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.


Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

110 thoughts

  1. Many of these Tell – a -Com places are run by absolute twits. Their technical staff has the savvy of a bumbling troglodyte trying to impress their paying customers with their supposed expertise and know how.

    My previous cable company fits this bill perfectly. They offered me a peach of a deal based on a mere one year sign up contract. The offer seemed a bargain and so I signed on the dotted line. What a mistake that was.

    Once a month the cable and internet and telephone connection needed to be physically tweaked…..unplugged from electrical outlet, turned off one minute, plugged into outlet, rebooted and cable connections once again set up.

    For the twelve times I called technical support for assistance I was placed on hold for 30 minutes, offered the same litany of possible solutions to the problem, informed that the layout of my suite did not conform to the technical schema required for optimal reception and so on and so on.

    Needless to say I dropped that company after the one year lease and found a server that is one million times better and customer responsive.

    I can appreciate your plight and share your frustration with this company. The internet has become a way of life for us all. It is an important factor. I hope that your situation resolves itself when promised.

    The only other alternative is learn how to send smoke signals. Hopefully the wind currents will allow you to get your messages out without too much technical interference. 🙂

    1. It seems many of us have been where I find myself now with no proper broadband or home phone line connection. Problem is that for the last three years there have been no problems, then, as soon as we move house the problems begin and the excuses get bigger and bigger.

      I have an engineer booked to arrive tomorrow and I’m hoping that the problem will at last be fixed. If it is not then I am seriously thinking of starting to publicise the problems more and more, especially given the fact that British Telecome have been sending me messages all week saying that my services are now all working and that they hope I am enjoying the them.

  2. I hope that this is all sorted now, Hugh (I’m guessing yes since you’ve been pretty active here in the online world). What a nightmare. I’ve heard of horror stories like that from my friends here in Australia who move often and it’s always a hassle dealing with the telco providers. A lot of us – or at least my generation – don’t have a fixed phone line at home and we just need broadband. Sometimes it takes up to three weeks to get a connection at a new place.

    1. I’m afraid not Mabel. At our house, here in Wales, we still have no home phone line or broadband. We were back at our home in Hove last week, hence all the posts from me. An engineer is due tomorow to try and fix the fault but I am not going to kid myself that it will be sorted out. That way, I won’t be disappointed when he tells me he needs to get some spare parts and will come back on another day.

  3. Yikes! And we thought those days of dial up where it took hours to connect only to be bumped off by an incoming phone call were bad! Good luck, Hugh! Miss you!

    1. Thanks Kat. I am back in Hove now so have broadband and a phone-line. However, we are going back to Wales on Saturday so no broadband and phone-line until the 6th July. It’s only a few days and I am keeping everything cross that the phone company will have the problem fixed by then.

      1. I’ll keep everything crossed here for you too! While we know we CAN live without it all, it does help to have it, right? 🙂

  4. Oh dear! You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. Very frustrating! I hope it is all sorted when you get back. Purr, purr! 🙂

  5. Poor Hugh! I feel your pain. 😫. It seems that nothing in life is achieved easily ….. I’ve been missing your fun posts and stories. Wasn’t there a song once about Abergavenny? It seems to ring a bell. 😄

    Think how marvellous it will be in your lovely new home when everything is working. It will all be worth it. How is Toby liking the change?

    1. We are going back to Hove tomorrow Maria, so I will once again have full access to wifi and broadband 🙂 However we are coming back to Abergavenny on Saturday 4th July, so I am hoping when we walk through the door that day we will have wifi and broadband here in Abergavenny as well. Keep your fingers crossed for me 🙂

      Yes there is a song about Abergavenny. I’ll have to hunt it out on YouTube for you and paste it here in the comments.

      Toby is loving the new house. It took him a while to settle in but the bigger garden is too his liking.

    1. It’s been a struggle, but what I hate most of all are the talking machines you have to go through to actually get to talk with a human being who will then sprew out a lot of lies about why you don’t have a service. All I want is the truth and an idea of when I will be connected.

    1. When I want to be, Jill. After all, there is little I can do about the situation as the problem is totally out of my hands. For now I am making best friends with my mobile wifi device (even if it does annoy me several times a day – but don’t tell him that). 🙂

  6. Poor you, Hugh! I feel your pain! I haven’t had internet of my own for almost a year. It is awful. I hope you’re reconnected soon! (I come over to a sweet friend’s house while he’s at work.)

  7. I changed providers to get away from the “telephone Company” mentality. I ran into the same mentality only it is called the “cable company mentality.” The only consolation is you will get service eventually although now it seems like that may be optimistic.

  8. When we move we had no broadband for months so we “borrowed” other people’s by using a DIY sat dish made of tinfoil and cardboard…don’t ask…hope the new mountainside house is fab!

    1. For months? OMG, now you got me even more worried.

      I can see the links to access other broadband services in the area but they are all password protected. I’m thinking you could be a little bit of a hacker?

        1. Have tried but failed. We do have a BT account but it’s not liking me. I think I may have upset BT. I know it worked at the other house, but not here in the new one. Maybe they have cancelled my account? Maybe they think I have moved into a cave? Maybe I’ll never ever be connected on broadband ever again 😦 Oh dear, I think I’m having a nightmare.

          I’ll go and get some metal coat hangers and tinfoil tomorrow 🙂

  9. I have been thinking, “Where is Hugh, I wonder?” Now I see you have been fighting the monstrous dragon that is BT! 😉 It is difficult enough moving house, but without internet it must have been a nightmare. I hope you manage to tame them soon and get your internet installed at your new house. At least you could take relaxing walks in beautiful countryside in between BT battles 😀

    1. Very true Peggy. The walks here are absolutely gorgeous.

      Hopefully I will be able to tame the BT monster and get connected very soon. He has been tough so far, but with a little patience I hope to be able to put him in his cage.

  10. I’m so sorry there have been so many frustrations with the move and I’m sorry you’ve been off the air but since I have too, I’ve been hard put to notice. But there is a great piece of news about all this that has me cheering ( sorry Hove). More of my friends are actually moving closer. YAY. Cymru am byth.

    1. Thank you David. We will still be living in Hove, with a holiday home down here in Abergavenny. I hope to take some pictures of the area vey soon as it is so beautiful. We’ll be spending a lot of time down here (providing BT connect us with a phoneline and broadband!) It is great to be back home even if it has been a bit of a bumpy start.

  11. Wales, how wonderful, Hugh! I do hope your issue is sorted out sooner rather than later, but it is at times rather nice to disconnect. Hard now to imagine he time when the Internet was new and computers and cell phones were a luxury 😀

    1. Thanks Stacy. Yes, I have relived those days before broadband and the web, this week. I must admit and say that I have enjoyed the break as well. I’ve caught up on lots of outstanding issues, yet have not done any writing. It’s almost as if there is no writing without a wifi connection, but I know that is very silly 🙂

  12. I really feel you here Hugh. Living were I do, we don’t always have reliable internet connection and sometimes it is soooo slow or just not working. I’ve become accustomed to it. However it is somewhat better than what we had just a few months ago, before the our old “box” thing broke and a new one had to be installed. It took three weeks for the people to do that and a lot of arguing on our part. Connecting via the mobile line is much faster but soooo expensive. I was grateful that my mobile provider had free data between midnight and 6AM during this time.

    1. I do feel that when I hear stories like yours Serins, I should be grateful for what I can get here in the UK. Yes, I complained that the mobile wifi unit is so slow and doesn’t always work, but I guess I am complaining more beacuse I know there is a good service here yet it is the customer service side of the coin which is so dreadful. I only wish I was told the truth right from the begaining instead of all the excuses. It may have made the situation a little more bearable then.

  13. Glad you’re back. The bureaucracy when it comes to moving house and service providers is sometimes nothing short of medieval. I’m glad you’ve managed to get through it eventually and that your blog hasn’t suffered for it 🙂

  14. AARRRGGHHH! BT are the devil incarnate. I am currently locking horns with the buggers now. The hours I alone have lost trying to get online, stay online, call them about having no internet, waiting in for engineers… the lost productivity is mind-boggling. People say the Tories are ruining this country – personally, I think BT is to blame.

      1. There has been a recent change to the law about getting out of contracts with service providers who do not deliver what they promise. It’s worth looking into. I am in the process of claiming compensation (also I am billing them for my wasted time at national minimum wage) once I have that I shall be looking at getting out of my contract. They are a disgrace.

  15. Well, look at the bright side– you have a mountain outside your house 😉

    I did notice your absence, actually my Reader has been quite light lately. Busy, busy, busy time of year for all it seems.

    Enjoy settling in and good luck and loads of patience dealing with the corporate techie stuff. Xx

  16. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Hugh is suffering from BT induced Internet woes.. not the first and probably not the last customer to do so. When they are good they are very good but when they are bad!! Being ex-telecomms but their competitors I can relate some hair raising stories first hand but don’t want to be sued! Good luck Hugh and we will keep your seat warm for you.. Hugs

        1. I still voting for you to have your own comedy sketch show on prime time TV Sally 🙂

  17. Last week I had the same problem – I was at my mom’s and she hadn’t paid the bill (laid up in hospital) so nada, nothing, zip!!!!

      1. That I can sympathise with having used one myself for a while with the laptop. Apparently… and I’ve no idea how… you can use your mobile as a portable wifi modem. That might be worth a try 🙂

        1. Already used all my data up on the mobile, Sue. That was in one day! It was Geoffrey West who suggested the mobile broadband device. It cost me £19 which I am hoping to get back from BT…with interest 🙂

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