2007-12-07

More BT: Reasonable people might ask, WTF?

Today was spent in constant contact with BT, which does not imply that contact with anybody else has been made possible. The story: on Tuesday, I am promised that service will certainly begin on Wednesday, a mere four weeks from the time when the order was placed. On Wednesday, the service does not begin. On Thursday, your humble correspondent sends an angry note to his friend at BT requesting a joint effort to prevent intervention by Ofcom (the question of why regulatory agencies in this country have all borrowed their names from cheesy Margaret Atwood novels may be addressed at some other time). Later in the day a promise is offered that the situation will be addressed sometime before your humble correspondent bids farewell to a drooling senility. On Friday morning, your humble correspondent is told that service may already have begun -- it has not. He is then told that engineers have located a fault somewhere in the distribution network and that the problem will be repaired without an engineer having to be let into his home. He decides that there is no point in waiting at home, and so heads off to the office. On the way out the door, there is an engineer having to be let into his home. He does his mumbo jumbo, leaves, comes back again, does some more mumbo jumbo, and assures your humble correspondent that although his number has been changed, he should have service now. The existence of a dial tone appears to confirm these claims. Your now enthusiastic correspondent tries to call his wife and daughter -- no such luck. He tries to call his own office to see whether the line is working -- no such luck. He tries to call his own number from the mobile to see whether it rings -- no such luck. He calls his friend at BT again, we will see.

Working hypothesis: belatedly picking up the spirit of rebranding that once led a previous government to try to remove from the landscape every single pretty thing, BT has decided to repackage itself as the one-act play that Franz Kafka never wrote.

6 comments:

Owen said...

Welcome to the world of post-denationalisation. The joy of living in this country is discovering the extraordinarily intense pleasure to be enjoyed when something works first go or doesn't have to be returned and argued over.

Whatever you do don't place your faith in regulatory authorities. They're stopovers for keen young things preparing themselves for a nice job in industry. So their natural inclination is to regulate the irritating consumer who tries to get in the way of their complex ritual of shadow-boxing with prospective employers.

What's the next saga you're planning after BT?

Aleksandar said...

Is it not possible to get telephone service (or especially internet service) from someone else other than BT?

Eric Gordy said...

Yeah. I'll try another day or so to see whether they can get it together. If not, I'll drop it entirely.

Yakima_Gulag said...

I certainly would, Franz Kafka constructed worlds of perfect logic, and even convenience compared to this. This is everything they used to say stank about Soviet Communism without any of the perks!

Eric Gordy said...

Returned from my weekend with friends to find a working phone! Still no internet, but it now seems possible that this nightmare may end.

Aleksandar, it seems the answer to the question is yes and no. There are other providers, but BT owns all the lines, so if they do not maintain them then the other providers cannot help either. What I was thinking of doing is getting mobile internet, a little device that works like a modem and that you stick into the USB slot on the computer. Maybe this is what I should have done in the first place and avoided the whole nightmare. But it seems this business will work out, and ought to be less expensive in the end. Assuming there are no nasty surprises.

I'm thinking Owen is right, the basic problem is bad regulation. What I hear about Ofcom is that at best they do the scheduling for companies that won't do their own.

Owen said...

Delighted to hear you've had one of those little moments of intense pleasure!