Something that you can count on is that at some point you will have a problem with your internet service provider. The level of the problem can vary from something small and annoying, to a consistent problem. If you have taken up one of the BT offers you might wonder what the process is to resolving any problems you have. There are 3 main options that you can use, along with a few other options that might be worth looking into. Of course, there are certain things you need to consider before you start your resolution process – like is there really a problem.
Some things to consider
Before you look at the problem resolution processes you should consider a few points. Some will help you avoid problems in the first place. You cannot always completely avoid problems with an internet service provider; often you have no control over the issues.
Before Signing Up: If it is not too late
Before you sign up with a provider you need to consider a few things. The first is whether the package they are advertising is sustainable. Most deals which are too good to be true will only last for a while and then cause problems. You should also consider why you are choosing the ISP. If the provider has been recommended by a friend you need to get some other information. Just because your friend has had a good experience this does not mean you will.
Communicating with your provider
If you do have a problem, when you get in contact with your provider try and be as polite as possible. There are times when you need to be firm but you dont have to stop being polite. Most people are more likely to help you if you are polite instead of taking the â€œscreaming approachâ€ with them.
Prepare before you call
Understand what the terms and conditions of your package are before you contact your provider. A common mistake people make is that they do not read the small print. Of course these conditions are not legally binding if the service provider is in breach of the Unfair Contract Terms Act.
Do a speed test and some basic checks, such as microfilters, plugging the router into the test socket in your main phone entry point, interference checks etc. If this sounds too advanced then rope in a technical friend who will quickly be able to find a guide to basic internet broadband checks.
Being prepared will help the progress of the discussion with the provider and stop them fobbing you off.
Keep notes and save documents
Any correspondence you have with your provider regarding the problem should be saved. If you called the provider write down any references provided, such as ticket numbers, who you spoke to and what they said. These are essential for building your case in the long run.
If your provider, or any other body, wants you to send them information via the post you need to track it. Using registered post allows you to tell if the package has been received and you can get confirmation of who signed for it. Some providers will ask for information and then say that they never received it. This tracking will help you prove that they did.
BT offers general support channels
When you have a problem with the BT offers you are signed up to the first stop is the normal support channels. These channels will be the customer service department, which deal with certain problems. Billing issues are taken up with the accounts department and technical problems are routed to the technical support. The method of contact will vary from email to web forms, to phone calls.
You should allow a reasonable timeframe for your problem to be dealt with. If after this period no resolution is forthcoming you will need to escalate the problem with the provider. You should also get an acknowledgement from them that they have received the problem. At this point you need to get some form of timeframe for when you can expect resolution of the problem. If the problem stems from one of the providers suppliers they might state that they cannot hurry the process along. However, this does not mean that they can leave the problem unsolved.
Also make sure you leave ample time to actually make the call. Some of the most frustrating calls people make to ISPs are when they think â€œlet me just make a quick call to solve thisâ€. It is rarely quick and will be extremely annoying if you have somewhere to go but have already invested twenty minutes in the current call. Give your self plentyâ€¦. I repeat plentyâ€¦ of time.
Provider complains procedures
If you have gone through the normal support channels but are still having the same problem you may need to escalate. Contact your supplier and ask them what their procedure is for customer complaints. You need to ask them for the procedure which ends with a deadlock letter. This letter basically states that the provider has done all they can to resolve the problem with you directly.
When you enter the complaints procedure you generally have to send your complain in writing. The letter will need to state what the problem is and it should ask the provider to look into resolving it. Once the provider has received the complaint they should send you an acknowledgment of receipt and state a timeframe for resolution. If there is a problem with the resolution they should also state that they will contact you to keep you informed.
You should also look into contacting someone in the company higher than the customer service representative. If these higher up people take note of your complaint it is likely that the problem will be resolved faster. Linked in can be a good source for names of contacts.
If you have exhausted all other avenues this is basically the last resortâ€¦. Before starting on this form of resolution you will need to ensure that all other avenues have been used to their full extent. If you have reached this final channel there are two options available to you.
The first option is to report your provider to Ofcom. Ofcom has an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme which is easy to access and does not cost anything. This option can be used by anyone as all service providers need to subscribe to this scheme. This has been the case since the Communications Act of 2003.
The other option is to take court action against your service provider. Taking the provider to court is not something to be taken lightly. You will be liable for costs when you go to court. Of course if you use a small claims court it is unlikely that you will have to pay your provider should you lose.
While he was browsing online price comparison sites like uSwitch, Sam Jonesstumbled across some great BT offers. He made sure he shopped around before signing any contract, but was really pleased with the deal he got.
While he was browsing online price comparison sites like uSwitch, Sam Jones stumbled across some great BT offers. He made sure he shopped around before signing any contract, but was really pleased with the deal he got.
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