BT Complaint Letter: A few words of advice

On December 11th, it was flagged up to me that our account had been debited by British Telecom for an unusually high amount. The cheeky bastards had helped themselves to £233 my money via Direct Debit, when the monthly amount I expected to be taken every month was a measly £10.49. The reason behind it was some unwarranted billing for work done outside our property some time ago.

I promptly wrote to the BT Chairman, their press room, Ofcom, Otelo and blogged my letter. Whether the knowledge that the issue was public made any difference to the pace at which BT dealt with it, I’ll never know. What I know is that the money is, two weeks later, back in my account after I was informally told over the phone that it would be back last week. Still not too bad.

What grates me is that there’s been no apology. I fought the charge and got a refund, but BT still seemed unapologetic about having taken the funds over an issue for which I wasn’t supposed to be charged.

This leaves me with a few words of advice to everyone who may not be keeping a close eye on their finances:

  • Speak to your bank about setting a limit on direct debits when you expect monthly payments to be regular. It’ll avoid random high charges like this.
  • Check your online banking once a week and sanity-check any spending that looks unexpected.
  • Setup “monthly bill” payment rather than “full bill” with each service where your cost may vary and where maintenance work may be slipped onto the bill.
  • Get everything you can in writing, or record phone conversations. I’m seriously considering recording conversations with customer service agents from now on to avoid “he said, she said” arguments where it’s my word against theirs. Anyone got suggestions on the best way to record all calls to/from a house line?

8 responses to “BT Complaint Letter: A few words of advice

  1. Despite what some people will tell you, it’s perfectly legal to record your conversations. You don’t even have to inform the other party that you’re doing it.
    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/oftel/consumer/advice/faqs/prvfaq3.htm

    It is, however, a good way to get honest and calm information from a call centre. Simply starting the conversation with “Hello, just to let you know this call is being recorded” is often enough to get people telling you the truth.

    There are loads of products on the market for landlines and mobiles. If you’ve got an old tape recorder handy, pick up one of these from Maplin
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=30352

  2. Pingback: Crazy Brits » BT Blues

  3. BT and certain other companies seem to think that they can do what they like”…”http://www.crazybrits.co.uk/2007/12/27/bt-blues/

  4. Darren Cronian

    Vero, couldn’t you use Skype and record the conversation?

  5. Pingback: Taptology - Taptu Mobile Search Engine » Blog Archive » Carnival of the Mobilists #112: With our sights set firmly on the future

  6. rachel Goate

    BT are quite simply a bunch of lying, thieving, dirty rotten fuckwits who deserve to be dragged out into the streets and stoned in front of every hard working decent british person they rip off every second of every day. They are a law unto themselves it’s time we took a stand and lynched every fucking last one of the scuzzy little wankers that call themselves British Telecom customer service how can I help you? Fuck off and die thats how. tossers.

  7. griff

    Do I detect a certain amount of dissatsisfaction among BT subscribers?

  8. Pingback: Carnival of the Mobilists #112: With our sights set firmly on the future | JasonHarris.Me

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Oh hello there!

I'm Véro - a crafty, knitty, spinny gal who enjoys making (and drinking) a cocktail or three. If you've stumbled here, you might enjoy browsing some of my older posts with the tags over to the right or finding out more about me.

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