Dear B.T.

In which I moan about BT...

Dear British Telecom (BT),

Last year I had the pleasure of enjoying BT Infinity. In a student house of five I don't recall ever experiencing slow internet or any outages. Naturally when I moved to a new house I was more than happy to start a contract with you. I was even looking forward to having a landline for the first time.

I ordered my package online and was a little annoyed that it would take a fortnight until an engineer could come out.* I understand, however, that it takes time to organise and you probably want the engineer to be visiting houses in the same rough area. I also understand that you need to send out the home hub etc. Also I hear you've been launching this BT Sport thing which I imagine has kept you busy.

Anyway, two weeks passed and I was sat patiently at home.† I had a phone call from a BT engineer to say he was on his way round. He turned up and started by asking me: "What am I here to do?". This did not bode well. I explained I was having a phoneline and internet installed and he explained he was the phone engineer. He came into my lounge where there was already a BT OpenReach DSL/phoneline box.‡ He checked the line was still working, gave me my new phone number and was on his way. Despite my initial reservations everything went well and I cannot fault the installation of my phone line.

So then I sat down and awaited the inevitable call from the broadband engineer. It never came. At the tail end of my 1-6 p.m. delivery window I rang up the BT customer service helpline. After I proved who I was etc. they said that the engineer was delayed on the previous installation and would be "no more then half an hour". Over an hour passed before I rang them again whereupon I got through to a more reasonable man who said it was unlikely they were coming now. I was pretty peeved at this point and said I thought this was unacceptable. At least I managed to get a free BT WiFi password from him. He said I'd have everything sorted within 48 hours.

Tuesday morning came round and I decided to ring the helpline again. I just wanted to confirm the engineer was indeed coming before deciding to work from home. When I got through after about twenty minutes on hold I was told that it would take 48 hours to give me another appointment. Oh wait! That's a lie! Like the many lies your customer service representatives told me in order to fob me off. It took several phone calls and several days before I was actually given the correct information - a new order would be put through, cancelled and then expedited so I would see an engineer sometime in the week after the bank holiday weekend. You said I would get my internet installed on either the 30th or the 31st.

I'm not going to bother to detail the rest of my phone calls during this time but needless to say various call centre employees treated my like an imbecile that knew nothing about computers or the internet.§ I did get through to a supervisor at some point who told me he'd expedite my order but surprise, surprise - he lied!There was apparently no record of this when I asked on a later call.

So here I am eleven days later without internet. I have conflicting information from you: One person today told me an engineer will be around sometime next week, hopefully. Someone else told me that my internet order is complete (I can assure you it is not). And yet one more person has told me that while the order is complete it may not be activated until September 10th - over 3 weeks from my original installation date! Even though I already have a BT OpenReach box installed at the property, a BT Home Hub and a BT OpenReach modem! All you need to do is turn it *bleeping* on at the exchange.¶ This is the work of half an hour!

I am *bleeping* irate!

Luckily for you I don't want to swear in this letter, so I'll let Malcolm Tucker do it for me:

Yours furiously,

Tom Wilkinson

*This delay was probably much more of an issue for my housemate who works from home and needs an internet connection to work.

†I'd taken the afternoon off work to ensure someone was in the house when the engineer arrived.

‡This is important, remember this.

§Pro-tip: I'm not and I do know how a router works!

¶You might need to fiddle round at the cabinet too, but that is also a pretty quick job.

Post Scripta:

P.S. Obviously I had the option to go with another provider but there were various reasons I chose not to go with them other than the fact that I'd never had a problem with BT personally.

P.P.S. Naturally as a British man the only reasonable course of action at this point is to write a strongly worded letter.

P.P.P.S. No, not that Tom Wilkinson

P.P.P.P.S. To top it all off the local BT WiFi Hub is now down so I have no internet at my house besides limited mobile internet.