "But theres a message from BT saying that your ADSL Activation is not going to happen today, but if you wanna call them they'll tell you more details!"

SH*T.... SH*T..... F*CKITY.... F*CK..... HALLELUJAH.... HOLY SH*T!

As you might understand, I was seriously p*ssed!
I rang, and after 15 minutes of button pressing through the really Annoying Menus "Press 1 to.... Press 2 to...." etc.. etc... I got someone who informed me that due to unforseen circumstances the Exchange was down and engineers were working on it! (Visions of sweaty fat engineers, in string vests leaning againsta spade, eating meat piesand reading the Sun came to mind.....)
I went out into the back garden, and calmly as ever (for those of you who know me you know that's bullsh*t!) kicked all the plants around the patio, and had a general rant and rave and HAD there been a very small man in my garden at that time, ooooh! he'd of bloody well suffered, I can tell you!!!
Some moments later, my neighbour leaned out of his back window to enquire as to what the problem was... I told him to which he replied that his was working quite alright!
"Huh..... you takin the piss?" I enquired....
"Nope... all fine and dandy here, am downloading Dutch Education Videos as we speak!" [Only Jokin' 'J']
So I got onto BT again, and ranted at them that their last excuse was bollocks!
They replied that it must be the line..... "Oh.... is that the Line that I'm calling you on now?"
"Err.... let me get back to you" was the response...
Some time later, someone rang me back from BT to say (and I fell down the stairs upon this one!) that the Exchange was down and that engineers were working on it.....
"You have got to be pulling my leg...... I've just had that one and it isn't that at all!"
< Now I'm gonna skip forward nearly two weeks now >
Guess what, Yep! NO ADSL as yet, so again I rang....
"Err.... the Exchange is down, and Engineer........" < I interrupted>
"Let me help you out... I've heard that one, and the one about the BT line being down, so please, for the love of Jesus tell me what the real problem is..."
"I'm afraid that the problem is apparently a little piece of plastic... and that we do not have them, when we do, we'll connect you!"
so... that's where I'm at (apart from the Exchange also still being down and that (yep you guessed it) the Engineers are still working around the clock (and the month) Apparently)
The web-site had pulled it's order tracker page (rather coincidental) so all you now get is :
"Welcome to BTopenworld Broadband Track My Order page. We are sorry but due to some technical difficulties we have had to temporarily withdraw this service. We hope to fix the problem soon and will reintroduce the service as soon as we can.
Once again we are sorry for the inconvenience."
and if you email the orders address, it comes back unknown recipient - that's good init!
(As of late May, the tracker page is back on-line)
As of Wednesday 15th. May 2002
Have cancelled the ADSL with BT, (Even though not connected yet), they came up with some Bullsh*t story that the new activation date, was to be today... (Yeah Right!), and am going with PIPEX, they did the same service but for about £5 a month cheaper - I really recommend this group!
I actually got 3 or 4 emails from crf_user (BT) all to the BT account number associated with me, but all to different names?? to say that it's been cancelled....hmmmm this can't be good?
<which is why, when you get to the bottom of this and wonder WHY I cancelled the BT in the first place, I did!>
As of Thursday 16th. May 2002
PIPEX contact me to say that BT haven't relinquished the line, so they cannot connect it, can I ring BT and check that it HAS been cancelled.
Ring BT, they say that it has been cancelled but as the ADSL has been activated (which it hasn't!) it could take between 3 days and a week to remove the ADSL (seems to me their taking the piss and dragging their feet..... Losers!)
Ring PIPEX back who say that they cannot progress with it (or even try again in a few days), I have to re-apply when I know the BT line is relinquished - Jesus Christ!
Got home tonight, to find that my BT ADSL is connected - CR@P! but I cannot log-on, because I've cancelled my account, which is ok, as I'll be getting it from PIPEX sometime next year (probably) for a fiver less!
As of Wednesday 22nd. May 2002 (Week Later!)
PIPEX again contact me to say that BT still haven't relinquished the line, so they cannot connect it!
I ring BT on their ever so helpful Broadband line to be told that it has been cancelled, it has not (I reply), and after mych, much long holding (Air on a G string music can become extremely annoying after 20 minutes), I'm told it will be ANOTHER 2 days (Friday at the earliest???)
Got home to find YET AGAIN a witheld number has rung (now, this has been happening pretty much every day since this fiasco started, so I'm assuming that it's someone from BT trying to contact us....) HOWEVER, whoever it is appears not to understand the concept of answer-phone's and never leaves us a message!
I find that we have a letter from BT in the post... it's on BT letterheaded paper, with a rather scant (very few words) and in what appears to be in a very abrupt tone, indicating from a Ms. X (shall remain nameless) that they have tried to contact us on NUMEROUS occasions without success (thus compounding my previous statement about answer-phones); so I ring the number indicated in the letter, which as expected is the automated number for BT Broadband... so after rough guessing which sequence of moronic numbers to press, I get through to a human
I ask for Ms. X...
"and Which department is she in Sir?"
"Err.. Sorry, but I don't know I'm afraid, I just have a letter here from her, asking me to ring this number with this reference..."
"...Yes.... but which department ?"
"I don't know... as I just said I just have this letter, from Ms. X at BT Broadband...."
"I need to know which BT Broadband you want?"
"Just BT Broadband.... that's all there is at the bottom of the letter, on this number...."
"Again... which BT Broadband?"
"BT Home 500 Broadband"
"Yes sir, but which one!!"
"For Gods sake.... how many are there???"
"Well... there's BT broadband and BT Openworld Broadband, which one?"
"How do I know, what's the difference?"
"Well!" <she's getting really on my t*ts now> " do you pay on your BT bill or via Credit Card?"
"Credit card...."
<click> on hold music (I was really pissed at this woman by now)
<answer phone message>
"We're sorry, but the department your calling is now closed... Our normal office hours are 8am to 6pm...."
What the F*CK???? it's 5 past 5 for christs sake???
I rang again, got no joy and eventually thought "Bollocks!....." I'll ring 150 and ask for complaints department (which you can't get to via phone, but they do have a number for any issues you think have not been dealt with!
I eventually got through to someone who said "I'm sorry sir... we don't deal with BT Broadband problems... let me put you through to the BT Broadband department...."
I shouted as quick and loud as possible.... "PLEASE.... don't put me through to them, they don't care and I'll probably get cut off again anyway.. can SOMEONE there PLEASE for the love of God find this woman and get her to call me back?????"
< pause > "Of course Sir.... let me ring the BT Broadband number... can you please hold for me....."
< CLICK > (on-hold music...)
After some time (now nearly 6pm) she came back and said... "we don't seem to be able to find the Ms. X your after, but I do have a colleague who can help you, they'll call you back if that's ok?"
"Of course love, many, MANY thanks....."
I waited... and waited and guess what... NO BUGGER RANG ME BACK!
now... at this point, I'm of the opinion that Ms. X doesn't actually exist... it's just a name they put on a letter so that you get real P*SSED off and eventually give up, and as far as I can see (and with hope that tomorrow will indeed bring a closure to the BT fiasco) this will indeed be the end of it all, and I' now getting myself rattled (and no doubt heading for a stroke or at minimum an embalism) for nothing!
As of Friday 23rd. May 2002
OK, so here I am, 2 days later, and guess what... YEP you guessed it, ADSL is still active when I switched on my PC this am, and again last night when I got home, there was another 'witheld' number (I'm assuming BT) and no message, so FIRSTLY I change out answerphone message with an extra special message for anyone calling from BT (to instruct them on how to leave messages on an answer-phone), then when I get in today, I ring again....
"Hi, can you put me through to Ms X please?"
"Ms. X.... I have a letter from here at BT Broadband, to call her..."
"Which BT Broadband Sir?"
FOR F*CKS SAKE (came to mind again!)
"I'm sorry, but have you got an hour, I have a story to tell...."
so I told the story, to be told I was speaking to the wrong person, <click> I was on hold, and after a few more minutes of Greensleeves or Air on a G-String, I got another human....
"Hello..... BT Broadband, how may I Wind You Up today?"
"Hi.... can I speak to someone who can confirm whether my ADSL connection is cancelled or not?"
"Err.... yes of course sir... is it BT Broadband or BT Openworld Broadband?"
* SLAM...... SLAM.... SLAM *
< this is the sound of me slamming my head in a drawer! >
I repeated the whole sorry tale to this poor woman (who no doubt will throw herself under the first bus she sees at lunchtime) and got a supervisor.... the top and tale of this mess is as follows :
  1. The Engineering Department are overworked due to high-demand
  2. They never received my or the automated cancellation request
  3. I'ts raining outside???
They have assured me that it will indeed be cancelled today!
As of Tuesday 28th. May 2002
NOPE! - Still B@stard connected!
Just rung BT again, asked for Mr. K (Supervisor I spoke to the other night!) and guess what.... "I'm sorry sir, we have to go through some procedures before I can call a Supervisor, he's very busy... let me check with Engineering and get back to you... putting you on hold!"
<CLICK> On-hold music from hell!
The kind lady (who I'm trying not to scream at) has just come back from speaking to the Engineering department who say.....
"There is no record of a request to cease your ADSL with the Engineers, even though the screen says Terminated 22nd. May?"
"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING? It was supposedly showing on screen as being cancelled A WEEK AGO WEDNESDAY which was the 15th. May!.... Please put me through to your most senior supervisor....."
"Err.... I can put you through to Mr. K...." (For those of you who are still with me, Mr. K is so far the only guy who's got back to me, and of all the people I've spoken to up-to now, the one I think kindly of!)
<CLICK> On-hold music from hell!
"Hi this is Mr. K..... I'm really really sorry for the problems your having.... everywhere I look on our system it's cancelled.."
"No Shit!...Listen X I know your just taking this on without too much knowledge of whatever else has happened... but WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON AT BT????? How hard can it be to do something in reverse that shouldn't have happened in the first place?"
"Let me take this on board for you today, I'm here till 5pm and will get back to you with a result!"
< 1/2 Hour passes >
Phone rings....... "Hi Mr..... It's Mr. K from BT Openworld..... How are you?"
"Well.... it depends on what your going to tell me doesn't it??"
"Well.... I've been assured that the cease requerst has NOW gone through and it should take up-to a couple of days max!"
"Hmm..... it always seems to be a couple of days and never is... how can I be sure this time?"
"Well.... it should be today, but try it and let me know if it's still on in a couple of days.... Sorry for the Inconvenience....."
What the F*ck.....??????
I just get an email from BT saying.....
Dear X,
Your BTopenworld Broadband service has now been activated. Welcome to BTopenworld Broadband!
If you need help or assistance with your new broadband service you will find a
comprehensive set of help files on your BTopenworld CD-ROM, or you can call the BTopenworld team for assistance at any time. Home users, please call 0845 600 7030. Business users call 0845 600 7020. Calls will be charged at BT standard local call rate.

Please contact us immediately at if you not yet received your pack or have identified a problem with the content of your pack.
If you find that you need any additional ADSL filters you can purchase more by visiting: Please remember that you will need a filter for every active telephone socket on your ADSL line. If you need more information about filters then please visit our frequently asked section at

Billing for your service will commence the day after your service is activated.
Please note that this is an automatically generated email for your information only. Unfortunately we cannot respond to 'Reply' on this address but we would like to help with your enquiry so please email us at
Thanks again for choosing BTopenworld Broadband.
Best regards,
BTopenworld Customer Services
"OH...... MY...... GOD!"
I ring them, ask for Mr. K (The supervisor I just spoke to) who's just apparently gone on his break (either that or thrown himself out of the nearest window??) but am ASSURED by the very, VERY nice gentleman I'm speaking to, that all is well and the account is closed!
As of Wednesday 29th. May 2002
Still connected!
I am not surprised at this and was not going to get myself wound up (as the Mr. K from yesterday) did say it could be a couple of days, that was 'however' until I got an answer to my 'heated' email to them, as below!
Dear Mr X, (me!)Thank you for your recent comments.
I can inform you that a cease has been applied to your account to remove the order that is causing your problems. This cease should complete within the next 48 hours.
I apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
Best regards,
BTopenworld Broadband Team
So from this I'm to understand that it will be another 2 days, not today or tomorrow as expected (at the latest).....
< biting my fist here trying not to flip! >
As of Thursday 30th. May 2002
Still connected!
Got Mr. K, 'eventually' who tells me 'in disbelief' that he's stunned I'm still connected, I demanded to speak to his Supervisor.
<click> on-hold
"Hi Mr. X....this is still Mr. K, am trying to get a Manager for you.... but have looked into this a little deeper, and unfortunately although the cease did in fact take place on the 28th (as we told you)..."
< I interrrupted > "Yeah, that one did, but what about the numerous others that were apparently actioned?"
"Err... I don't know???? but...."
< I interrupted again >
"Mr. K.... I don't mean to be rude, but PLEASE put me through to YOUR Manager....."
<click - on hold >
LONG.... LONG time
"Hello Mr. X, this is Graham, I'm a Manager hear, how can I help you?"
"Do you know the story??"
"Err. .yes, briefly..."
I told the long sorry story, and basically (too be honest, I'm bored of typing this now) He says that as far as BT are concerned, they DID cease it as they said they would on the 28th. May, and it will take up-to 5 WORKING days to disconnect it, and because it's Jubilee weekend, it's be the 5th. June!
and that's it... No Sorry..... Thanks..... Kiss my Ass or nothing!
Now, those of you reading this, may think I'm foul mouthed etc... but explain how the Best of British, can make so many mistakes, with no audit, and so many 'jobs-worths' and still expect me to be patient!
so... see you on the 5th. June! and no doubt I'll still feel like I'm banging my head against a wall!
As of Wednesday 5th. June 2002
Well... as I god damned expected, my conversations with numerous account managers and supervisors and supoervisor to supervisor 'G' has had p*ss all result!, I'm still connected!
So, this am... I emailed them, rather sternly and Watchdog again, then went out for the day (expecting to be solved when I got home.... and.... NOPE! however, I did get a mail as follows which I'd sent on the 28th. May (as it was still connected, and as expected the person who replied, gave this answer, as follows :
Dear X,Thank you for your recent email.
I apologise for the delay in this reply. Your service can be ceased anytime between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 of that working day.
Your service has now been ceased.

Best regards

C. R.
BTopenworld Broadband Team
So.. this Lady, is actually saying (to my complaint at still being connected on the 28th May, that I will be disconnected sometime THAT day (up-tp 6pm), but it didn't answer until today (6th. June) - you make any sense in this?
let's see what happens now, cos early on in the sham, I was told that th reason was my fault because I'd not emailed to (regardless of actually speaking to what I thought was a human, which may have turned out to be a stapler for all the good I got), I replied to say that I will start bombarding them with CANCEL requests.... let's see if I get anywhere!
As of Thursday 6th. June 2002
but... I suppose it is only 9am, so I'll give the Engineer time to eat his breakfast!
(Just been on hold for AGES), got through to someone, had to go through the bull of telephone number, name etc, even though I'm asking for a manager (G. or D), then to be told, "But it IS disconnected?"
"No Shit!"
"Are you trying to connect to another supplier, for example PIPEX?? they should have no problems connecting?"
"Oh really, why are they telling me that it's your Provisions Department that are bouncing it then?"
After much raised voices and my apologies to this guy as I said "You aren't paid enough for this grief mate!, please put me through to a Supervisor.." but before he did, he reminded me that it takes up-to 7 days for a line to be discontinued!
SHIT BRICKS, 2 days, 3 days, 5 days and now 7 (~what about the near month that's passed?
I also asked at this point for someone to ring me back or to be put through to the Customer Services number... I was told that they don't ring back AND that Customer services do NOT have a number to be rung on and will only ring YOU back if they have a complaint in writing!
"Ok, I can see one now, just hang on..."
< Click > bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... < The line went dead - and they never rang back >
Got through to PIPEX Customer Services and asked them to re-activate the 'dormant' order (from 15th. May)
"No problem sir, please hold the line while I check with BT..."
< some minutes passed >
"Hi Sir, BT say the line is still active, but they're working on it to be resolved before tomorrow, so I'll try again then and call you after I know what the outcome is to be.."
So..... BT despite, mails and letters and calls I've made, and their assurances that the line is indeed dead, it's not!
Will let you know what happens tomorrow!
Just this minute checked my e-mail ( and guess what....
YEP! got a reply (to my multiples of mails of complaint, remember.... I'm sending the same email 20+ times each time I get a numb response.... this is the one I just got (BEAR IN MIND WHAT'S HAPPENED TODAY!)
Dear X,Thank you for your recent email.
I spoke to our engineers who confirmed that you service was ceased yesterday.
Should you require further assistance or information, please do not hesitate to contact us at or telephone us on 0800 169 8649 option 2.
Best Regards

BTopenworld Broadband Team
--- Original Message ---
Received: 06/06/2002 01:30pm Romance Standard Time (GMT + 2:00 )
To:,,,,,,,,,, orders@bto
Subject: still awaiting disconnection

how amateur are BT Internet?

Will you PLEASE for the love of GOD, get this bloody ADSL disconnected, as promised on 15th. May, 17th. May, 19th. May, 21st. May, 25th. May, numerous on 28th. May, then 30th. May, then 5th. JUNE

So.... numerous people at BT say it's dead, my ADSL modem still thinks it's live, yet PIPEX are being told it's also still alive....hmmmmmmm........
As of Friday 7th. June 2002 (12:17pm)
Spoke to Pipex (new ADSL supplier) who tell me again 'Sorry Mr. X, BT are still bouncing the connection, claiming that it's THEIR line!'
OK.... so I check my BTINTERNET mail and guess what.... the following is there!
Dear X,Thank you for your e-mail.
I apologise for the delay in the ceasation of your line.
I have been in contact with the engineers and they have informed me that there was a complication and delay in ceasing your line however it was being worked on today and the line should then be ceased.
Again please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.
If you have any further queries please don't hesitate to contact us.
Best regards,
BTopenworld Broadband Team
What a load of Bollocks.... The woman from PIPEX has just told me that she's dealing with a guy who's now SUING them after still being connected 18 MONTHS on from his cancellation!
Have just rung BT number, and after the usual Bullshit of Name, Tel, Reference, and having to explain the story AGAIN, I get that he cannot put me through because a Supervisor will not speak unless they know what it's about!
"Mr. X. according to our records, you will be disconnected today or at latest tomorrow!"
"Sorry Mate, I don't know you from Adam, and it's not fair to let fly at you, can you please get a Supervisor 'DW' or the Manager 'G' both of whom I've had mails, telephone copnversations with and letters from."
< Click > on-hold!
some minutes later (and STILL the mind draining Air-on-a-G-string music!) a new person...
"Hi Mr. X, this is J. W."
< to cut a long story short > I've just explained the whols sorry saga, and said my opinions on BT and the people I've spoken to up-to-now.... She's putting me on hold to make some calls!
The ADSL modem is now not showing the Green Icon (so it's not connecting or finding an ADSL dialtone) so that's good, just trying to get through to PIPEX to get them to connect it!



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