BT Price increases lost them business

Here at the Old Post Office in Bridge Street in Belper there are two incoming phone lines. They were probably Post Office lines dating back for decades and then transferred over to BT when that took over the telephone system. We used to use Plusnet (a BT subsidiary company) to provide broadband Internet over those phone lines, until they had a prolonged spell of poor customer service (despite the stories in the marketing TV adverts).

We swapped the Internet service provider to use Zen Internet about four years ago. They are not the cheapest, but provide excellent customer service, and they answer their support/sales phones promptly. We'd left the phone landlines in the hands of BT. 

However a couple of days ago, BT sent me a notice of a price increase. They seem to do this annually without any real justification. It was only 1.7% this year, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'd been considering moving from BT for a couple of years, even though I quite like their free Spam Call blocking service.  To give them a chance I phoned BT and said I'm thinking of cancelling your service because of the price increases; "What can you do?"  All they offered was a package with extended commitments and them taking over the broadband. In effect it would be rewarding their greed. As an alternative they offered to reduce the monthly rental, but, on investigation, at the price of increased individual call charges (circa £25 month extra). I said I'd think about it!

We use about 700-800 minutes of UK voice calls a month, spread over 170 calls. Already our International calls go via Google Voice, this saves a lot of money; about £200 per month compared with the BT tariff. I called Zen and asked them what could be done. The package they offered was the same broadband Internet, a reduced monthly landline rental and 5000 minutes of calls (billed to the second, not to the minute) for £6.50 a month. Overall I'll be saving about £10 a month with no degradation of service. We need to retain two landlines, and don't want all of our calls to be Internet based.

It's a pity that BT's relying on customer inertia after a price increase lost them business with decades of history. Ironically as I was typing this article I had an email from BT. "We're sorry to hear you're thinking of moving your phone line to another provider. ..." They just don't get it do they? They had a chance and they blew it, so we made a decision.

Edit 6th Mar 2020: The changeover from BT to Zen Internet took place smoothly, without interruption to service on the planned day. Bye bye BT after decades of connection.

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