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BT customer 'losing thousands' as she waits for broadband

Monday, January 23rd 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A BT customer claims the company has cost her thousands of pounds in lost earnings because of its failure to install broadband at her barn conversion.

Laura Harcourt, who runs a holiday lettings business, says she can’t rent out the property without internet access and has now missed the lucrative holiday season.

Ms Harcourt, 52, ordered a phone line in November after finishing the conversion on her farm near Honiton in Devon – but nearly three months later is no closer to actually getting a service installed.

That’s despite multiple phone conversations with BT and numerous appointments missed by engineers.

“Every interaction with BT is a nightmare, you can’t get anywhere,” Ms Harcourt told Cable.co.uk.

“If you ask any questions they don’t like, they just put the phone down.

“I contacted BT in November and an engineer was booked to do a survey on 14 December, but didn’t turn up.

“Three days later they were meant to fit the line so I waited in, but again no-one turned up and there was no notification, no email, nothing.”

Ms Harcourt said the lack of movement from BT is affecting her financially as she has been unable to start marketing the property.

“You can’t rent out a high-end barn conversion without wi-fi. It’s stifling my business.

“The barn could have been rented out for £1,000 a week – more over Christmas – so BT have cost us thousands in lost earnings. But there is no choice of supplier, they’ve got a monopoly.”

'Back to square one'

An engineer did finally arrive last week, but said the job was more difficult than first thought.

Ms Harcourt said BT had originally told her husband that installing a phone line in the barn would be a simple job because there was already a spare line running to the property.

“Turns out there isn't [and] they would have to bring a new line from the village.

“The engineer therefore left without doing anything. A survey should have been carried out in advance. It wasn’t. So we are back to square one.”

Ms Harcourt has also found out that when a new line is eventually installed, it is unlikely to achieve speeds of more than 2Mbps – the minimum speed the government says should be universally available.

“It appears our house is at the end of the line from the village. So it’s unlikely BT will improve our download speeds as this would take investment.

“I am at the end of my tether, as well as the end of the line.”

BT has been approached for comment.

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