Published: 25/06/14

Company response

BT said:

BT apologises to any Watchdog viewers who have had issues with delays or the speeds they are able to achieve with BT Infinity. BT has signed up a million new broadband customers in the last year and we are investing heavily to improve our service. We are hiring an extra 1,600 engineers this year, bringing back jobs to the UK and investing in new systems and processes. We are launching an entirely new repair process to make things easier and quicker for customers. Unfortunately, customers may not yet have felt the full benefits of all of these improvements.

We recognise that customers will be frustrated if they cannot achieve the broadband speeds they are expecting, which is why we have recently moved to an improved system we believe customers will find more accurate. BT Consumer is now the first UK broadband provider to quote speed ranges to our fibre optic broadband customers, based on real speeds achieved by similar lines. This estimate is provided to customers before they commit to buying Infinity from us, and underwritten by the industry Code of Practice. If customers struggle to achieve estimated speeds, we will send an engineer to try to boost performance. If that is not successful, then we will review with the customer whether they are free to leave without penalties.

We take these issues seriously and if any Watchdog viewers have similar issues, they can email us at watchdogcomplaints@bt.com and a team will resolve their issues.

Case of Mrs Janice Wright:

We apologise to Mrs Wright for the delay in providing her broadband service. Mrs Wright was taking over a working line from a previous owner of the property and there was a delay in that line being released to us. We have now connected Mrs Wright’s line and broadband, but we accept this took too long. We have offered Mrs Wright a full refund for her line rental for two months and broadband rental for three months as a goodwill gesture for the poor service she received.

Case of Mrs Jenni Foulkes:

We apologise to Mrs Foulkes that her fibre broadband speed has not achieved the speeds that she expected. Although other properties close to her would have been able to get the speeds we estimated, her farm is unfortunately a lot further from the cabinet and therefore served by a longer line. BT Business has made strenuous efforts to resolve this for Mrs Foulkes over the last 18 months, including arranging five engineer visits and replacing equipment, and she now gets speeds of about 13 Mbps, which is close to the maximum such a long line can support. She would be free to leave BT without penalty if she decided to cancel. While the actual broadband speed is lower than our estimate in this case, just as many customers find that their speed is actually higher than our estimate.