The telecommunications giant BT has been criticised for their customer service in Devon.
Customers in the new Mill Gardens in Sidmouth were subjected to lengthy delays in having their phone and broadband connections installed, with no explanation from the staff.
A customer told the Midweek Herald of their frustration, likening the issue to the pre-privatisation of the company where you needed to wait months for a phone line.
Gail and Philip Goldsmith spoke of how their problems began in July when they moved into their Mill Gardens home, despite them already agreeing on a BT package prior to the change. After sending out change-of-address cards and a new contact number, the couple expected to be connected by July 24th.
Eventually an engineer visited and told them it was impossible to connect them, which marked the start of the dispute with the company. Gail threatened the firm with legal action for mis-selling the fibre-optic broadband as she eventually found it could not be provided in the area.
On September 29th, over two months later, a working phone service was finally installed and they were able to connect to broadband on October 9th.
Gail said: “If they had said on July 24th that we might not have it until October, that would be maddening enough, but to be told every few days it will be there – it is just so frustrating.
“It was only through talking to other people who have had the same problem that I realised it was a nightmare for many,” she added.
Another BT customer from Mill Gardens, Linda Williams, experienced the same difficulties with the firm. After being a customer for multiple years the company failed to transfer her phone and internet over to her new home when she moved.
She said: “Trying to get through to BT by phone was awful. When I did get through to the call centre, the staff were unfailingly polite but could not explain why no engineer had come or make a swift appointment.”
An apology was issued by BT spokesman Jason Mann, he said: “Fibre broadband is not yet available in this area. The job required a great deal of work to the local network, including the installation of new cables.
“Our advisers provide as much information for the customer as they can, but when a great deal of work is needed, such as in this case, it can be difficult for them to say with certainty at the outset when service will be provided.”
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