Lambros Petrou
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit!" — Aristotle

[Closed] BT Broadband in London - Fault Story 2017

15 days ago (as of day of writing) my broadband connection stopped working, no internet access and the BT hub enterred an infinite loop of rebooting staying for 1-2 minutes at each of its stages (Green, Orange, Blue).

My connection provider is BT and I have the BT Infinity 1 package. I have to say that for 15 months it worked perfectly, but now that we have a problem it is obvious that BT has the worst customer support ever. I am not necessarily talking about the support agents themselves though. In every interaction with them, they were trying to help me or see what is the issue (although everybody was trying the same things over and over again). I am talking about their ability to respond quickly to customer facing issues, especially when the problem is going on for 2 weeks (and as you will read later, 3 weeks and counting).

Storyline

Below there is a detailed timeline of every event and communication occured.

04-02-17

First day of the problem with the broadband connection. It started disconnecting during the afternoon and finally went completely offline in the evening. I decided to wait until the next day to report it thinking that it is due to an issue in the area, so I wanted to see if it would be fixed by next day.

The issue was that the modem-hub kept restarting, and even during the few periods of time that it was stable, the connection was not online (device can connect to it but without internet access). Smartphone and laptop as test devices, one on WiFI and the other on Ethernet.

05-02-17

  • Call in the morning to report the problem. Agent does some tests (~20 minutes on the line), cannot find an issue on the line.
  • Support agent decides it’s a faulty hub, so he arranges for a replacement to come on Monday (06-02-17).

06-02-17

  • Stay home to receive the package (arrives in the morning).
  • Install the new hub but same situation.
  • Call support again and tell them the problem again. They do the same tests but no further results.
  • They arrange for an engineer to come next Thursday (09-02-17 - which was the soonnest they could book).
  • They tell me that if the problem was with a disaster or failure in my house and not BT’s fault I would be charged £120 (OK, fair enough as long as you get the internet fixed).
  • I receive a confirmation SMS for the appointment while speaking with the agent.

08-02-17

  • I receive an SMS on Wednesday stating that BT suddenly found a problem in the area (although everything seemed fine before), and they should fix the issue by Friday (10-02-17) midnight so they have cancelled my appointed engineer.

10-02-17

  • As a good customer I wait until midnight and then restart everything, try to connect, but no luck!
  • Problem still continues but I decide to wait one day to make sure changes are propagated and everything is reset.

11-02-17

  • Problem still goes on, although they said it would be fixed (and cancelled the engineer).
  • I call support again, explain all over again the whole story, going through the same things, same tests, same results.
  • They cannot do anything so they arrange another engineer for next Thursday again (16-02-17). It is amazing that the only available times were next Thursday!
  • They tell me again about the cost charges!
  • They offer that they will put a discount on the next bill for the period without connection (see below the outcome)
  • I haven’t received the confirmation SMS and I ask the agent if the appointment is set correctly and she says yes.

15-02-17

  • The day before the engineer was supposed to come.
  • I call them around 21:00 to confirm the appointment and the time the engineer is coming the next day to make sure I am not staying home from work for no reason.
  • The appoinment slot was confirmed to be from 08:00 to 13:00.

16-02-17

Read this day carefully, it has lots of good stuff!

  • I stay home from 08:00-13:00. Nobody comes, nobody calls me, and of course No internet connection!!!
  • At 12:45 I decided to contact them through chat this time.
    • I chat with an agent for a total of 15 minutes.
    • I ask for the status of the appointment, where is the engineer, can they contact him?
    • The agent answered that the engineers went to work onsite at their exchange site and she cannot communicate with them. But in case they will come to my property they will contact me 1 hour before-hand.
    • Of course, I am getting angry, since what she tells me means I will have to wait for at least another 1+ hours if they call me now.
    • I state the obvious, that they should contact me about the status and that they are running late for whatever reason and that I should wait for longer. The woman again said they were working to fix the issue but she could not verify about the progress. I get pissed off, and she calls me on my phone, and forwards me to a superior.
  • I now talk with the superior and the fun part kicks in!!!
  • She tells me that some hot-shot genius engineer fixed a problem on their exchange site 2 days ago (13-02-17) and closed the ticket as resolved since he imagined that this would fix my problem. WITHOUT CONTACTING me to cancel the appointment or even confirming that the problem no longer exists. Also, the support agent I talked the day before confirmed my appointment although the issue was resolved internally. Moreover, the agent I was just chatting with, was telling me that the engineers are currently working on the issue! Talk about internal communication and issue tracking!
  • I get outrageous, the woman reopens the ticket (creates a new one actually), apologizes, and offers a discount for the next bill (again).
  • She says that the original engineer supposed to come this week (the second one) had set originally that the issue should be fixed by Friday (17-02-17) midnight. So I will have to wait until then to see if the issue is resolved.
  • At this point I start to feel that these dates are not random, Thursdays for next appointment, suddenly cancelled and when you call there is always a fix on Friday midnight. Then you call during the weekend and the next engineer is available only next Thursday again. Weird!!!

17-02-17

  • Problem of course still goes on, no internet connection.
  • At 00:00 I disconnect the hub and the phone line until the morning to make sure everything is reset again.

18-02-17

  • I try to connect around 09:00 after replugging in the hub and connecting the phone line. Same problem, same story.
  • I try the old hub, before the replacement, same thing.
  • Let’s call the nice support once again.
    • Waiting in line for ~20 minutes for their usual checks.
    • This time, he reports that there have been 11 phone line drops from their side in the last 28 days and that he will talk with the engineering team, while I had to stay on the line. What kind of tests did all the agents do before, that didn’t show any issue at all???
    • He cannot do anything from his side. He books a different engineering team this time to solve the issue and tells me to wait until the next Saturday (25-02-17). I also cannot get notified for any progress during the week so I just need to be checking and contacting them to see the status of the issue.
    • He tells me some settings that he thinks are wrong with my hub (both of them surprisingly), I test them but same result, no internet connection, hub keeps restarting.
    • Total duration of the phone call 1 hour.
    • At this point, I ask what is the procedure to cancel my account. Surprisingly, I need to wait for a 3rd week so that they have information (report from the new engineering team) that they did everything they can to fix the issue and they cannot.
  • In addition, this month’s bill just arrived, and surprisingly there is no discount at all! I can understand that since the issue is still ongoing they haven’t processed anything, but still!

25-02-17

  • Another engineer came at the flat on Monday (20-02-17) and supposedly fixed the issue by moving the router to another port, blaming the cable we used. The internet worked for 2 hours after he left and then again the connectivity was lost, forever!
  • We did not do anything else during this week and on Saturday morning, the internet started working again. Nobody knows the root cause of the problem and nobody understood how it got fixed!
  • The discount for almost a whole month without internet was £6, what a joke!!!

As of 01/05/17

The internet still works so I consider the issue resolved. I just wish there was a reliable wireless broadband to offer stable 4G connectivity and I would never fiddle again with this nonsense and companies that just want customer’s money!