Sign up with BT? I don’t think so

I’m moving into a new house next week. I’m doing this, along with my two housemates, because our landlady has sold the house we’re in. As much as we like this place, we’re having to shift.

Not to worry, our new place is really nice. I’ve got this great attic room and the whole house has been redecorated and refurbished with some pretty decent furniture.

The only things we have to sort out ourselves are the phone, internet access and TV. I’d seen the adverts for BT Total Broadband on the telly and was instantly intrigued. 8MB Broadband, a free wireless router and IP phone for £26 a month – seems great!

Naturally I’d need to get the phone line connected, so that would be an additional cost of £11 a month. There’s a sky dish already installed so we’d be able to get the Entertainment Mix for £21 a month. £58 a month in total.

Unfortunately there was another cost that BT suggested might be payable. The phone line would need to be reconnected and tested at a potential cost of £129. £129! I bloody well think not! Naturally I enquired of the young lady on the sales line why this might need to be paid – she said that as the line was already ceased (from when the owner lived there) that there’s no guarantee that the line would work.

The thing is, being a telecomms engineer I know how much bullshit this is. They may have to repatch our line into some distribution frame somewhere but the rest of the connection is all done by various BT systems. They can test the line from the comfort of their own office without having to get their fat arses out into the open air. Even if the line is broken, why the hell should I have to pay for it?

Naturally I declined their kind offer and have now signed up for a cheaper option from NTL. OK, NTL haven’t got the best service in the world, but my current connection is with them and I’ve had few complaints about them so far. I’m going to get 4MB Broadband, free evening and weekend calls (with itemised billing) and the Family Pack for £51 a month. As far as I can see they’re not going to charge for installation!

We’ll see how wise this decision is, but I’m buggered if I’m going to fork out for unnecessary costs.

  1. BT are so bad at only offering the top price for a reconnection. I can understand why they would say £129 when 9/10 times it’s only the basic £30 or even free for a reconnection, afterall they can’t quote less and charge more. But surely they have the technology to tell if your line is working and fine and can then give you a more accurate price on the reconnection?

    A friend of mine once called BT to connect the line in her flat and was quoted £120 for a line installation when the BT box and line was already there!

    I never had a problem with NTL and I was with them for about 18 months. Even moving across the city was fine, they came and installed a new line for me, and cancelled my broadband before the 12 months were up with no extra cost.

  2. Aye, it’s spectacularly easy for them to test the line. If they want the custom they should be doing this for free rather than quoting such large numbers at people – you’d think they’d have learned by now.

    The NTL package is actually cheaper than BT/Sky combined so I’m happy to go with that. I should be able to rig up the wireless stuff myself. NTL do seem to have improved quite a bit over the years, though their reputation for poor customer service will plague them for a while longer I think.

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