Not that I'm implying I pushed him over the edge, but quite funny this happened 12 hours after I emailed Steve Robertson the below (and CC'd in Ian Livingston, a number of Openreach, BT Retail and BT Group exec's, OFCOM, Otelo, TalkTalk and BBC Watchdog).
Got a reply from most exec's and 3 calls from Ian's PA!!!
I apologise for contacting you directly, however due to the stubborn nature of Openreach refusing to talk to the public and their poor customer service to communications providers I have exhausted all other avenues of interaction.
After ordering a phone line into a newly converted flat (1st floor, above an estate agents) that has an existing linebox installed with my LLU provider of choice – TalkTalk – back in November I was hoping to have ADSL within a few weeks – maybe a month at most.
4 months of talking to TalkTalk has resulted in nothing other than two Openreach engineers onsite – unannounced - back in November. I wasn’t there so I have no idea what they did or said, and I can’t find out as I can’t talk to Openreach. TalkTalk escalated my request with Openreach no less than 6 times in the 4 months I waited for a new line to be connected. Eventually I gave up and cancelled my order under the advice of TalkTalk(!), thinking that maybe it’s just TalkTalk who are being amazingly poor at delivering communications. As such I contacted BT Retail for a new line instead. This was in January.
As you can probably guess by now, I still do not have a line. No less than 5 appointments have been made with Openreach, none of which have actually resulted in an engineer being at my premises. The latest date from BT Retail is the 28th of March.
My original request was that on the 5th November 2010 I have a line installed with TalkTalk being my provider. (This is still my provider of choice – but been denied so far due to Openreach. How competitive!)
So far I’ve been told that I may have a line by 28th March 2011 with BT Retail. Maybe.
Obviously I was overly ambitious to assume that a multimillion pound business whose sole purpose is to provision and repair the local loop would be able to provision me 2 copper wires in under 5 months. I guess I’m just an optimist.
Anyway, I appreciate you are a busy man, and I doubt very much that this message will even reach the ‘complaints’ or ‘service delivery’ department knowing the chaotic mess that is in my experience Openreach; so far both professionally and in my recent personal engagements. (I work as the Infrastructure Manager for a multimillion pound company so have the pleasure of dealing with C&W, NTL/Virgin and of course Openreach)
Therefore whilst actually getting a copper pair between my flat and the exchange (0.35km away) would be a bonus (as proud guardians of the ‘last mile’ I’m sure you have your top people on it already), the purpose of this email is to notify you of a small publicity campaign that we’re planning regarding BT – Openreach and BT Group (just so I don’t miss anyone out).
I’m in discussions with a radio station based in my region that covers West Norfolk. After speaking to a friend that works there, as well as someone else I know that works in the office of my regional newspaper (Lynn News) we are planning on a competition, where listeners (135,000 population coverage according to the radio station) / readers can place ‘bets’ on if my line will be active on the 28th March. All proceeds will be going to Comic Relief of course (officially it’s a donation) – but as this will be generating some publicity I thought only fair to advise you.
As I’ve already taken 5 days off work for non-existent engineer visits my company is allowing me to take the 28th off work as a community day, and we’re already planning on having a photographer from the Lynn News with me in case by some miracle I actually get a working line! How exciting!!
Obviously an article will be written regardless, but I thought it would be only fair to offer you the option of placing a donation. For or against? I’ve put five pounds in myself as a for – but that’s my optimism again!!
Naturally I’ll be CC’ing this to Otelo, OFCOM, BBC Watchdog and anyone I can find for BT and for TalkTalk / CPW. I have obviously already raised a complaint with Otelo (Ref: 656884) and OFCOM. If it takes more than another few weeks I’ll try the angle that Openreach isn’t fulfilling its Universal Service Obligation with Otelo to see if that will make a difference. Whilst I realise I can’t do much damage to Openreach – due to the HUGE lack of choice people like me actually have – I can try my hardest to remove or prevent as much business going into BT Group as possible. It won’t be much, but it will make me happy. The first step will be moving our multiple ISDN30 circuits and leased lines from BT to Virgin Media. We have NTL fibre running along our road so I’ll ensure our company has no ties at all to BT. (Both Retail and Openreach) After that it’ll obviously be a case of getting as many people as possible to move to LLU providers, badmouth BT and if they have VM fibre get them to move ASAP. I know of 20 SME’s that will move as I provide their IT services for them. If it loses any part of BT Group just £1,000 I’ll be a happy man. (Which it will, just by my company moving supplier)
You may be interested in a rather enlightening article I found regarding an engineers opinion of the business you run, although it is rather old now. http://myreader.co.uk/msg/14146904.aspx It echo’s my own personal and professional experience of Openreach... it’s not the engineers (they are generally rather nice chaps doing a reasonable job), but the red tape laden backoffice staff that royally screw things up for everyone.
Yours, unbelievably annoyed,
BT VOL Ref