Broadband in Binley Woods

I have just spent nearly two hours on the phone to BT Retail, BT Openreach, Ofcom and then BT Retail again…

Last week, with my Parish Plan hat on, I wrote BT a letter with a simple question “What plans do you have to upgrade the broadband in Binley Woods?” This morning BT called me, and I thought they were about to give me an answer – naïve or what?

BT Retail: The first person said “thank you for your letter – I will put you though to someone who can help you”. That person was in Sales, had not seen my letter (so I had to read it to her over the phone) and had no idea why the call had been transferred to her. She put me through to Customer Services who would “definitely be able to help me”. I spent many minutes re-explaining my query to Customer Services who were just as clueless and told me I need to speak to Technical Support and put me on hold for ages. When I then explained the query to Technical Support, they told me it was the “wrong bit of BT” and that I needed to speak to BT Openreach. And, no, he could not give me their number.

BT Openreach (first call): I could only find one number for Openreach on the Internet, so I dialled it. That was the number for reporting emergency faults and the guy who answered the call was a tad upset I had called it! I told him it was the only number I could find! He them told me to ring “faults” and gave me the number.

BT Openreach (second call): Phoned Faults. “But it’s not a fault, sir”. “I know, but it was the number I was told to dial!” He told me to phone “sales” on a different number.

BT Openreach (third call): Phoned Sales. “Sorry, we cannot talk to you – we can only talk to phone companies – ring BT Retail”. I explained that I had (or rather that they had phoned me) and it was BT Retail who told me to speak to BT Openreach. “Sorry, we still cannot talk to you”.

Ofcom: Spoke to a very sympathetic lady who explained the relationship between BT Retail and BT Openreach and why I could not speak to Openreach. I asked “so, as a representative of the residents of Binley Woods, who should I speak to?” “Your phone provider” was the response. “But there are many different ones used by the residents of Binley Woods – surely I do not need to call all of them?” “Who is you own provider at home?” she asked. “BT Retail” I replied “but they could not answer my question told me to speak to BT Openreach”. “Would you like to make a complaint?” she enquired. “No, I’ll phone BT Retail”.

BT Retail (second call): Phoned Customer Services. Spent ages explaining why I was calling only to be told “You have come through to the wrong department”. At that point I lost it big time! I spent many, many minutes explaining what I wanted to know and telling him about the numerous people I had already spoken to. He went off to speak to his supervisor. When he came back saying “I’ll put you through to someone who can help you” I was on the point of giving up, but thought I would give it one more try! The next (and tenth) person I spoke to was actually helpful. No, there are no current plans to upgrade the broadband in Binley Woods!

So there you have it – we are stuck with our snail-pace broadband for the foreseeable future. 4G anybody?

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