1 EAGLETON NOTES: No Complaints = No Problems (Q. E D.)

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Saturday, 1 November 2014

No Complaints = No Problems (Q. E D.)

I am a fan of BT (British Telecom for those of you who might not know) who provide telephone and broadband services here in the UK.  I have been a customer for the best part of half a century.  Living in the wilds of the Scottish Outer Hebrides I am very much aware of the problems of providing services to remote communities and am always grateful for the fact that we have, generally speaking, good and relatively inexpensive communications (thanks in no small part to large Government  and EC subsidies).  

Many of my neighbours have little or no time for BT.  So it comes as an even bigger disappointment to me when they let me down.  For a long time now broadband on the Island has been very poor both in terms of speed and reliability and there have been petitions and news campaigns: all to no or little avail.  Basically there is not enough capacity to meet demand and it will be a few years before the exchanges are brought up to date and new fibre-optic cables laid.  I can live with poor broadband but not without it!  Recently BT asked me to run some tests because their equipment was showing that I had a connection.  I did and I do (at this moment).  Unfortunately I couldn't run the tests on my Macbook Pro (which can connect to the router by ethernet) because the Flash Player needed updating and there was not enough capacity in the broadband signal to do so.  Catch 22.  

An engineer was due to visit last Thursday afternoon because there is a problem with the phone line too so that may be affecting the broadband.  He didn't and there was no apology or explanation.  Another call to India.  Another visit arranged for Monday morning.  Hopefully he will find a fault and rectify it.  If he doesn't he'll be able to tell them that. The more complaints the more likely it is that action will be speeded up. Unfortunately 'the system' is such that if complaints are not made then there is no problem.

21 comments:

  1. I am mobile and rarely do I experience your problems. I have access or I don't. Tell them you are not paying for a service that doesn't do what it says it will do. My sister has just got BT satellite. She lives on the edge of the Okles, That's how they say it. It costs a fortune and is fast then slow. They are just crooks. My spare 3G dongle works better and cheaper but to be cheaper she has to stay under 7GB a month. She can't watch BBC I-Player, not even if there are two Grand Prix and four Michaela Strachans on in a month. It's been a busy month. My sister doesn't share my devotion to the Strachan or to fast cars. She is running the dongle for a month to see.
    I had few blackspots in the Hebrides. Nothing that stopped me uploading .

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    1. Adrian I sometimes use over 40Gb a month. It'll be a lot less this month that's for sure. I can't even use YouTube or download all the pictures in some blogs. The rest of the time I open a blog and go away and come back when it may, hopefully, have downloaded.

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  2. There are some very cheap houses in Toxteth - your old stomping ground where internet connection is as fast as Billy Whizz in "The Beano" and as reliable as a well-trained guide dog. Why not consider moving back? You could have some pictures of Eagleton on the wall.

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    1. It's nigh on half a century since I left Liverpool, YP, and not even wild horses could drag me back. I don't know a single person in the city. In fact I can not imagine living in any city.

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  3. I suppose it all depends on the service provider. I had virgin connection when I lived in London. Very poor :((

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    1. I think that outside the main cities Ruby all the actual hardware is provided by BT although the ISP can be one of dozens of companies. I stick with BT because the ISP can't blame BT 's network and vice versa if things go wrong. It's BT's responsibility whatever happens.

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  4. I hope they can sort it out for you. Must be so annoying!

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    1. It's exceptionally irritating Monica.

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  5. Service these days is rather pathetic. Try getting information on replacing your thermostat when it's minus forty and you're talking to India.

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    1. Red, one of this most irritating things is when you phone BT to make a complaint about lack of Broadband and the automated response is that you go on line to report the fault!

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  6. When I was working, we were told that for every letter of complaint we received, to assume thta 10 other people were disatisfied but didn't bother to let us know. So hopefully your (single) complaint will be taken seriously, somewhere down the line. xoxox DeeDee

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    1. DeeDee I think the days of large corporations actually worrying about customer complains has gone. Unless the complaint is likely to get damaging publicity then why bother. The smaller the company the more likely they are to care in my experience. The Outer Hebrides is suffering from poor communications at the moment but the telecommunications companies are not interested in 8,000 households where providing a service is very expensive when they can concentrate on the battle for customers in the cities where they make their profits.

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    2. Sad but true, GB. And you're right, I worked for a small company. I also remember when my grandparents were living on a farm out in the middle of the Alberta prairie, they couldn't get a telephone, because the Alberta govt. telephones refused to string any more lines until there were more customers. They waited for years to get one.

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  7. I get very frustrated when something here doesn't work as it should - be it "my" fault, the computer's fault or something beyond my control. The last time I had any such trouble was last year when - through no fault of my own - one of the phone numbers I have (one for each company I work for, plus two private ones) didn't connect. A most helpful lady sorted it out with me on the phone (thankfully, it wasn't the entire connection, just that one number out of five). Support calls for German companies usually stay inside Germany and are not outsourced to India - not enough German-speaking call center staff in India, I suppose.

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    1. Meike the interesting thing is that most of the call-centre staff in India are very well qualified and, by Indian standards, the pay is very good. On the whole the staff I've spoken to have been as helpful as their systems allow. Therein lies the rub. The person in the UK call centre I first spoke to decided that my phone line was very noisy so my broadband complaint became a phone complaint so when the engineer eventually came he couldn't even look at my broadband problem: he's not allowed to. My broadband is still very patchy and exceptionally slow when I have it so I'll have to start the procedure all over again.

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  8. No point in hating BT but I do miss the days when it felt like a public service run for the benefit of...well, the public, really.

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    1. Absolutely Jenny and I still feel a lot more loyalty to them than they show to me.

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  9. People not arriving when they say they will is almost as bad as having to wait all day for someone who doesn't come until night time. You have my sympathy. I hope alls well now?

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    1. Until this occasion I've always found BT to arrive when they say they will. On this occasion David and I cut short what we were doing to be home so I was even more irritated when BT didn't keep they part of the transaction.

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  10. I feel your pain because it can be quite frustrating not to be able to access the internet.
    Now that you're in recovery mode, you will need to cruise around online reading blogs and emails and passing the time.
    I hope it is sorted out soon.....hang in there.
    Even though our service calls don't go to India, they are routed to Trinidad, another Caribbean island...yet I am still truly thankful that I have reliable internet access.

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    1. I've had better access over this week Virginia. It's still not good though and it drops out frequently. I think it will be like this until we eventually get fibre optic in a couple of years.

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