Thursday, 30th June, 2022

[Day 836]

I always suspected that today might be a fraught day and so it proved. First of all, I got onto my internet provider to ask why my BT line had been disconnected after the super fibre cable was installed yesterday, Ominously, I had received a terse one line email which I read on my iphone to tell me my BT service had been cancelled. My internet provider said it was nothing to do with them so contact BT. This I did on about three or four separate occasions because each time I was out on hold the line seemed to go dead. To add to my frustrations, every time I was handed from one department to another (which happened frequently) I had to go through the procedures of validating who I was with a clutch of security questions. Eventually, I was told that the number I have had for nearly 15 years has been cancelled as of yesterday and cannot be retrieved. Eventually, I asked to speak to the operative’s manager who happened to be a lot more sympathetic. She indicated that something had gone badly wrong in the whole transaction beween the internet provider and BT and she would attempt to sort it out for me but it should take some time. She arranged to phone back at 3.00pm but no call came but eventually it transpired she was in a meeting so her manager had tried to take over the case. In the meantime, BT asked me to get onto my internet provider to find out what had happened. It seems that the information I was given – that I could take out a fibre plus contract and keep my BT landline was incorrect and I should never have been told this in the first place. Eventually, I landed up speaking to someone in the Contracts department who confirmed that I had been given the wrong information and I could therefore leave the contract with no penalty (or so they are saying at the moment) Eventually, I put to the manager’s manager in BT that the situation could be resolved if both broadband and the phone line could be moved onto in its entirety to BT. We are working on this as a viable option, we think, but BT are having to check whether the number taken away from me can be retrieved (even though I was told that it could not be) and for a contract price which is in the same ballpark as I am paying at the moment. We are having to wait until tomorrow to see what the final situation might be but there is an acknowledgement that the whole thing has been handled badly with mis-communication and wrong information supplied. In the next day or so a router will arrive from my present internet supplier which will have to be sent back and I will then have to wait for a BT router to be delivered and then installed. I have a feeling that this whole episode might go on for days yet but there is a glimmer of resolution – tomorrow we shall see. Altogether I was on the phone for about 2 and a half hours, constantly kept on hold, tarnsferred from department to department, told that it was a complicated case and so on and so forth. My feeling is that if everything in with one supplier (BT) this might be avoided in the future – but there is still an element of doubt whether my discontinued number can be retrieved. As is happens, there is a programme on Channel 5 tonight detailing how terrible cutomer service is in the UK these days with massive ‘holding’ waits whilst a few over-whelmed staff try to deal with thousands of disgruntled customers – but I cannot bring myslf to watch it, being right in the middle of it so to speak.

After lunch we had our hairdresser turn up to give Meg a perm and a regular haircut for myself.I was telling our hairdresser my tale of woe and she told me of a similar one where she is trying to open a bank account for her mother but is having to turn up (early in her own business hours) only to make an appointment for another time in the working day (when she will lose income if she attends) I wonder how businesses are going practically bankrupt because the companies with which they have to deal (banks, utility companies) are giving them such a run around and not solving problems when the businesses themselves are trying to make a living. We might see, of course, say welcome to post-pandemic UK where I am sure these sorts of sorry stories can be multiplied.

More sequelae from the overturning of Roe v Wade in the US Supreme Court last week. In Kentucky and in Florida, judges have been petitioned and have at least temporarily put a halt to the automatic ban on abortions that Kentucky and Florida were due to impose. This may well happen across the country as many civil rights groups are petitioning their own state legislatures across the country. What an unholy mess!