Attempts to communicate with customer service peons fail? Email the CEO!

After half an hour on the phone to the BT peons and getting nowhere, it appeared more drastic action was required. Most companies follow a standard naming convention for staff emails and BT is no exception – it’s quite easy to figure out what Ian Livingston’s email address is.

Subject: Fraudulent charges from BT (Ref **********)
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 17:29:07 +0000
From: Phil Bayfield
To: Ian Livingston

Dear Mr Livingston,

I am writing to you in regards to a letter I received this morning (Saturday January 30th) from a company called Wescot Credit Services Ltd, claiming that my company owes BT the sum of £1,699.09. The letter was marked as a ‘final notice’ however this was the first correspondence I have every received from anyone (including BT) regarding any outstanding balance, I suspect however that this may be a standard letter from this type of company intended to intimidate the recipient. I immediately connected Wescot to find out this was all about, initially thinking that it was some kind of identity theft, they were unable to provide me with any useful information and suggest I phoned BT, who they didn’t even have a number for. I then phoned 150 from my residential BT phone line and they were able to put me through to the business billing department. After a considerable amount of time left on hold I was eventually informed that these fees were for unpaid broadband usage and early termination charge, the customer services agent was unable to give me further information and apparently could not offer any further assistance as the matter was now with a debt collection agency. I asked to speak to a manager, however after waiting on hold for over half an hour I hung up the phone.

Sometime back in September I did contact BT requesting a new ADSL2 package for the phone number 01795 ******, it already had a business broadband line active in the name of another company at the time which was supposed to cease when the new package started. After a couple of weeks I then called again as I had heard nothing back from BT in regards to the new package, the sales team were unable to find the order on their system and placed the order for a second time. Several weeks went by, still no correspondence from BT so I assumed that the order had once again been ‘lost in the system’. As I was going to be moving within the next few weeks I decided not to pursue the order to avoid the hassle associated with moving both the phone lines and broadband (as I had previously been overcharged by £500 the last time I did this). Around 6 weeks after placing the order for the second time I suddenly started receiving emails from BT regarding the new account, I responded to the emails requesting cancellation and received responses back confirming the cancellation.

Here is part of the email confirming cancellation of the account on 2nd November 2009:

> Order number: 1135****
> Dear Mr Bayfield,
> This email is to confirm that your order for BT Business Total Broadband Option 2 ADSL2 Next Gen (up to 20Mb) on 01795****** has been cancelled.

As much as I would like an explanation of how it is possible that usage charges of a service which was never activated or used plus apparent early termination charges can equate to the equivalent of 4 1/2 YEARS of usage on this particular tariff, I would much rather this situation were rectified as soon as possible.

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely,
Phil Bayfield


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