Reply to post:

Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Tom -1

I currently spend half my time in Spain, and use Telefonica(Movistar) for my land-line and broadband there. If I have a fault, I call them (using my mobile if I can't make calls with the land line). They answer, quickly - no ringing for ages, no silly music and "your call is important to us, an operative will speak to to you as soon as possible" recorded messages) and someone discusses the problem with me, passes me on to an engineer who attempts on-line diagnostics (and can sometimes fix the fault there and then). An engineer arrives either the same working day or before noon the next day and fixes the problem: if it's some idiot has cut through the line while doing some building modifications just down the road the engineer patches it, if it's my router playing up the engineer installs a new one, and so on. Before he goes away, the engineer checks that everything is working and has me check it and confirm it's ok. If I say yes it's ok, he leaves and reports completion to Telfonica. An hour or two later I will get a call from Telefonica to check that the problem is fixed - that the repair is reliable so far and hasn't broken down. There is of course no charge for this, and no threat to charge me if I call in a fault and it turns out to be mine. I pay about the same per month for my line and broadband access as I pay BT, installation was free (no charge at all, unlike BT), the router is supplied free and replaced (and upgraded) when broken or becoming obsolete (BT charges for routers and router upgrades, of course), all my calls to Spanish landline numbers are free (BT charges me for weekday calls), I have a substantial discount on international calls covering countries I call, not the whole world (so that it costs me less to call the UK from Spain than vice versa) and I can ask for the line to be temproraily disconnected now and again and pay no charge at all during disconnected periods (which are mulitples of a whole month) so if i'm going to be in Britain for a while and none of the family will be using my Spanish house I can have Telfonica disconnect it (and when I ask them to reconnect it is done within one working day), which I've done a couple of times (twice I've done this for a six month period, so in those two years I got a better service from Telefonica than from BT but Telefonica charged me only half what BT did).

The contrast between Telefonica's treatment of customers and BT's treatment of customers is pretty amazing. It's a pity BT can't be required to provide teh standard of service that I get from Telefonica.

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