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Please, please don't let me go.........
Member Name: sue.51
Date: 30/09/01, updated on 30/09/01 (593 review reads)
Advantages: Free internet access
Disadvantages: Worst customer service ever
Some of you will probably have gathered from my ramblings that I am no longer an NTL customer, this was not from choice, but because of silly government legislation that prevents them installing in new properties, although after my experiences of the last few months will NTL, would I go back if I had the choice? Good question.
Sit down and let me tell you a story.........
It began one light evening on 21st July, when being the dutiful citizen that I am, I rang NTL to advise them that I was soon to be moving to a new property and that I would no longer require their services, they didn't seem to concerned as I was not even asked why I was leaving, but they agreed to disconnect my line on 24th August, the last possible date that I had for moving, all within the terms of my contract which, as is usual in the industry, contains a one month notice clause. At this point I also notified them of my forwarding address so that they could forward a bill for any monies still outstanding. Great should be easy.
On the 23rd August, another light summer evening, my telephone was suddenly changed to receive incoming calls only, I contacted NTL who confirmed that the line had been downgraded and would be disconnected on the night of the 24th, not bad, they remembered. In all honesty after this, I thought little of it and got on with the hapless chore of packing.
All was well until I received a bill from NTL on 27th September requesting quite a large sum of money and advising me that I was overdue with my payments. The bill contained rental for the month up to and including the end of October for the telephone and TV package, and yep you've guessed it, was sent to my old address. I duly contacted NTL who apologised and assured me that someone would contact me at work that day.
The day came and went, no phone call. Today (supposed to be a holiday), I again contacted NTL and after being diverted to Belfast and having to re-ring t
hrough actually managed to speak to a manager, who advised me that I had never told them I was moving out, at which point I became very frustrated after finding that the new owners of my old property were still enjoying the telephone and TV package at my expense, the same people who had been only too keen to close my Gas, Electricity, water and council tax accounts without my permission (yes, BE WARNED - it is possible to do this). He promised to phone me back upon my request within half an hour and tell me what was going on, although one hour later I had heard nothing.
I again contacted NTL, and was advised that every single manager and team leader was in a meeting, I was put through to a customer services operator who put the phone down on me when I told her I wanted to speak to a manager. I rang the Cardiff Office of NTL a further 5 times before contacting their Head office in Hook, only to be advised that it would take 48 working hours (not 2 working days) for a response from them at which point my blood pressure was going into overdrive. I was told I was making personal references to the company and would just have to accept their policy which was put in place for the benefit of the customer.
I again contacted the Cardiff Office and eventually spoke to an customer service operator whose favourite phrase was, "no comment", but to be fair was probably the most rational and competent member of staff I have ever spoken to in the company, but could do with a little training on how to handle an irate customer.
He initially tried to tell me that I would be responsible for the line rental for a month after leaving the property and then intimated that I would have to pay the outstanding bill before I could be reimbursed with the credits, as it is not NTL's policy to re-issue bills, needless to say I put him straight on that front and hopefully I will be re-issued with a bill in the not too distant future. Ironically when I cam
e off the telephone, the manager I had spoken to earlier had rung, advised me that the line had now been disconnected, apoligised for ringing 5 minutes late (doesn't he realise that calls to 1571 are dated and timestamped?) and asked for the same new forwarding address that I had already provided them with three times.
Needless to say, at this point in time, if NTL installed on the estate tomorrow with the promise of free installation and services for a year, my response would be somewhat negative.
ON THE PLUS SIDE
Thought I'd better put something about the product in - for £13.99 you get a phone line and a handful of TV channels, and they offer a variety of packages for extra, including kids, music, history, sports and films. They now offer digital TV, but when we contacted them to upgrade before we moved, they promised me a call back, and then wrote to us 4 weeks later saying that had been trying for weeks to contact us without success, at a time when the partner was actually at home recovering from cancer and therefore completely immobilised.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
If you are giving notice and moving on to a non NTL property, if you tell them by telephone (assuming you are fortunate enough to get through), back it up with a letter send by recorded delivery, including details of your forwarding address so that they cannot accuse you of not providing this and thus put a debt collection agency onto you.
I was with NTL for the best part of 6 years (even when they were cable-tel), and the service has never been good ranging from taking down my debt card details wrongly and then ringing me with threatening calls accusing me of not having paid, and telling me it doesn't look good that my card bounced when in fact it was their error, to being left without a telephone because they couldn't flick a switch at a property when I moved previously without a weeks notice (taking your number with you requires
even more notice).
On the up-side, if you are moving property to an NTL area and require installation, you will only ever have to pay one fee the first time you sign up with them, unlike BT who sting you every which way they possibly can.
If you are with NTL - good luck if you ever have to leave them.