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Mis-sold a product we don't want and still being charged for the old system


Good afternoon,


Towards the end of last year, we were contacted by BT Local Business and told that our Cloud Voice system would no longer work due to current network upgrades, and we would need to upgrade to the Cloud Works system. We were then contacted and told by another representative that our (then) existing broadband line needed to be upgraded as it was defunct and being replaced. This, then, explained why we needed to upgrade to Cloud Works, or so we were told.


In December 23, we were then sent a quote showing a reduction in cost over our (then) current system, which stated "As explained, this is a like for like update, we will do the update and install for you by letting you know of dates in advance". We agreed and signed the contract to upgrade to the new broadband & phone system, believing that we had no choice as our current system would no longer work. We broke up for the Christmas period and, on our return, discovered boxes of phone equipment had been delivered during the holiday.


We contacted (what we believed to be) BT Local Business and agreed the change to our broadband system and received texts and confirmations of the process. We then heard nothing else, other than that the order was delayed.


I cannot recall at what point in the New Year that I first contacted BT to find out what was happening, but it was not until February that we discovered that, due to a mail header error in BT's email, we were not receiving emails specifically (and only) from BT Cloud Works. After resolving this by using a personal email address, we then started proceedings to get our number ported (a task left entirely to us). This also meant that, unbeknownst to us, our broadband order had been cancelled, so had to rearrange for the update of our broadband.


In the meantime, our phone bill came in extremely inflated. After several lengthy calls, we discovered that we were paying for the new system as well as the old but were told this would be rectified and come off our next bill once the new system activated and the old shut down (later following conversations assured us that this would be backdated to cover the time that we did not have the new system online).


We then began the process to port our number, and a date was agreed for this to take place (which, I might add, already being a BT customer transferring a number to BT, was incredibly awkward and onerous). On the day of the porting, our old phones just shut off and stopped working and we were left in a desperate scramble to install the new phones by ourselves (which is not what we were expecting from our quote, as above). This new system was overly complicated for us, and we had to contact the support team just so that we could make all of our phones ring at once - we are a small office and we do not need the "features" this system promotes. We also asked how to add our shared number directory (as per our previous system) only to be told that this has not been implemented and may be by the summer. We still do not know how much of how these phones work - I was told to download the manual for our phone brand, which was not especially helpful.


We next arranged a date with engineers to come in and change our broadband system over - an engineer came on the expected date to carry out cable enabling works, followed by another engineer on a following agreed date to connect the correct equipment. This engineer was unable to carry out any works as, in his words, he was a residential engineer and didn't know why they had sent him. I then contacted BT once again to rearrange this installation, which was eventually carried out by the original engineer. Again, we were just left with a system plugged into the wall and had to work out how to integrate this into our existing network.


With our phones now "working" (and I say it this way because we have been given a system totally unsuited to our company), we contacted BT to discuss our excess bill. This led to many, many long calls where were bounced around from department to department, many times being told we needed to speak to one team, only to talk to them and be told we needed to speak to the previous department. We were still being charged for both systems and I was doing my best to sort this out, but to no avail. It was around then that we discovered that the BT Local Business office we were talking to were not actually our BT Local Business office, as this had been closed down earlier that year. After being bounced around yet again, I was finally talking to them again and I explained how the system we had been sold was not fit for our purposes and when I suggested we would just like to go back to our old system, but was originally told this system needed upgrading, they advised that our old system would work. They told me to call a number (that they gave me) and ask for the complaints team - either there is no such team, or no one would put us through - and to quote that we had been mis-sold. I attempted to do this and, as mentioned above, could not speak to anyone in complaints. Bounced around departments yet again, I spoke to several people and said that I wanted to complain and advise of a mis-sale. They took this down and assured me I would be contacted within 72 hours (I believe - please understand a lot was going on during all of these calls).


When I had heard nothing after that time, I called back and asked why I hadn't been contacted. I was told that no complaint was on the system. Feeling extreme frustration at this point, I made the complaint yet again. Once more, I heard nothing back so called again. This was when I felt like I spoke to someone who might actually help me - he informed me that the mis-sale team (I could be wrong here as to exactly who), when receiving a complaint like this, dismiss the complaint out of hand because we had signed the contract. I explained once again that we would like to return to our old system and he said that yes, he could cancel out our old system on our bill, but it would be better to keep it running to facilitate this return. He then advised that I use your privacy system to access our original contact with BT Local Business in December and directed me to your data protection page where I applied for these records. He also gave me his email address to contact him with so that he could help me once again once I had the records.


The records page suggested that we would hear back within 7 working days. When this response failed to appear, I emailed the person I spoke to and they said to give it a couple more days. This was the last time he responded to my emails. After another week, I emailed him to ask for his assistance, but had no reply. Another week passed and I tried again with no response.


On Friday, 10th May, 1 month after my initial request, I received an email from Privacy at BT with details of the time period I requested. However, there are no records at all for December, which I do not understand. I then emailed our contact one more time and heard nothing at all in return.


This brings us to date; as it stands, we are paying for a phone system we did not ask for, alongside our old system, both of which we've been continuously charged for since last December. I have spent hours of wasted time on the phone to BT and am still no closer to any resolution. I would appreciate at least some advice so am posting this on the off chance someone might actually read it.


Please also understand that this has been ongoing for so long now, some of my times/dates may be swapped around – I’m sure you can appreciate that this whole situation has been both confusing and frustrating.


Thanks for your time.



Hi StaggeredSE


I'm sorry to hear about the journey you've had with these orders. Can you please send over a private message so I can take some account details?


Hi Beth,

What do you need from us?


Hi StaggeredSE


Ideally the company name, address including post code, your full name and contact number, and some sort of account identifier like an order reference or account number. Please send these over private message and do not share publicly. 



This is almost exactly the same as our experience with BTLB, and we are still trying to get the issues resolved while our BT billing shows we owe £12,000+ of erroneous charges. We are now several months into the complaints process which has moved things forward slightly, but still at a slow pace. There are several other threads on the forum showing very similar stories from people who were equally deceived by BTLB. The whole thing feels very dodgy and borders on scam tactics. Once the contracts are signed, they have met their target and no longer seem interested.

That's very interesting to read. We are still awaiting contact from the team after my initial post, and I've previously spent many hours on the phone to too many people to even mention with no result before I even found this forum. It took multiple phone calls over weeks to even discover that each complaint I raised as a mis-sale was dismissed out of hand by the mis-sale team, with no contact back to us; we had assumed each time that the complaint was progressing, whereas it had just been closed.