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This morning I downloaded a bill from BT. On reviewing it, I saw that my direct debit payment for May had not been collected. I wasn’t sure whether this was BT’s fault or my banks, and so to check, i used the BT live chat system. The following is the text of the discussion.

My on-line question: ‘I’m looking at my latest bill which has led me to review my bank account. I note that my monthly direct debit  to BT for May has not been collected. Who’s at fault here, you or my bank?’

‘Mohd Khalid: Hello. I’m Mohd Khalid. Thanks for that information, I’ll check it and get back to you in a moment.
 Mohd Khalid: Hi Quintin
 Quintin Jardine: Yes
 Mohd Khalid: Quintin once the bill is generated it will take 14 days to be taken from the bank account.
 Quintin Jardine: I know that. My point is that last month’s bill  has not been collected and  is showing as unpaid on the bill I’ve just downloaded. I don’t like this and I want to know why it has happened.
 Mohd Khalid: Quintin have you paid your annual line rental saver amount?
 Quintin Jardine: Yes, on April 26.
 Mohd Khalid: Quintin your bill amount was take from your line rental saver and it will be carried forward to your next bill
 Quintin Jardine: I do not understand that. My line rental saver has nothing to do with my monthly bill. Simple question. Did you present a direct debit at the beginning of May?
 Mohd Khalid: Quintin, when ever you make a line rental saver payment , that months direct debit is not take from the bank account, its take from your line rental saver and later it is carried forward to you future bills and once you receive your next bill it will be very clear to you.
 Quintin Jardine: If last month’s payment is taken from my line rental saver account, why is it showing as unpaid on the bill I’ve just downloaded?
 Mohd Khalid: The bill was generated on 23 rd however you made payment of line rental saver on 26th if you make line rental saver within 14 days of bill generated, it will be take from your line rental saver and, prior to that you had an amount of 18.72 has been taken from the line rental saver, once you receive your next bill it will be very clear, Quintin
 Quintin Jardine: Mohd, it will not be clear. It will never be clear. It is idiotic, but I accept that BT is the idiot, not you. Thanks for your attempts to help.’


Categories: General
    May 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Good morning out of curiosity I checked my BT, not that its going to help, but!!! following my Line rental saver deduction my Direct debit was taken as normal. Did you have a moment to review the Audible description of ” Skinners Round”?
    Have a good weekend

  2. May 25, 2013 at 10:50 am

    As I say, it’s a mystery. Sure, I can see what they’ve done, but WHY?

    Just checked that Audible ref and have taken action. That said, it’s very difficult to have Amazon change any listings even when they’re bolloxed and since Audible is now owned by the monster, I fear it will be the same.

  3. May 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    You have my sympathy. I am a BT ‘phone, broadband and erstwhile BT Vision customer and stick with them as the service is good and reliable – and they ‘own the wires and exchanges’, but over the years their administration has verged on the nightmarish. Main problem is overseas helplines, but then I guess Scotland-based helpline operators sound strange to non-Scottish customers. My current problem is with a mobile telephone company. After cancelling my 24-month contract early and paying all money owed them I phoned the helpline (Indian) to check that my account had in fact been closed. The operator refused to answer my question and spent ages trying to retain me as a customer. Eventually, after warning him in advance, I hung up. A day or two later I received a letter from a PO Box number in Glasgow thanking me for staying with the company and detailing a new contract, which I most certainly had not authorised. I complained by snail mail to the Glasgow address and demanded written proof that I had no contract and owed no money. I received a response by telephone from India a few days ago and, hopefully, the problem will be resolved, but yesterday I received through the post a paper bill for the first month’s charge on my alleged new contract. (A paper bill, presumably because I had taken the precaution of cancelling that company’s direct debit authorisation).

    I add to your story because this situation is all too typical these days and I find myself regularly exasperated and frustrated as to what to do next. In the case of one problem with BT I wrote several letters (marked for his personal attention) to Warren Buckley, whose name appears on the letters you get from BT as Managing Director, Customer Service. I got no response until I wrote a letter saying I didn’t believe he actually existed and that resulted in a ‘phone call from a member of the team paid to protect him from the wrath of the customers. Believe me, having worked for a public utility for over 30 years, there is nothing more salutary than having to deal directly with an enraged customer who has been messed about by your organisation and perhaps that is a lesson more senior managers need to learn.

  4. Pat Wright
    May 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Direct Debit can metamorphise into stealing so darn easily that I never have, nor ever will, give my “pre signed checks”to anyone., I DID relent on direct deposit for convenience but find it frustrating to wait til the statement comes and be certain someone didn’t screw up!!

  5. Lesley
    June 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I left BT last month – had enough of them. I hope you get it sorted.

    • June 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      It’s sorted. I’m even taking their broadband service, because of BT Sport.

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