Broadband, Builders, Bloggers, and British Telecom

If you’ve wondered where Hugh has been for the last week, well here’s the story.

Hugh's Workspace Blog HopLast week we moved house, here in Wales.  The move itself went very well, but what did not go as planned was for British Telecom (BT) to move our home phone line and broadband.

Despite informing BT of the move three weeks before moving and informing them we were moving into a ‘new build’, they didn’t seem to check that we could get connected at the new house until two days before we were moving in.

They took twelve months landline rental from us and encouraged me to sign a new 12 month contract with them to avoid a £135 connection fee at the new house.  One week later and we are still without a phone line that works, meaning no wi-fi or broadband.

I’ve spent countless hours on my mobile phone to them, mainly trying to communicate with a voice recording that tells you how BT care so much for its customers.  When I finally get to talk to a human being at BT I get so many excuses from them as to why our phone line and broadband can not be connected.  Here are some of the excuses I’ve had so far.

  • Your builders have not informed us that your house is ready for occupation.
  • The mountain outside your house means we need to lay extra cables so you can get a good signal.
  • Your whole developement has network problems and needs cables running to it.
  • You live in a poor reception area so we need to do some work at the exchange to get your phone line working.

Needless to say that as we are not the first ones to move into a house on the new developement and as we only moved two hundred yards down the road from a house which had both good phone and broadband connections, I asked BT why then do some of our neighbours have broadband and phone lines that work?  Their response – “due to data protection we can not discuss other accounts with you.”

I’ve hated not having broadband, yet I’ve also quite enjoyed the break away from planet blog and the web.  However, we needed to check emails so purchased a small mobile wi-fi device.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and, when it does work, it is slow.  It’s certainly made me feel how much I appreciate having broadband and to never complain about its speed again.

So while we have builders in the house (who are all a very nice bunch of guys) finishing off a rather long snagging list, I’ve taken this opportunity to write this post and to update you on just where I have been and what I have been doing.

During my time away I’ve been amazed by my blog stats.  Despite being offline for a while I’ve had many visitors to my blog, picked up a few new followers, and have had some lovely emails, tweets, messages, and text messages, asking if I am OK.  Well thank you so much to everyone who has been in contact.  Just goes to show how powerful and wonderful this whole blogging community is.

As for when we will have a phone line and broadband, well the latest is that we should be connected on or by July 6th.  Fortunately we are heading back to Hove on Saturday but we are coming back to Abergavenny one week later on July 4th.  I’m just hoping that when I walk through the door on that day and pick up a phone, I will hear the ‘purring’ of a dial tone and see the wi-fi and broadband symbols on the BT router are flashing blue instead of red.