I live in rural Derbyshire and have been trying to get broadband installed since July last year. Since placing the order, I have received every excuse in the book from BT as to why my installation cannot go ahead.
My near neighbour has a broadband service, but it appears that there is a problem with the pole in the road and it must be replaced. I took another call yesterday to learn that BT has just delayed installation by a further six weeks to March. That will be almost nine months since I placed the order – if it goes ahead. I have a very poor mobile signal which makes doing any work at home very difficult.
The irony is, I have been promised £5.04p a day compensation for BT not connecting me, plus £25 each time it failed to attend. So far, I estimate it owes me over £800, a huge waste of money, which will no doubt end up being paid by other customers.
BT was one of the first firms to sign up to the Ofcom compensation scheme in 2019, which was launched to introduce financial disincentives to broadband firms for failing to connect customers.
However, it clearly hasn’t worked in your case – £800 is an awful lot of compensation, but then it has been a very long wait.
I asked both BT, your supplier, and Openreach, which manages the network on all the telecoms providers’ behalf, for an explanation, and Openreach has now got its act together. It blamed the delays on the fact that the work wasn’t properly flagged internally as a priority.
“We’re extremely sorry for the time it’s taken to connect NM’s broadband. Such a lengthy delay is inexcusable but extremely rare.
“We’re carrying out a detailed investigation to learn from this and prevent it happening again. In the meantime, we’ve replaced the pole and his broadband service has been connected,” it says.
BT, the firm with which you have the contract, and the one responsible for paying the compensation (presumably reclaimed from Openreach) says: “We’re sorry for the delay. We’ve been working closely with Openreach to get him connected and have been keeping [NM] regularly updated. His broadband has been installed and we’ve provided compensation to make up for the delay.” You are just happy to be finally connected.
We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions