Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Busy doing nothing - it's a long one

I've been so busy for the last week. I've been trying to sort out my mother in laws phone. She's 86 and lives alone in a detached property in a semi rural location. On 27th June her phone line came down - she discovered this when she tried to phone for help after falling and breaking her ankle. Luckily her neighbour called round minutes after she'd fallen and called for help and then called BT to tell them the line wsa down. On the 3rd July (!!!!!) a BT engineer called round and said that a temporary line could be put in and left. Then....nothing. On 5th July I called BT to find out what was happening and after being shunted from pillar to post I was told that they had a completion date of 14th July to reinstate her line. I said that wasn't acceptable and asked to speak to a manager. I was told that a manager would call me back next day to discuss it with me. Next day a manager ( a nice Welsh woman who is the only one who has been honest in 500 fekkin phone calls) called me back and said that the 14th July was actually the date that the plans were going to be recieved by BT engineers so that they could think about re-routing the lines underground and that the actual date we were looking at for my M.I.L to have her phone back was mid August!! That's 7 weeks for an elderly lady who lives alone, in a detached property (and has a broken ankle) to be without a phone. I started a complaints procedure straight away. Have any of you ever tried to complain to BT? It's a farce. I decided that I would follow their complaints procedure to the letter as, if you want to go to Oftel ,they won't even think about your case unless you've followed 'procedure'. It's been a total eye opener and a weeks 'work'. It's been like being back in mental health. All day on the phone trying to sort something out. I called them on 7th July and said I wanted to register a complaint about the way the situation was being dealt with and wanted to speak to a manager. I was told a manager would call me back. They didn't. After 3 days of constant phoning and constant promises of call backs which never materialised I decided my complaint wasn't being dealt with correctly I called the BT Complaints Review Team, I got through to Broadband customer services. I tried to call them again and got though to standard customer services. I said I wanted my complaint reviewed and they said 'But you have to regsiter a complaint in the first place' I told them I had and they said there was no record of it. I explained the situation and they said a manager would call me back within 2 hrs. They didn't. I called again. I got put through to a call centre in India and said I wanted to regsiter a complaint. They hung up. I called again and was told a manager would call me back within 2 hrs. They did! They said, 'There's an engineer at the property right now'. We drove round there, there wasn't. I called again and was told 'They're not beginning work until 14th July'. AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!

I've been told by two separate BT representatives (both of them managers) that to provide my M.I.L with priority care due to her age would be ageist (wtf?!) I've been told by one of the managers that she herself lives alone and doesn't expect anything other than standard service provision ( I assume she's not 86) I was old that my M.I.L could indeed recieve priority services but only if she registered and paid a premium.When I asked what BT's commitment actually was to older customers I was proudly told that BT promises to give them the same standard of service as any other customer. Good of them eh? It has been a nightmare but an education.

This afternoon I decided enough was enough and I called BT Head Office and asked to speak to Sir Christopher Bland (BT Chairman). They asked what I was calling about and I said 'I have concerns that your services are not being delivered within a framework of social responsibilty'. I explained the situation and the woman was very quiet and listened. When I finished she said that she completely understood my concerns and put me through to the highest complaints dept. Within an hour there was an engineer on site at my M.I.L's house attemtpting to sort out a temporary line and I have had 3 calls from 3 separate managers to aologise and thank me for my patience. Am I being cynical or is the standard complaints procedure designed to get the caller to lose the will and give up? How many people are stubborn enough to go as far as I did? How many people just believe the lies and give up?

I also contacted Age concern and my concerns about BT's customer care for the elderly have been passed on to their policy department. I've written a formal complaint to the BT chairman and said that(in a much more formal way) I think their standard of customer care for elderly cutomers stinks.

The irony is that I've gone into work mode. If it was about my phone I would have been screaming sort my &*(^%$£ phone out you )&^%$£" %$£*&^%!! Lol I am utterly exhausted and can't believe how mcuh energy this has taken. Still.....

Here's a pic of how the (unwashed ) alpaca is spinning up

As it's not washed and I'm pulling it out of a bin bag to spin in locks it's not wanting to spin particularly fine. It'll be interesting to see how it comes out.

Whilst I've got you there you can help me with a dilemma. have a look at this yarn.

I don't know whether to keep it or put it on the website. I really like it.

Decisions decisions :)


Blogger n said...

Yarn first.
I love it, and can see why you love it. You are never going to know if anyone else loves it (and will pay for it) unless you put it out there in the knit-world for everyone to see. If no-one else loves it enough to buy it you have
a) discovered that it isn't worth making it to sell
b) found out that you can use it yourself without thinking "maybe I should have tried to sell it"
If you get LOTS of interest, then you can sell it and then make some more... and perhaps put the price up by 50p or a pound!
The alpaca looks interesting.
What do you spin the thick yarns on?
Well done for sorting out the problem. She is lucky to have you, imagine if she had no-one. You have done BT a favour.... imagine the headlines if an elderly person had fallen and not been found for weeks. Wasn't there a story a while ago about a person being found by the Gas engineer who came to cut the supply off?

4:01 AM  
Blogger Mary-Lou said...

bingo! - all now working, thanks!

5:21 AM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Your MIL is blessed to have you for an advocate....you are to be commended for hanging in there and not giving in to the brush off...still shaking my head at their comment "priority care due to her age would be ageist"...

The Alpaca looks yummy..I usually spin mine unwashed too...the only time I was sorry was when I had some white Suri...it never really felt clean to me even after several washings..

As for that dilemma of yours...I vote sell it...then you will have to spin more...

5:51 AM  
Blogger acrylik said...

What a nightmare with BT. Your mother-in-law is so lucky to have you around and fighting for her corner. I think you have done exactly the right thing - let's hope that this filters down to the people who should be dealing properly with complaints in the first place.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Beautiful colours on that yarn - I vote for putting it on the website.

Nice blog - my first visit. :)

9:30 AM  

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