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Why does it take 22 phone calls and leaving BT to ...

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I used to have BT broadband option 3.  For this I required a phone line, I made around 3 phone calls a year from it.
Last year in May some bright spark in BT decided to merge my phone and broadband accounts.  I had been paying the correct amount of around 40 pounds a month for my line rental and broadband (+vat) until this point.  When they made this "merge" they upped my monthly payments to 71.50.  (I found this out much later after many many many frustrating phone calls)
I only noticed this overcharging in January when a bill of 71.50 was DD'd from my account.  I then noticed this had happened for most of last year.  I was refunded the 200 pounds my account was in credit at the time.  I asked the person on the phone to set my direct debit to take the correct monthly account.  He said he would.
What I expected was billing like so:
Feb 40 pounds
Mar 40 pounds
Apr 40 pounds
Its not rocket science.  Its not hard.  Am I missing something?  Was my request too difficult?   I had paid monthly by direct debit since I have had a phone line.
On the 21st of January my account was debited £117.70 by BT.  This was on top of the £71.50 already taken earlier in the month.  It was directly before my payday and put me overdrawn with my bank who charged me for the pleasure.  The bank refunded the amount.
I was about to go on holiday and called BT billing who apologised and stated clearly that I could call back in February to arrange the correct billing, that they were sorry and would put notes on my account to ensure no further attempt was made to take the incorrect amount.
While on holiday ..... an incompetant person in BT billing emailed me to say that she would be trying to take the £117.50 from my account "in the next few days".  So, while on my holiday I had to ensure this did not happen by contacting this BT billing department.  I cancelled the BT direct debitat this time.
After calling BT around 15 more times, speaking to various levels of incompetance i was finally told in Mid February  that I had been switched to quarterly billing, but on a monthly direct debit:  I was being charged for 3 months use up front and nothing could be done, I had to live with their mistake.  Could I please pay up the £117.50 or I risked interuption of service ... which was a shame .... as after so many phone calls I had already put the wheels in motion to leave for Sky ....
Calling for my MAC code the poor lady offered me broadband at half price to keep me, at which I had to respond that she could offer it to me for free but I had no confidence that would be what appeared on my bill or what would be taken from my bank account.  The billing department is the sole reason for my leaving.
So, I had left BT in mid February.  Despite this, the billing department still insisted that I pay the £117.50 for the period "up to the 31st March".  On pointing out that I would not pay for a service I was no longer receiving and could they produce a bill up to the 16th February, I am told "oh no, you must pay in advance and then we will kindly refund you the money".
Amazing ... pay up front for a service I no longer receive and hope the company repays me?  Considering my confidence in their handling of money ...  Heck no ...
I am told they will produce a final bill, "within 14 working days" (such speed!) which may ... oh so kind of them .. have the correct amount I owe them on it.
So after a few more frsutrating phone calls where I am demanding a bill, it transpires that BT have been sending my bills to the WRONG address.  It appears that despite using the home move service some years ago and BT moving my phone line from one property to another that BT billing live on another planet and never received this news and were sending my bills to my old property.  I was asked "Can you not go to the property and ask for the bills".   My patience had now pretty much run out.  I just wanted rid of this company.
Today, I call .. yet. .. again .. to ask where the **bleep** my final bill is and they tell me its been put in the post.  It is for the correct amount.   I will be paying it when it arrives.
Its such a shame.  All BT had to do was charge me the correct amount per month for their own services.  They failed utterly.  From all my conversations with them I have an impression of a department in meltdown where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, let alone what the the feet might be up to .....
I have left BT for good,  I have been left with a very bitter aftertaste.
From the posts on this board, it appears my frustration is felt by many.  I do wonder if any action is being taken internally with BT to correct the mistakes being made?   Would a moderator confirm?

Answers

Hi Oxfordataloss,
Thanks for posting. I'm really sorry you've had such problems with BT, it's certainly not the kind of service we would hope to provide. I'll take your comments on board and if you don't receive the final bill as expected please drop me an email with the account details and a link to this thread for reference.
Cheers
David
BTCare Community Mod
If we have asked you to email us with your details, please make sure you are logged in to the forum, otherwise you will not be able to see our ‘Contact Us’ link within our profiles.
We are sorry but we are unable to deal with service/account queries via the private message(PM) function so please don't PM your account info, we need to deal with this via our email account :-)

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