Uncovering the web of lies and deceit woven by BT.

The Complaint - The Follow Up Calls

The follow-up call that we'd been promised 'around midday' had still not happened by 4.15pm. So at 4.21pm, my wife once again called the BT Customer Service line. She was connected to someone called Yunus. He was really nice, and has obviously not been indoctrinated trained properly yet, as he completely agreed with us about the fact that moving house should not necessitate a new contract.

From the DSAR data that was sent to me, the transcript of the call with Yunus confirmed our cancellation dispute so far, and also re-states the 'wrong email' issue. Yunus finally confirmed that the complaint was already assigned to a complaints manager. We hoped that someone equally as nice of Yunus might be dealing with the complaint from then on. No such luck...

Just after 5.30pm, the phone rang. My wife answered, and after a fairly short time, passed the phone to me. Sadly, despite multiple promises that both the initial 15th July call, and this call were definitely recorded, neither transpired to be available as a result of the DSAR. Therefore, all that is available here are my own notes on the call. From experience of other complaint handlers subsequently, many of these seem to be stock responses. Maybe that will ring a bell with you too? The text in blue are my subsequent thoughts concerning those parts of the notes taken.

  • My wife took the call initially, at around 5.30pm. After some initial discussions, she asked if the call could continue with me.
  • After some initial discussions, when I was told that BT's final decision (and probably first and only as well) was that the cancellation charges were to remain on the account, I asked for the complaint handler's name.
  • He carefully (though I felt patronisingly) dictated his name to me using the phonetic alphabet only - it was not a follow up to an initial disclosure of his name - just straight into phonetics. I said that he could have just said "Anurag S*****", and I would have understood.
  • Repeatedly Anurag said "This is BT's final decision. You will not be successful in complaining."
  • I asked who made the final decision. Anurag said that it was him.
  • I stated that I believed that the final decision had been made before he even called us back.
  • I asked Anurag what would have been successful in overturning the decision to apply the final charge. He said that he would have needed to see proof on the system "That I had not been informed of the extended contract". I asked him what he based his reckoning on the fact that "I had been informed of the extended contract" on. He told me that he has an indicator on his workstation 'dashboard', which says that BT sent a letter.
  • Having now seen the content of the DSAR response, it is absolutely clear that no such letter was ever sent. The explanation of a new contract should have immediately followed the initial home move call, where the complaint handlers claim that we accepted the new contract. I refer you to FAQ G, in Consumer Contracts 2013, where durable mediums which could have notified us as to the new contract are listed as:
  • A letter (the DSAR shows that no such letter was sent directly following the call where it is alleged that a new contract was agreed.)
  • A CD/DVD - not applicable.
  • An email - provided that relevant information be static - i.e. a link to a website is not suitable. In any case, no emails were sent until 25th July, and this was not a contract explanation - it was entitled "Your phone service is ready". We only know this as a result of the DSAR response, as the original email was not received. Also, from my own tests, I know that sending an email to xxxxxyyyyyy73@hotmail.co.uk results in an undeliverable response. BT should recognise them, as I think they would have received a handful during our house move.
  • A text message - however, courtesy again of the DSAR response, we can see that the only text message sent directly following the home move phone call appears to be an internal 'L2C' text message - which I believe is a "Lead to Cash" text? The next text message was set on 25th July, and is included further up in this letter.
  • Anurag continued to claim that BT sent 'new contract' confirmation emails to my wife's Hotmail email address. However, rather than using the email address on the account (xxxxxyyyyyy73@hotmail.com), to which they have been sending monthly bills for several years, they for some reason sent the confirmation email to a non-existent email (xxxxxyyyyyy73@hotmail.co.uk).
  • As proven in the last set of bullet points, no such email was ever sent. Other emails were sent to the wrong address - but not the durable contract information email.
  • At one point he told me that I should have informed BT that I had not received the letter which stated that I had entered a new contract. I told him that as we did not know that we had entered a new contract - nor did we know that we should be receiving a letter, then we did not know to call BT to alert them to that fact.
  • Absolute nonsense from Anurag!
  • I confirmed with Anurag several times that this telephone conversation - and the original telephone conversation relating to our house move (we had to do it by phone, as we wanted a 'Simultaneous Provide' code to keep our third party ADSL) had been recorded. He told me that it had. I asked him if I could get a copy of it. He told me it would cost £10.00. I asked him whether this was actually a Subject Access Request. He told me that yes, it was.
  • Yet conveniently the call with Anurag, and the original home move call on 15th July were not supplied.
  • Anurag told me that if I had gone directly to BT to cancel my service, rather than letting Zen initiate the transfer, then BT would have advised me of the cancellation charges. This seems to be completely against OFCOM's wishes of the new supplier handling the transfer.
  • Actually, this is utter nonsense. Had BT been sending things to the correct email address, then in all likelihood, we would have received your email dated 13th August 2014 - entitled "Leaving BT - what you need to know" (now received, again, via the DSAR response), where the cancellation charges are clearly laid out. If we'd received that, we'd never have even realised about the new Consumer Contracts 2013 laws - and we would have just stayed with BT.
  • I asked Anurag whether he was calling me a liar. He said that no he was not. I asked him whether he believed that his indicator saying that BT had sent a letter meant that he truly believed that I had been informed of the new contract. He initially told me that yes, he did believe that. When I told him that equated to him calling me a liar, he then confessed that no, the 'letter sent' indicator on his 'dashboard' did not constitute me being 'informed' of the new contract.
  • Well I now know that the Consumer Contracts 2013 would not have protected me here, as seemingly the dispatch indicator is as good as 'provision of that medium' in most circumstances. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for BT, there was no such indicator on Anurag's 'dashboard'. No contract was ever sent by any durable medium.
  • I asked Anurag whether he would therefore overturn the decision to not remove the charges. He told me that no matter how many times we discussed it, BT's final decision was that the cancellation charges still applied. At one point, he said "I wish I could change the way you think sir".
  • Yes, I bet he does - it would make his job a lot easier.
  • I told him that I would complain further and take this to OFCOM. He bluntly told me that no matter how much I complained, I would not win.
  • I told Anurag several times that I would not be paying this. I also told him that I do not expect any debt collection practices to be commenced until I have had a chance to fully look into this. He 'generously' gave me until the beginning of October.


BT Complaint ~ BT Customer Service ~ BT Problems ~ BT Unfair ~ British Telecom ~ Consumer Contracts 2013 ~ DSAR ~ Data Subject Access Request ~ BT House Move ~ BT Home Move