BT Infinity Dates Rolled Back for the Last Time!
If you’re reading this because you’re peeved that BT have pushed back your activation date for Infinity another 3 months, then I have some good news for you!!
After myself and 14 others complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, the ASA Council reached an adjudication in a complaint against BT Advertising Dates Upholding the complaint.
What Does this Mean?
Well for starters, to clarify it doesn’t mean you’re going to get BT Infinity any sooner!
But what it should mean is that BT should only advertise dates if they correspond to actual scheduled plans.
This should put an end once and for all to the practice of advertised dates being rolled back 3 months again and again.
What that means is that you should be able to go to the BT Infinity site, check to see when your line is enabled and confidently believe that the date they provide is accurate, as according to that recent ASA Ruling the dates must now correspond to scheduled plans.
Well, for myself at least this has been rather a long battle with BT, and this is not the first time the ASA have told them to do something, so I still do remain a tad cynical.
It all started with a telephone call to BT Customer Services, who wrote me a nice letter, promising a date in writing – which they didn’t deliver.
It’s a very long story! – click here for the details
Since then, I’ve had conversations with the BT Press Office, who were nice enough, also telling me dates – which weren’t delivered
I even wrote an email to the CEO of BT, Ian Livingston and got a response from him, but I’m afraid he seemed rather dismissive and just said that the dates provided were a “best ESTIMATE”
After that I complained to the ASA (for the first time) who upheld the complaint and made an agreement with BT to ensure that either:
a) no date is listed
b) any final dates lists are correct and have been confirmed
c) working dates will be clearly marked as provisional only and the ad will make clear that the date could well be subject to change
In response to that, BT changed the words on the BT Infinity web site from:
“When can you get it”
“Earliest you COULD get it”
But that’s the only visible change they made – In my eyes that did not live up to the agreement made with the ASA
So I wrote back to Ian Livingston, to express my concerns, he passed me on (or perhaps fobbed me off!) to (poor old!) Mr Mauro Mortali who is the Fibre Broadband Programme Director
Mr Mortali was all too keen to point out that dates advertised are “indicative and subject to change” but didn’t really get to grips with the finer points of what was agreed with the ASA, although he was also kind enough to investigate the issues of my own particular cabinet although we had a small dialogue via email, here’s an abridged version of that discussion:
MM: The Fibre is not laid between the exchange and Cab 7
Me: That’s seems a bit strange thing to say as I took a picture of the Fibre being laid in 2011 (see image to right!)
MM: (Ignoring the image) There are Gas Works in the village causing delays
Me: The Gas Works were completed months before you wrote this and were at least quarter of a mile away from the cabinet and exchange
MM: (Ignoring the gas job completion date and location) The job has not been completed owing to gas being detected, but that’s resolved. However, now there’s a Highways Embargo, but work should be able to complete on January 6th
Hmmmm, that seemed a tad unlikely to me as the cabinet is right on the High Street, doesn’t seem to be airtight, so I’d have thought that passing members of the public would have “detected” any gas long before BT would.
As for the “Highways Embargo” – this also seems unlikely since there are other highways works going on in the village, so I’m checking with the local council about that one.
But I get the sense that anything else I sent to him disproving his points would be equally ignored, at this point it’s feeling quite a lot like just a collection of excuses that Mr Mortali has passed on to me.
I don’t blame Mr Mortali for this incorrect information, but I do feel that somewhere in the loop somebody is telling him a few porkies for some reason and it’s probably about time somebody in BT investigated that before somebody’s pants caught fire!
It’s also worth pointing out that even if all those facts were true, it still really wouldn’t explain why BT have been promising Infinity to that cabinet for 15 months now but have so far failed to deliver it.
Anway, feeling a bit “fobbed off” by BT at all levels from Customer Services through the Press Office, to Senior Management and CEO, I decided to complain for a second time to the ASA, along with 14 others who also complained.
This time there was more than just an “agreement” (that the initial complaint got) – this complaint went all the way to the ASA Council and was again upheld with the ASA forcing BT to act (although it’s not clear if that’s on pain of death, a hefty fine or detention and a strong worded letter sent home to their parents!)
The provisional drafts of this ruling have been passed on to BT and all complainants since early December, so it’s no great surprise to them, and they’ve already had some time to act upon it.
Sure enough in late December, the “earliest” Infinity activation date for my own line (and I suspect for many others too) rolled back yet again from 31st-December-2012 – now it says “Earliest you could get it: 31-March-2013″
I find it difficult to believe this date actually relates to “scheduled work” – even though it should do according to the ASA adjudication, and even though BT have had the draft conclusion of the adjudication since early December – although in fairness maybe we should allow BT a bit more time to make the necessary changes.
Still, I think it’s reasonable to expect the next change of this date to either say something that is actually aligned with scheduled work, or simply say that Infinity is not available at the moment
If, in the unlikely event that doesn’t happen or this date rolls over to 30th June 2013, then I will be straight back on to the ASA with another complaint (and would encourage anyone else this happens to, to do the same) – which could be rather embarrassing and expensive for BT.
But for now, let’s give BT the benefit of the doubt (yet again!)
What to do in the Meantime?
In the meantime, I (like many others) still have not got super duper fast Fibre broadband from BT Infinity
All these delays prompted me to look at alternatives and I’ve now found and switched to the service provider Eclipse who offer a great service on monthly contracts at reasonable pricing, so I can stay with them until BT eventually get their act together and finally deliver Infinity to my cabinet.
I was initially impressed with Eclipse when they answered online chat late in the evening and were able to simply and honestly tell me that they had a date from BT for Fibre for my line, appreciated it had been pushed back but just didn’t know for sure when my cabinet was going to be enabled – although when it was enabled I’d be able to upgrade to fibre directly with them.
The following morning I got an email from Eclipse, I followed that up with a phone call (to a UK call centre!) and was left feeling like a valued customer who can easily get in touch with a supplier that is going out of their way to help me.
I was even more impressed when after signing up the monthly cost was the same as that from Orange (now EE) and my average speed leapt from 2Mb/s to 17Mb/s and I gained a couple of free static IPs – that might appeal to other geeks!
Want to go Even Faster?
Eclipse also offer a “Bonded DSL” service which joins more than one ADSL connection together, so for those of you thirsty for über high-speed downloads, but finding yourselves stuck with ADSL technology, Eclipse’s Bonded DSL service give you speeds up to four times faster than standard ADSL Speeds.
I’ve joined Eclipse’s Referral Programme, so if you sign up with Eclipse after clicking on my link, then I earn a referral fee from them.
That’s not why I chose Eclipse by the way! I chose them because they’re a service provider with a good reputation, offering high-quality service at reasonable rates and most important for me, they offer monthly rather than annual (or bi-annual) contracts.
So please do at least click on the link and take a look if you’re considering an alternative to BT Infinity or even whatever other Broadband Service Provider you’ve got at the moment