Utility Warehouse Broadband Chaos

Mar 8, 2007
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I am writing to make other readers aware of my dissatisfaction with the Utility Warehouse/Telecom Plus Broadcall service (fixed line telephone and broadband package) Within the first 10 days of going live, my home telephone line went dead for 4 days, meaning that I was unable to make or receive telephone calls and unable to use the internet.

Utility Warehouse has yet to provide an explanation for this and my requests for compensation have gone unanswered, despite their Terms & Conditions stating that a credit is payable when ‘technical failure of the networks’ makes service unusable for a continuous period of 24 hours. Furthermore, Utility Warehouse staff have recently claimed that there is no record of a fault ever having been reported.

In addition to the problems with the telephone service, my broadband connection has not been reliable since day one, even after the telephone line issue was resolved. Since transferring the services to Utility Warehouse, the broadband connection has been sporadic at best with some days allowing connectivity and others not. On the days where connection has been possible, the service would often disconnect without warning.

To make matters worse customers are forced to use a premium rate Technical Help Desk number to seek assistance (75p per minute from a landline if you are lucky enough to have an operational one – 3 times as much from a mobile phone.) Clearly I was not the only person seeking premium rate Technical Support because on 3 separate occasions my calls rang dead after several minutes.

It is very poor that customers are expected to dial a premium rate number to resolve issues that stem from a sub standard broadband service. It is poorer still that the Technical Help Desk is so inundated with calls relating to this substandard service that they are unable to cope with the volume of calls being made by frustrated customers.

I have now cancelled the service in line with Telecom Plus Terms and Conditions, however I have had no response from the Customer Services Director since writing to him 8 weeks ago and again 4 weeks ago. In the meantime, Telecom Plus have debited two sums of £146.59 from my account for these services that never worked. They have not provided a bill or explanation for these unauthorised amounts despite repeated requests and repeated promises to do so. I can provide emails and letters to back this up if this is of interest.

In summary, I would advise readers to steer clear of Telecom Plus/Utility Warehouse ‘bargain’ Broadcall service or any other service which requires customers to dial a premium rate number in order to report a failed service.

A number of friends have had similar experiences - has anyone else?



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