Sometimes being a home-owner is so much hassle.
Last week Karen went to Phones4U (spit) to get a new phone. While there the salesman asked if she was interested in moving away from BT to save some money. She emphatically said no, she didn't want to and pointed out that I had a business line and internet connection that could not be interrupted. Apparently the guy wouldn't stop going on about saving money and so Karen agreed they could "send her some information" and she'd think about it. They then asked her to sign for her consent to send this information. This is the point where I would have thought "hang on a minute", but Karen went ahead and signed.
Yesterday I opened a letter from BT saying they were sorry we'd decided to leave. This rang alarm bells as I'd only recently read about Slamming, whereby customers have their phone-lines transferred without their knowing about it. The first they know about it is when BT write to them, as was the case with me.
At first I'd thought it was Quinn (aged 11) to "blame" as she's recently had a new phone bought for her by her grandparents. When we called to register and they asked to speak to her I was worried then that they might try some Slamming exercise. But they didn't and I now know it's the sleazy salesman at Phones4U, hungry for his commission.
So, I called BT (they have a special number just for this, it's so commonplace now!) and spent a good twenty minutes on the phone as they filled out their forms. Having explained how Karen was tricked in to signing and didn't know what she was signing they told me I'd have to call HomeCall (the land-line arm of Phones4U and both under the umbrella of Caudwell Communications) to cancel and then call BT back a day before the transfer date just to make sure they had.
So, I called HomeCall and the first girl I spoke to was very apologetic and explained there's an internal investigation underway and, yes, they do work on a commission basis and the Phones4U salespeople have a terrible reputation. I calmed down a little after that. She then passed me through to the Cancellation Department. The girl I spoke to there was less understanding and I lost my calm with her. She insisted on following her drill: "Can I ask why you're cancelling today, sir?", "Do you not want to save money, sir?", "Why not, sir?". In the end I hissed at her "JUST CANCEL IT NOW!!" between gritted teeth.
What she didn't get is that their company is the last I want to ever have to do business with again. They aren't interested in saving me money. All they're interested in is making money. So much so that they employ a dirty tricks campaign to dupe unsuspecting customers over to their side.
I filled out a Contact Us page on Phones4U demanding a written apology and explanation of why this happened and what they are doing to prevent it. I doubt we'll get one, but, if we do, I'll at least know they wasted as much time on it as I've had to. Either way I've done my bit in giving them some negative publicity. It's the least I could do.