the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects
Crime
reduction
 


Inward
investment
information
 


Licensee
Forum
 

Workforce development 

Transport
 

Business &
climate
change

Property &
Development sites

Business
Improvement
Districts

Housing
 

Strategy
 

Consultation opportunities
 

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton
business.co.uk

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 13 December 2012

BT: a national disgrace?

BT, providing business services to millions of UK customers, has decided to use Microsoft servers for its email service instead of its own. If Tony Mernagh's experience is anything to go by they could single-handedly tip the UK back into recession through the lost output they are causing. Web chat rooms are seething with disgruntled customers.

The first thing anyone knows about the transfer is an email from BT informing them that they are being migrated to ‘Office 365’ on an appointed day and asking them to log in and change their email settings. Anyone with 14 grams  of sense knows that emails purporting to be from BT telling people to log in and change anything are probably part of a scam. One can only assume that BT are unaware of scams of this nature and are probably surprised when millions of their customers don’t bother.

So on the appointed day you stop receiving emails and contact BT assuming there is a fault and they inform you that it really was an email from BT and tell you what to do. If you contact them using their online live chat facility they will even take over your computer and change all the settings for you. So far so good.

The problem for the Business Forum was that it had a number of domain names purchased via BT and hosted by them. Under the new server platform different email addresses using the domain all have to be the same type of email account and it happens to be the one that cost extra. Not entirely happy but I swallowed that and asked them to go ahead and upgrade the relevant email addresses.

In the course of trying to do this the BT operative discovered that the Business Forum is a ‘scenario F’ customer and upgrading wasn’t straightforward. Unable to explain what that meant she said I would have to contact a special team by telephone who would help.

I was prepared for the ‘death by options’ conversation with an automated voice and quite surprised when a real person answered the phone relatively quickly. I wasn’t even that put out when, despite having being given a long reference number for the problem during the live chat I had to go through the long-winded procedure of explaining it all again to someone for whom the reference number meant nothing.

The ‘someone’ said that he couldn’t help because only the special ‘scenario F team’ could deal with it. “Fine” I said, “give me their number”. Ah, no. That wasn’t possible. They have to phone you; they don’t have a number you can call. An appointed time was agreed two days hence. The time came and went but there was no phone call and I had to leave the office to go about the business that earns the money to pay BT [among others] and while I was out they phoned and left a message. They didn’t leave a phone number to call back because, of course, you can’t call them back. It’s not allowed.

So the next day I called the man who can pass on messages to the scenario F team in the absence of direct contact and he said they would call back within the hour but they didn’t. So I phoned the man again and he said they would call back the next day at 10.00 a.m. but they didn’t. So at 10.40 a.m. I phoned the man again and demanded that the mysterious [and unreliable] scenario F team phone back within the hour.

Well, with BT a customer can demand all they like but it doesn’t matter. They didn’t call back.

So I called the man again [of course it’s never the same man but let’s just call them all “the man” for the sake of brevity] and he was a bit more honest than the previous men. He admitted that the best they could offer was a call “sometime in the next 24 hours”. He was sympathetic when I complained that I couldn’t really sit by the phone for 24 hours waiting for a call especially since I had appointments that would take me out of the office for 10 of those 24 hours but there wasn’t anything he could do, it was “just the way that particular team worked”.

After nearly a week and three broken promises, the scenario F team called back a couple of hours later and talked me thorough a procedure that lasted 5 minutes but it will still require more phone calls and more guided tweaking before we are back to normal!

BT clearly thinks this is acceptable which is what makes it all so galling. The problem is one shared by many large corporations; basically there is no one from the very top of the organisation to the very bottom that takes any personal responsibility for the customer. They are just seen as income fodder to be inconvenienced at will.

And what really makes me shudder is that there are only two contenders to install the city’s superfast broadband for which we have just won £5m of funding from central government: BT and Fujitsu. And the latter have yet to win a single contract in other cities already in receipt of funding. Let’s hope that BT's scenario F team aren't involved in that project when it commences.


Read related items on:
Communications, IT and new media
Brighton & Hove Business Forum
British Telecom


Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


Headlines

15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors
15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs 11 December 2017
City Centre Vacancy Rates Drop Slightly From Sept 5 December 2017
Innovate UK Announces Sector Competitions in Manufacturing and Infrastructure Systems 5 December 2017
GDPR, steps to early compliance 1 December 2017
The 29th Sussex Business Awards 2017 Winners Announced 1 December 2017
Old tech gear? Give IT a new lease of life 29 November 2017
Driving for Better Business Campaign launches 29 November 2017
ARKA Funerals sponsor Burning the Clocks 2017 with 'In Memory' lanterns 27 November 2017
Govia Thameslink launches third consultation phase on once-in-a-generation timetable restructure 23 November 2017
Coast to Capital Launches Brighton Mainline Alliance 22 November 2017
Calling all UK companies that have transport, parking and commuting issues to address 15 November 2017
Start-up Challenge Business Competition Offering £10,000 Investment to Young Entrepreneurs 15 November 2017
IUK Announces £10 Million Innovation Loans Infrastructure Systems Funding Competition for UK SMEs 15 November 2017
Sussex Food and Drink Grand Finalists Celebrate Success 10 November 2017
Meaning conference confirms speaker line-up: breeding a new army of business activists 10 November 2017
Positive body image documentary screening at Hove school 8 November 2017
Material Practices: Painting and Printmaking at the University of Brighton - Private View 8 November 2017
Economic Partnership kick starts city strategy consultation 8 November 2017
GTR respond to positive ASLEF referendum result 7 November 2017
350th employer signed up to the Brighton & Hove Campaign 7 November 2017
Rampion announces £4 million community fund 6 November 2017
The First Gamification Conference comes to Brighton 3 November 2017
Shoreham Port Welcomes New Commercial and Operations Director 2 November 2017
Burning the Clocks launches Crowdfunder for 2017 2 November 2017
The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards are now open for Entries 31 October 2017
Brighton Based Paxton Open New Centre for Technology & Innovation 27 October 2017
Adventures in risk taking for high growth businesses 27 October 2017
Can your business benefit from offering a 'world of work' experience? 27 October 2017
The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour launches across the UK for its fifth year 24 October 2017
Business Networking & Case Study Visit with the Sustainable Business Partnership 24 October 2017
Could you use an Energy Saving Workshop? 17 October 2017
Peter Blake raffle raises £2,290 for Middle Street School 17 October 2017
AMEX named major sponsor of city's bike share scheme 16 October 2017
Ropetackle Business Friends scheme 4 October 2017
VIRGIN STARTUP MEETUP 'HOW TO TELL (SELL) YOUR STORY' 3 October 2017
BTN BikeShare: a successful first month 3 October 2017
PLATF9RM open at Hove Town Hall