How to complain to BT and win!

The Complaint - The Final Bill

So we move into complaint territory. Much of what I state below is only possible because of the DSAR that I raised. More on that later, or by clicking DSAR in the menu above.

The conversation below in regular font is BT's side, whilst that in italics is our side. The whole conversation is interesting, but at 08:17, the attempt at an explanation is a beauty. As is 17:46 onwards, where it dawns on us that emails have been going to a non-existent email address, and then at 19:38 (maybe we were supposed to have been worn down by this point) we are asked, out of the blue "OK...would you be able to come back to BT now?".

mm:ss Conversation
00:00 Ring Tone
00:03 Yeah a very good afternoon to you from BT, how can I help you today?
00:06 Yes hello...we've just had a final bill come through because we've cancelled the contract and gone with somebody else...can you tell me why it's come up as so much, because we don't remember signing any new contract or anything...and that's the reason why we've been charged so much...and whether you could possibly send us a copy of it.
00:28 Sure, I'll have look into that. Would you be able to give me your account number?
00:32 Yes, it's EA....
00:41 Alright. Can I also have your name please?
00:44 Yes it's Miss J ... well sorry, it's supposed to be Mrs J... but you've still got me down as Miss.
00:50 Yes - just gonna get your details, OK?
00:53 Thank you.
01:49 Uh...what you have on the account cancellation charges ninety-five pounds and twelve pence on the account.
01:57 Yeah?
01:58 But after the minus couple of things on the account we have gone ahead and we have changed it. So I suppose the detail what I see on the account is...on the 15th July 2014 there was an order that was been placed for your home move. Is that correct?
02:17 For what sorry?
02:19 You had moved your house?
02:20 Yes, we have moved house. Yes.
02:21 Yes. On the 17th [sic]. So at that point of the time there was a new contract that was added onto your account.
02:29 Yeah but I've not...I've not signed anything...
02:33 Um...
02:33 ...saying that I wanted to take it out for you're charging us for a whole year's contract then or...?
02:38 That's for the contract which we are charging you ninety five pounds yes, because when you had moved the phone line and the...err...the...the...erm...Friends and Family mobiles and everything such, we got that down for you only on the basis of er...agreement of a's the only reason.
02:59 Right...well can you...well basically we didn't agree to a new contract at all. We just told them that we were moving house and we were never told any of this at all that it would be a brand new contract set up. You take your services with you. All you're doing is moving house. You're not adding a new contract or anything.
03:19 But unfortunately they always seems to do that one. We have given you new deal.
03:24 We've got the same account number and everything. We just basically told them that we were moving home and that was it. We were not told anything that a new contract would be from the 15th July.
03:38 Hmmm...weren't you advised on a letter that was been sent out to you or on any email correspondence regarding this because we always send you an email, or a letter or... Even when you place an order to move to a different provider we also send you a letter letting you know that this would be your cancellation charge.
03:56 Right...well I've had no letter at all to say about this. The only first thing we knew about it was when we got the phone bill come through this morning.
04:10 Would you be able to send me a copy of this new contract then, please?
04:13 Yes of course, I'm gonna arrange this for you, just give me a moment.
04:38 Could you please confirm your email address to me please?
04:40 Er's
04:50 OK...
05:27 And...looking onto the details there was also a letter that was sent out to you on the 13th August. Haven't you received that as well?
05:35 No. letters at all we've had unless, as I say, it's been sent to our old address and got lost somewhere - it's not...nothing's been sent to here at all.
05:45 We also wrote to email address. The email address is also the current...correct one which we have sent out to you, and it shows that it's been delivered, so um...
05:58 I've resent the KCI for you again, which gives you all the information about this.
06:02 Mmm...
06:03 OK...lets ??? ??? the order ??? now.
06:08 I'm just gonna spell your email address, just to confirm it. It's spelled as ... <phonetic alphabet spelling> seven three at hotmail dot co uk.
06:35 That's right, yeah.
06:36 Alright...
06:38 Oh It's dot com actually. So whether that's why.
06:43 It's not dot co dot uk?
06:45 No.
07:36 OK, I've resent the KCI for you. And also I've resent the letter as well for you.
07:42 OK.
07:43 All the confirmation has been sent out to you. This will...the letter will be reaching you within seven working days, and the email what I have sent out to you it should be there any time before twenty four hours of time.
07:54 Right, what's the letter that's coming then? Explaining the contract or...?
07:59 Err...explaining the contract and as well as the letter that I am sending you...
08:02 Can you email it over, so we can check it?
08:04 I'm sorry?
08.05 Because obviously, as I say...we've husband's actually cancelled the direct debit anyway now, because we were going to pay any final bills sort of, basically, over the phone or something - we didn't expect this.
08:17 The reason being that we have the...this is the usual thing that happens...the reason being that we had agreed to take your line, and to get it connected to the new property for free of course it's because you have agreed...for...the contract. Or else there would have been a charge of £130. So that's what has happened on the account...and even if you look into your bills, you should be able to see that on the ??? spaces you were getting a discount...that's because you were in a contract. Er...looks like that's where something went wrong for you. But...the letter was also sent out to you, letting you know to, um, if you are in a contract then this is the charge that will be applied for you if you don't terminate, that's if you don't terminate the order which you have placed at the previous provider. So, it's because all the information that is there on the account is a little complicated now.
09:10 Right, OK...well I've just gone through every single...because I keep every bill that comes through, because I get notifications to say that my bill is available online, and I keep everything from BT, and there is nothing there that you've sent me. I've had nothing on paper at all...nothing to say, as I say, agreeing to do another year - and I wasn't even explained this, because to be perfectly honest, I didn't even speak to anybody...all I did was change my think I did it online, because you've got an online thing as far as I know.
09:42 Yes, we also have online.
09:44 I also had to phone up for a code or something as well, for broadband, and nothing was explained to me then, so they knew we were, they knew we were moving as I say, and nothing was told to us at all.
09:57 Er no...we haven't charged you for the ??? or for the broadband because you didn't have that anyway with us.
10:04 No...but we wanted a code or something to be able to give the new providers. So when we phoned up for that nothing, I think it was text over to me I think.
10:14 Er...yes, that's the MAC code, yes, yes.
10:22 No it wasn't the MAC code. It was so we could move an ADSL and a telephone line on the same day. Like a third party - but as I say, nothing was explained to us, that as soon as we moved home, we would end up taking out a new yearly contract.
10:37 I see that. Um...just give me a moment. I'm gonna check with a manager for you, OK? I try my very best for you, OK?
10:45 OK. I just really want everything on paper today really, because I can't wait seven days for a letter to come through.
10:52 I know. But you should've received an email though, but I'll check with them for a moment, OK? Right...I'm gonna put you on hold now, yes?
11:00 OK yes.
11:01 Thank you.
17:45 Hello there?
17.45 Hello.
17.46 Mrs <incorrect surname>, thank you so much for being online. Mrs <incorrect surname>, I also checked with my manager as well, and he also looked at the details of your account, and the charge which we have applied for you is the correct charge.
18.00 Right - well we've just, I've just had that email come over from you, and I've noticed that where you've got your contact email address, it's been sent to the wrong address, so we never would have had this anyway, because you've got
18.16 Yes, that's correct. Yes...
18.17 But I'm not that. I'm dot com. And every month you send me a notification to say that I've got a bill to view online, so you know what my email address is. Yet you've obviously sent this thing that I should have got, because if we'd have had this, we never would have gone over and cancelled the contract. So we never had this, because you've sent it originally to
18.45 OK, so what I can advise you...erm...
18.47 It's basically as I say, if we'd have had this, and we'd had read it, we would never ever have cancelled the contract and gone with somebody else. So in a way, it's kind of your fault really for not following something up.
19.01 But there was a letter that was sent out to you as well.
19.04 But we haven't got a letter, that's what I'm saying. You've sent an email over to say goodbye for now, and we're charging you this and that. There's nothing dated on it either. There's nothing to say when it got sent. There's no proof to say when you sent this over. And when you obviously did email it to me, you've sent it to dot co dot uk. It's quite clear - it's on there.
19.26 OK...alright. I'll get this all...
19.27 I'm dot com. And as you know, I've just told you I'm dot com. And if you go back to look at all your other things that you send me, like notifications, you'll notice that that's dot com as well.
19.38 OK...would you be able to come back to BT now?
19.42 Sorry?
19.43 Would you be OK to come back to BT now?
19.46 What do you mean?
19.47 If you come back to BT, I'll see if there is something we can do about the charges for you.
19.51 Right. Just one moment.
20.08 Would you be able to speak to my husband?
20.11 Yes, of course.

At this point, the call is passed from my wife to me.

mm:ss Conversation
20.13 <husband takes over call> Hello?
20.15 Hello there.
20.16 Hello. No, we don't want to come back to BT because that's why we wanted to move in the first place. Had you have got this letter to us, to the correct email address, and explained to us exactly what we'd have had to pay in cancellation charges, then we might have reconsidered. But to be honest, I think it's disgusting the way that we are being treated now...if you try and take this money from us...well, you won't, the direct debit was cancelled yesterday anyway, but I'll follow it up with OFCOM and I'll dispute the charge because I think it's absolutely despicable. If you can't communicate with people to the correct email address then it's as good as not communicating at all.
20.49 We've also sent you a letter to the address what we have on the account sir.
20.52 But we haven't got it. We understand English. We open letters and I would see something saying it will cost you £95 to leave. I'm not stupid.
21.01 <inaudible> I'm not trying to argue with you sir. I know that you are not happy with the charges. And I am just here to help you out.
21.06 Yes. I want them removed from the account please.
21.09 And just to let you know what's going on, on your account.
21.11 I understand that, but I want these charges removing because it is not right, and I will dispute it with OFCOM.
21.18 It's...I understand what you are trying to tell me, but yes, even if we had sent out the letter or even if we had sent out all kinds of an information to your email address, if you had then decided to be with BT we wouldn't be charging you anyway. So that's the only reason that I'm asking you to come back to BT so we can get that sorted out for you.
21.36 I don't want to come back to BT though. I've already moved across to Zen. And I wanted to move across to Zen because their unlimited calling plan is better than yours.
21.47 I don't want to come back to BT. I shouldn't be coming back to BT because you've sent emails to the wrong address and letters haven't arrived. It's not exactly allowing a free market and changing between different telecoms providers, is it?
22.04 Alright, what I can do for you right now, is to help you out with this because I've told you what's happening on the account so that... I'll put you through to the complaints department <inaudible> OK? The issue that you wanted to <inaudible> about.
22.17 OK.
22.18 And if you could tell me a good time what you are available tomorrow, for you, I'll get the time arranged for you tomorrow.
22.24 <to wife> What's a good time tomorrow?
22.25 Er...tomorrow, any time that you are available.
22.27 No...I'm talking to my wife - what's a good time tomorrow? They're gonna get complaints to call us tomorrow.
22.33'm gonna have to check my work moment please.
22.37 Sure...take your time.
22.44 I appreciate it's not your fault, and I'm sorry if I've had a go at you it's frustrating.
22.48 No...that's OK. I'll try to get someone to help you out.
23.06 Twelve o'clock would be a good time.
23.09 Twelve o'clock tomorrow? Er...we work from 8 o'clock in the morning, so 12 o'clock should be fine...same time now?
23.16 Er...yes, yes.
23.19 Sure...I'll arrange that for you, so not to worry, OK?
23.22 OK then.
23.23 Thank you. Good...
23.25 Will you mark on the account that we are disputing the payment at the moment?
23.28 Definitely. The complaint would be raised now for you.
23.31 OK. That's great - thanks a lot.
23.32 Thank you. Good day.
23.33 OK. Thanks. Bye.


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