Makes a House a Home

Broadband, that is. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t felt quite settled in the new place and I’ve realised part of the problem is that I can’t spend the evenings curled up with a warm laptop browsing the internet. The dial up connection here is situated in the basement and anyway it just isn’t the same as having hot and cold running broadband wireless in every room of the house. Our old broadband provider had proved reasonably competent up till the point we moved and we’d heard horror stories about some of the bigger names so we decided to stick with the devil we knew, cancelled our old account and ordered a new one at the new address.

Big mistake.

The first problem was the cancellation. You would think, wouldn’t you that if a company specialised in providing a high-tech service like broadband that they’d keep their website up to date, particularly the part where they kept the forms you need to fill in to cancel your service and get a new one. Little things like changing the phone number so that when your other half faxes them the cancellation notice it wouldn’t disappear into a black hole but would actually get dealt with so that you and your other half don’t have to keep paying direct debit payments on an account they no longer can use because they no longer live in the flat. You would be wrong.

But that wasn’t the only problem

While I was struggling back from work just after moving in the other half got a call from the Previously Competent Internet Provider* that went like this:
PCIP: We have a problem with your account. BT says the phone number you’ve given us isn’t live
OH: which number?
PCIP: (reads out phone number)
OH: you mean the number you just rang to speak to me on now?
PCIP: er, yes.

The other half then rang BT who denied everything. The PCIP then said we would have broadband on the 20th. We waited. We tried again yesterday. Nothing. We rang the PCIP (‘calls charged at up to 10p a minute’) and were told to try again today. Today we got nothing except a stroppy letter complaining they hadn’t received our direct debit mandate yet, despite us having sent it already. We rang again (‘please choose from our menu of music while you wait for your call to be answered’). Ah. BT had cancelled the installation. Are we sure we hadn’t accidentally cancelled the wrong account by mistake? We were quite sure. Could they activate it anyway? No, but they would look into it tomorrow, and get it sorted out. Who am I speaking to? ‘Tom’

Hmmm… why do I not feel a sudden rush of confidence that they will deal with this matter with the same despatch with which they complained when our direct debit forms were a couple of days late in arriving? Answers on a postcard please. Meanwhile I’ve added a whole new category of disgruntlement to my blog so I can rant about these and other things at will. Enjoy.

* names disguised (for now) to spare blushes

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7 responses to “Makes a House a Home

  1. May be you should become Jerry and play with his whiskers?

  2. don’t know who you’re with, but I highly recommend Pipex … they don’t often get a mention in the press reviews, but I think they’re rather good (went to them when I gave up on BT for internet access, as too pricey, a friend having been with them for years).
    http://www.pipex.com and you can say I sent you ….

  3. I think that we could all blog endlessly about BT, ISPs and PCs for ever more and it wouldn’t be a happy read. I hope you get sorted out without much more ado, typed with fingers crossed.

  4. Olivia – that very disturbing image has troubled me all night.
    Claire – thanks for the tip. Embarassingly, I had recommended our PCIP to a couple of people a few weeks before …
    Flightbuff – you’ll find typing easier if you uncross your fingers 🙂

  5. Agreed, I’ve just started to use pipex, and so far very pleased, althouygh they are very quick off the mark about missing forms. Fotr some reason the bank has cancelled my dd mandate, so another one arrives with the enclosed “fill it out and send it back by yesterday or we’ll cut you off” letter.
    Give ’em a try, tell ’em Tube Dude sent you.

  6. hmm well the ISP have told me I’ll have broadband by Friday and if I don’t I think I’ll cancel them and get onto pipex. And if they don’t deliver I’m personally holding TubeDude and Clairehodgson responsible 😉

  7. I almost had the same problem with my dial-up connection. First there was this advertising that they were the best in the business and that if I could find a better offer after I signed a contract with them and then they are forced, by the contract to give all my money back. The nice thing is that I have found a nice wireless network that work better. I have tried out to my friend, but do you know what the company has said? That they can’t give my money back if I end the contract with them. So I have the two choices. I think I let the money go and get the wireless network.

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