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'Frustration after frustration' for businessman after BT broadband cut off

Friday, May 1st 2015 by Ellen Branagh

A businessman has hit out at BT after being left without broadband for more than 30 days after he was inexplicably cut off.

Will Rayner said he has been left with “zero” confidence in the telecoms giant after being unable to use his broadband for more than a month.

The project manager has phoned BT almost daily since he was cut off, but has suffered “frustration after frustration” while trying to get it fixed.

Mr Rayner, from Northleach, Gloucestershire, was happy with his standard broadband until 25 March, when it suddenly switched off for no apparent reason.

He spent hours on the phone to BT’s technical team, but they were unable to fix the problem and since then he said he has been “going around in circles” with daily calls.

A catalogue of frustrations include lengthy calls and problems with scheduled engineer visits, prompting him to have to leave work at a moment’s notice.

On one occasion, Mr Rayner was told an engineer was due to visit the local exchange, only to receive a call while he was at work 20 miles away saying the engineer was at his house.

“I had to drop everything at work and drive 20 miles to go home.

“He checked everything and then said it wasn’t a problem there and was probably at the exchange.”

But on another occasion, when he was expecting an engineer to return to his house, he received a message saying he had been to the exchange instead.

Mr Rayner said the mobile signal is patchy in Northleach, and at home his family barely get enough signal to make a call, let alone 3G or 4G, so without broadband they have no access to the internet.

'Zero' confidence

He usually works from home, using things like web-based conferencing and Voice over IP (VoIP) phone calls, so the lack of broadband means he now has to go into the office every day, he said.

“I’m driving an extra 40 miles a day to get into the office, but I’ve been told because it’s not a business account I wouldn’t get any compensation.

“We’re refurbishing our bathrooms and had booked the plumber to come on 8 May, but we were going to buy all the shower, sinks, toilets etc online which we can’t do, so we’ve had to change the date.

“All this isn’t taking into account the hours that I’ve spent on the phone to BT. It’s just frustration after frustration.”

Mr Rayner has contacted BT repeatedly, via phone and on social media, but nobody has managed to tell him what the problem is or give him a date it will be fixed.

The constant delays have left his confidence in BT at “zero”, he said.

“I have found their social media team have been helpful in trying to placate me but that’s all I feel they are doing.”

His problem was apparently escalated to the “Exec Team” last week, but it has made no difference, he said.

'No closer to a resolution'

On the latest visit on Tuesday, an engineer said he believed the problem was not at his house or the exchange, and needed to be dealt with by BT Wholesale. He was then told by the exec team that they were waiting for BT Wholesale to confirm a timescale for work.

Mr Rayner is now waiting for another update from BT.

“With such a company, I am staggered that after five weeks of pretty much daily contact and taking it right to the top, I'm still no closer to a resolution. It will be six weeks by next Thursday."

“Broadband is a lifeline to rural communities with no 3G/4G access so this has caused massive inconvenience.

“I really get the impression that they just haven't cared to investigate properly and just pass it to someone else instead.”

Mr Rayner said while it might be coincidence, Northleach is currently being switched over to superfast broadband as part of the Fastershire project, which covers Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, and speculated that that could be behind his problems.

Cable.co.uk contacted BT for a comment, but one had not been provided at the time of publication.

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