BT have a virtual monopoly in certain areas (and dont they know it)
I live out in the country iand because of that (much as I'd like 20mb speeds) I know and accept the fact that my broadband is not likEly to be amongst the fastest.
However I do expect it to work !!
When this post was originally written it took BT 9 WEEKS to get my broadband sorted and when they did eventually get it working it was at the blisteringly fast speed of 0.5MB (in actual fact 0.3MB download and less than 0.1 upload)
Many times during this process I asked if BT would lend me a wireless dongle so that I would have some connection, but BT are a huge mutli-national telecommunications company who DONT have any dongles they can lend !!!
Anyway after enduring this pain they eventually sorted it out and gave me a few months free as a 'goodwill gesture'.
So I had been up and and running with a nice stable broadband connection for a couple of years but not that fast (BT inform me that this is due to the distance from the exchange/cabinet) ...On a good day I get 0.3MB download speed and less than 0.1MB of upload speeds....but at least it works
However Imagine my joy when I get informed that BT have a great new service especially designed for Businesses in the Rural community to give them faster broadband. It sounded almost too good to be true (I wish I'd listened to my gut reaction).
I was told that if I signed up to BET (Broadband enabling Technology) I would get speeds of 2MB....
Now I know that does not sound fast to many other users but for me it could be an almost 10x increase in speed.
Still very poor given that Ofcom estimate the national average at over 9Mbps and Eu expects 100% to have access to speeds of 30Mbps+ within 7 years.
However I thought it would still better than I had so I contacted BT. Sure enough I was eligible for BET(GREAT !!).
Better still was the fact that it is goverment funded for small businesses in NI.
I was informed that I would have to change to BT Business broadband rather than my standard package but I thought it would be worth it. I was a little surprised when told that to make the switch from one BT product to another BT product (on the same line) mean that I would lose my broadband for up to a week! I found this a bit odd beause thought it should have been a simple process. However I was ok to agree , but I did make it clear that I wanted to be informed before any work was scheduled because I did NOT want to lose my connection at a time when my daughter would need it for exam revision etc....
Imagine my dismay when I got notified that I was losing my connection and my broadband services would stop on 2nd May (just as the exam revision is getting into full swiing etc)....Still its only a week and it will be worth it (wont it ?)...
So I get notification on 2nd May that my BT Business Total Broadband WILL be UP AND RUNNING by 10th May ...hang on a min ...thats more than a week...but again thsi new super faster Business broadband will be worth all the pain (wont it?)
Sure enough on 10th May I get yet another notification that my BT Business Total Broadband is READY FOR ACTION ...all I have to do is install the router and follow the instructions...SIMPLE!
I have 25 years IT experience so installing the router was no issue (in fact it was exactly the same router as the one I already had). ....SO WHY DOES IT NOT WORK ?....it wont sync up....
OK sometimes these things take a little while...so lets leave it switched on for a day and see what happens ....still no joy....
OK time to call the technical support boffins....er....er... thats easier said than done because it is virtually impossible to get through to anyone who can speak to you about a BT Business line etc....
However I eventually got through to an engineer who deals with BET technology....he informs me that it can take 3 WEEKS to get the BET technology installed....THATS NOT WHAT I WAS ORIGINALLY TOLD.....OR I WOULD NOT HAVE AGREED....
But I asked if I could simply continue to use the business line at my old broadband speeds....of course, that should be no problem at all , everything is there.....SO WHY WONT IT WORK ?????
er....um....we don’t know , we will have to do some tests etc
Its now 23rd May and I have been without any broadband for 3 WEEKS...again I asked for the lend of a dongle as previously and BT STILL DONT HAVE ANY ....I asked a few questions
1) Why did the engineer that switched me to Business not test and ensure that it was working ?
2) Can we please get an engineer to physically go out and sort this problem
I need someone to go on-site and basically not leave until it is working
ER...UM....SORRY WE CANT DO THAT ....The computerised system will not allow us to request an engineer because you have a pending order for BET.....
3) When will my BET be installed
Its scheduled for 4th June
-----wait...that’s more than a month after I lost my conncetion (a lot more than a week)
4) Is there any way we can excalete and get it done immediately to sort this issue
Er..UM...Sorry we have no control over that scheduling
5) OK when the engineers do eventually install and enable BET can I have a guarantee that someone will be there and basically will not leave until my connection is working
Sorry we cant do that because it is different areas
The issue I have where I live is that to a certain extent BT have us by the ******* because quite a few of the other suppliers dont even offer a service
Just got another email stating that they have now been given a date of 5th June for the engineers
On a slighly positive note I have been told that they will be offering me SOME compensation.
I have not done all of the accounting yet but the costs I have incurred over the past 5 weeks because of this issue
are mounting up and will definately come to a lot more than a couple of months free broadband !!!
Now into the 6th week with no broadband at home/in the studio
I did eventually get them to agree to suply a wireless dongle and engineers are due out tomorrow ...but I am not exactly holding my breath.
So on the basis of my experiences my advice is
If you have ANY alternative at all stay as far away from BT as you possibly can
I could see through there being issues if BT was one of the cheaper suppliers but they are not !!!