back to article BT takes axe to Local Business

BT is making deep cuts to its Local Business network this week, following a year and a half of plummeting sales. BT Local Business director Andy Hudson told staff: "Quite frankly the business is really, really, really struggling... every quarter we are failing to grow and we are shrinking." He declined to say in a conference …

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So that's OK then

"Those made redundant will receive a minimum of six months' pay."

So it's less expensive to fire the workers than the management - good cost saving there.

And for all you whining Brit's - I the good ol' USA, we generally have them escorted out of the office by an armed guard and give them two weeks wages (with deductions of course).

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Simple solution for Andy Hudson

Be less crap.

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Stop

Even better solution...

Why not get rid of 100% of them? They're all crap anyway and abandoning BT local business would be the best way of ensuring customers return!

I've vowed to never ever deal with BTLB again. Unfortunately that means that I can't take any BT ISDN services... who do you think misses out because of that? (hint: not me)

Let's just hope the management read this!

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Alien

Sir

Rest assured, there are plenty of people within BT (not certain about BTLB) that read El Reg and the comments section.

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The obvious jobs to cut ...

... are their Unsolicited Nuisance Callers.

Its high time that businesses learned that making Unsolicited Nuisance Calls to potential customers often has the effect of ensuring that the potential customer will *NOT* turn into a real customer. And if every potential customer took the attitude that receiving a nuisance call would never ever result in a sale, we could wipe out unsolicited nuisance calls at a stroke.

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Grenade

Got to wonder....

Did they all get bonuses for failing miserably too?

Errrrrmmmm.... nope doesn't look like it. Funny that isn't it.

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where'd they all go?

that's the important question.

any clues? an article on that might be of interest.

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Black Helicopters

Read between the lines....

<allegedly>

What you might not know is that they are all actually small private companies that franchise under the BT logo and sell BT products. The bulk of the layoffs will be the sales people working for these small companies. As they are not on the BT payroll, I imagine they will not be getting any such 6 month deal. Infact, even the MDs of these companies are not on the BT payroll. The 50 BTLBs are managed by a handful regional BT managers, who will probably be shuffled about internally. There's probably few, if any, in line for this generous package.

Oh, and the impression I get is that all of BT's outbound sales functions are outsourced to third parties, so BT can drop them if there are any accusations of foul play and also not have to worry too much about BTPLC keeping ofcom happy.

</alledgedly>

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good riddence to the worst waste of BT money and effort.

BT Local Business is a steaming crock. i hate having to deal with them, I hate having to order anything through them.

in the end I got so fed up I stopped using BT for new services since they insist you use them.

i spent months trying to convice BT letting me speak to the sane people in London was better than p***poor local business clueless gimps.

they couldn't organise 1 isdn line with 10 ddi, yet they figured they could offer us complex solutions. i think not.

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All of BT

All of BT Business is a shambles, and over the last year they've gotten significantly worse.

I can accept a fuck up as long as someone holds their hands up and goes "Sorry guv, this is what's gone wrong, we're sorry", rather than playing the blame game.

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Worded Badly

This is very poorly worded here.

BTLB staff are not being cut.

BT staff that support the BTLBs are the ones being cut.

BLTBs are all privately owned companies and Andy has no say over hiring and firing within those companies.

BTLBs are suffering just like everyother small business out there at the moment and this news story makes it look like it's the BTLBs are being chopped by Andy. This is simply not the case.

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Good news

When is the rest of the firm going?

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Figures

BT Local Business are in the office next door to me, and they spend most of their time laughing their heads off. This might convince them to actually do some work

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Redundancies

I am a BT employee. BT have a non-redundancy policy for staff. The lay-offs will come from contractors and agency staff.

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non-redundancy but "new start"

I know someone who works for BT and you're right, they have a non-redundancy policy for staff. Instead they have a policy, I think it's called "New Start", where they pay a hugely generous amount of money for excess staff to go away.

Off course they want to retain their best staff and lose their worst staff, so this hugely generous "New Start" package is only available to the worst performing staff in the office.

The consequence of this is that staff are practically fighting to be the worst performer in the office and hence get the big lump sum to walk away. This goes some way to explain some of the "service" levels you get from BT.

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Unhappy

Salesmen

Way back an idea was punted within BT to recruit techies from in house so as to cast a jaundiced but knowlegable eye over whatever the sales force was trying to sell.

Would it actually work? Would it be too costly to BT to implement versus the income from the contract. Could it be done easier & cheaper?

Of course it was squashed, too good an idea and very scary for the salesmen!!!!

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BT

"Lots of high value customers have left us... we haven't won enough back,"

Move into chocolate.

You'll do better there!

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No sympathy for BT

I had opportunity to complain to BT yesterday, as a Business customer I used to get priority service because I paid a higher line rental than for my domestic line, boy have things changed.

You are forced to pay your bill by Direct Debit if you don't you have to pay a £9 payment processing fee, yet I pay the money by electonic banking directly into their bank account. So there is no processing in fact they would be charged by their bank for processing a direct debit.

Now I paid my bill late last quarter as I was abroad, but you get charged a huge £15 for not paying within 4 days of the arrival of the bill (the date of arrival was stamped on the front of the envelope. So that is £24 of payment charged but it does not stop there. The line was put on incoming calls only but not cut off, this attracted a further £15 charge. That is a whopping £39 for paying my bill late.

Our quarlerly bill has been as high as £1800 but because I was abroad I had just £8 of calls which were credited because I have a £120 a quarter of free calls.

I then had to pay rental in advance of £57 odd pounds and some VAT.

Well I have paid my bill late before (even having outgoing calls stopped) and never had these charges, BT has made a change in my contract and not advised me of it. My real anger is that I have no means to complain.

I called billing, press all the buttons to say I wanted to make a complaint and got put through to a very rude woman in Singapore, she said she did not have the means to credit anything. I asked to be put through to a manager and was put through to BT sales in Sheffield, the chap I spoke to was a joker. He kept saying I hope you are having a nice day, what is the weather like and trying to wind me up. Eventually he said my complain could only be handled by billing, the very same people I had spoken to in the first place.

Now you might argue that I should just put the thing on direct debit and I might except that several years ago BT charged me £2600 for a quarterly bill on direct debit, the amount was fine but they took it 7 times and cleaned out my bank account. It took a month to get the money back and it caused all our other direct debits to crash. We incurred huge bank charges as a result so I am not keen on trusting BT with direct debit.

So now I want to move my number to another provider, problem is I have broadband on that line and although it is not with BT, I apparently need a BT line to stay with them and if I leave them there is a cessation charge. This is another charge that has been invented since taking out the contract, I never agreed to it and it too is a BT rip off.

The cessation charge is the very same thing as a connection charge, they charge two customers for the very same thing and it it is done by clicking a button on a mouse.

They say there is not a monopoly, yet this kind of structure enables BT to say PUT UP AND SHUT UP. Well I am going to move on principle, it will take me a few months to change my ISP but I am so furious that they do not give me the opportunity to deal with a customer services representitive.

I may well end up paying by direct debit but I will not give BT another penny. I have no sympathy for BT losing its local business. As far as I am concerned their name is crap they have no concept of customer service. They have to realise that there is a cost to the bottom line of outsourcing to rude people in foreign countries and giving them a script that just pisses people off.

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BT Local Business

I am an employee of a BT Local Business.

As any company will know, nine times out of ten, the only press worth printing, or the only comment people take the time to register is bad press and bad comments. How many sales companies have 100% customer satisfaction ? How many companies even bother about customer satisfaction or target themselves on it ? BT Local Business care about and are targetted on customer satisfaction.

My Local Business office prides itself on customer satisfaction and referral business. We have case references of very happy customers. Sweeping statements like some of the above dont do anyone any favours.

If one of our customers has a problem, then we try our level best to sort it out, either internally within the local business office or directly with BT.

Bear in mind we are a sales office, we actually employ customer service managers and account managers, we pay this cost ourselves, its not funded by BT. These are non-revenue generating people, employed to ensure customers are happy. If customer satisfaction wasnt important, why would we bother ? That said, you cant please all of the people all of the time, no matter how hard you try, or how much effort you put into doing so.

The cuts mentioned are indeed BT cuts and not LB, but they will have an affect, the levels of support we, as an LB have, will diminish, and I am gutted, absolutely gutted, for my colleagues and friends that have supported me for five years, that will probably find themselves out of a job, or put in the position where they have to take a job unrelated to their qualifications/experience in another part of BT, possibly in another part of the country.

Some people arent happy unless the whole world is a miserable as they are, and want to tear down the world. 'Why not get rid of 100% of them ?' Thats right, put another fourteen hundred people on the dole, fourteen hundred people not paying taxes, or contributing to the welfare of others. Makes a lot of sense doesnt it.

Sales people laughing ?? That has to stop, there will be no laughing in this country, dont you know there's a recession on ? Laughing whilst doing your job, shall, from this day forth, be punishable by death !

Amazing how anonymous people hide behind their PC's and think they can poison the world with their slanted view of the world, and their poisonous comments.

Me... I'm going into work tomorrow, I'm going to apply myself 110% to my job, I'm going to make one or more of my customer's lives easier with the raft of products I have at my disposal.

By the way, all BT local Business offices are more than happy for customers to visit their offices to find out exactly how we work. So dont take the comments of the few disgruntled people on here to be the norm, come and see us, see for yourselves, make your own mind up. There are forty nine offices, across the country, so theres bound to be one not too far from you.

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Forget BTLB

BTLB are a complete and total waste of space...the few I've had the misfortune to deal with never knew one end of a cat-5 from the other. Whoever came up with the idea of BTLB in BT should be sacked - it's a complete disaster and always was going to be.

So you're a customer with maybe an ISN30 or two and some analog lines and a couple of ADSL connections - what are your options

Option (a) Stick with BT proper where they have a clue (hmm not that's an option if you're account has been passed to BTLB

(b) put up with the rubbish service from BTLB where you get a max 5% discount of BT's retail tariffs, and not much care and attention to the needs of the customer. OK so there's the odd one or two like above that get it but they're generally clueless & wasters

(c) Move to an independent service provider - with the large-scale adoption of WLR3 by the SP's there's nothing really in land-line telecoms that BT retail can do that the SP can't, and as sure as eggs is eggs the distance between sales and provisioning, billing and account management in the SP is much shorter and more together than in BT. You might even be able to speak to the MD of the SP if you really needed too. Ok so they might not have access to the full range of BT retail products that the BTLB has, but frankly most of those you can get better/cheaperer/more effectively elsewhere..

Cut the cord to BT you'll get better service and cheaper pricing if you do...

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