Sunday, 19 February 2012

BT can't communicate

A failing of many large companies is that when you click on help or contact us on their website (or when you ring them and get through to a voice menu with myriad options) the options they offer, trying to funnel you into a certain queue, don't match what you want to speak about. The sensible thing would be to always include an option for 'everything else', but many companies don't want to do that because... oh no... you might confuse them. Here is a recent example. Two months ago a new BT pole was put up on land by my house, without any prior warning or consultation. I didn't necessarily mind, I just wanted to know why, and whether it would lead to an improved service. There was no email address or phone number to contact on the pole. When you go to the BT website though, the options below are all that you are offered:

I don't have an account with them, so that rules out the first two options; I'm not moving home; I don't want to know more about their products. It isn't really a complaint, but I thought that might be the best option. However it then gives sub-options, below, none of which apply.

That leaves technical help - again, not really what I want, but the only option left. However that only gave the following options, again none of them apply:

So where does that leave us? There were no other options. No 'general enquiry'. Basically a communications company that is unable to communicate with you or to do something as basic as provide someone to speak to. So one crap for them being unhelpful in not offering options that are relevant. One crap for not offering an email address for complaints. Oh, and one crap for putting up a phone pole without asking first.

[Update - eventually, after trying numerous numbers and a lot of wasted time, I was given a phone number for 'Open Reach' who apparently manage the poles. After ringing it and navigating through many options it ended by giving me an address to write to - then hanging up after reading it out once. I had to make two more phone calls and go through all the options again to get the address. Why not just have a £$%^ing email address on their web page? Maybe that would be too helpful.]

[Second update - I eventually got an email address from BT, but guess what - it does not work. See below. Therefore, BT now move up another crap level. I will post an update if they resolve this.

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

: does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 555 6.1.1 User unknown
Giving up on
[Third update, 6th March 2012 - In the end I had to write to them. BT wrote back. I had pointed out all the communication problems above - and they ignored that completely, not even responding to the details I had listed. Also, although I pointed out some issues that had come up related to the pole, they said they would do nothing and would leave it where it is. "I know this isn't the response you were hoping for," they said. BT now move up another crap level.]

Therefore, five craps for BT:

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