Friday, July 13, 2007

13 July: Customer Service?

Phone bill from BT - it's actually very small, as most of our communication is done by computer or mobile phones.

Now they are charging us £4.50 a quarter to pay by cheque.

I always pay the bill promptly, usually by return of post, and they never have to send us a reminder. But we don't pay by Direct Debit, which they prefer, as they can take what they want when they want. It's our money - we prefer to control it ourselves. And if we pay bills individually, it makes sure we know exactly what we are paying. Old-fashioned, but then being clear of debt is. And do they get the Direct Debit payments anyway when people have no funds in the account?

But now they see a way to penalise us, good quiet customers that we are. So they whack on a charge that is over 10% of our actual bill.

And the argument that chasing bad payers is expensive for them won't wash either - that cost is already built into the charges.

Other utilities we deal with - gas and electricity - give us a small discount for prompt payment. Much better customer service than charging you extra for totally unjustifiable reasons .

If we didn't need the land line for the computer, we would stop dealing with BT straight away.


KAZ said...

I was leaving Sainsbury's yesterday and noticed a big sign saying 'no cheques accepted in this store after August'.

Like you I only need the land line for the broadband - is there an alternative?

Murph said...

I've had a deep loathing of BT for decades. In many areas you can get your line rental elsewhere (Tiscali etc) but sadly not in rural Norfolk yet.

If they didn't spend all their ad budget trying to create a 21st Century Oxo family that would be a start.

Murph said...

It may be worth a look but if you don't use your landline for calls much it won't be worth it.

stitchwort said...

Checked out the Sky's advertised see, speak, surf thing - needs a BT line, for which presumably you have to pay BT. (And there's virtually nothing we'd want to watch on sky)

The other snag is that we use a Mac, and many of the ISPs don't seem to support Mac. We used to be with Tiscali when the PC was connected to the Internet.

Have to shrug and think of it as part of the cost of the Internet.

Z said...

There are alternatives tp BT line rental - have a look here

Otherwise, if you went for an all-inclusive package with all calls (except maybe for international ones), a direct debit might be acceptable as it would be for a specific amount.

I, like the view said...

dear stitch

thank you for entering my competition, please come and collect your prize at your convenience!


I, like the view said...

(oh and BT are rubbish, as are Sainsburys)(IMHO)

stitchwort said...

z and iltv - thank you.

KAZ said...

By coincidence I found out today that Virgin do cable internet without a line rental. At the moment it's £10 per month. I'm going to try it and use my mobile for phone calls.

Granny J said...

Apparently there's been a big drop in the number of checks written in the States because of direct payment from one's account. Can't say as I like the idea. As for problems with phone companies-- one of those universals, tho we do have the option of cable for the internet (without having to subscribe to the video service.)