Mark Savage tells us he rues the day he switched from Sky to BT last June, a move that started with an unusable email service and ended with threats from debt collectors.
Before he switched over his account, Mark was adamant he wanted to keep his family email address, something BT said he’d be able to do.
Only when the account was switched did Mark find that his email wouldn’t work despite long calls to technical support. Mark told us:
‘Whether it was its servers or atrocious support staff, they couldn’t do it, and we persevered for a month or two until I thought I’d spoken to everyone in India, but it was rubbish and I’d had enough so I wanted to cancel my order.
‘BT said I had to give 12 months’ notice, but it had said I could leave if my email didn’t work. I cancelled my standing order and went back to Sky.’
In the ensuing changeover, the account wasn’t properly closed and BT called in debt collectors, threatening to damage Mark’s credit rating, despite the fact that the Ombudsman Services later found in Mark’s favour.
‘BT was then pursuing me for costs that they said I owed it for cancelling the contract. It was impossible to talk to anyone sensible and it went on and on – all I wanted was the £135 back that I’d paid for the router.
‘In the end, I got nowhere and contacted the Ombudsman, who found in my favour. But even then, BT interpreted the ruling differently to me. Eventually, I spoke to people who offered me compensation, but the whole process took months.’
We got in touch with BT for a response to Mark’s case. A BT spokesperson told us:
‘We’re always disappointed if, as in this case, we cannot reach an agreement with the customer. We always advise them of their right to take the case to the Ombudsman.
‘BT has apologised to Mr Savage for its handling of the case. We’ve cleared his outstanding balance and his BT account is closed. There will be no adverse effect on Mr Savage’s credit record. We have arranged to send him a cheque for £104.94, which is £64.94 for broadband charges and £40 as a goodwill payment.’
Did you try to keep your ISP email address when you switched to a new provider? Have you ever had a bad experience with a broadband provider – did you get a good result?