Since my last post at the end of last year I have been testing my ST780 with a variety of alternative VOIP providers whilst at the same time trying to get BT to sort out my connection. I also lodged a formal complaint about the appalling level of technical support with the BT complaints department on 30 December.
The complaints department initially responded to me on 4 January with an acknowledgement and a comment that I could expect a fuller reply in 24 hours. On the 8th of January I received the following gem:
“BT Broadband – Complaint Management Team
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the problems you are experiencing with your BT Broadband service. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience this has caused you.
Unfortunately we are unable to assist with technical issues, we have however passed your email to our technical support team, who will be in contact with you in the next 3 to 4 working days to work towards a satisfactory resolution. Should you wish to contact the technical support desk please call 0845 600 7030.
I would again like to apologise for the problems you have experienced. I do hope this information will be of assistance to you.
BT Broadband – Complaint Management Team”
Since that date I have heard nothing – though I have now received my shiny new hub (which I do not intend using).
Now since the substance of my complaint was that the technical support department was neither technical nor supportive I have decided that it is futile to continue down this road and I will simply escalate my complaint (on paper) to the Customer Relations Manager.
Meanwhile, just to prove that there is nothing wrong with my ST780 router, as I mentioned above, I have been experimenting with alternative VOIP providers and have now signed up with Sipgate. Sipgate offers free VOIP services within its own network and with peer networks such as FWD. It only charges for its gateway out to the PSTN. But its charges are very reasonable indeed. Sipgate also offers a rather neat opportunity to gain a UK geographic based telephone number for no additional charge. During my testing (for free) I could successfully dial in to my new Sipgate number from the PSTN and mobile networks but initially could not dial out to the Sipgate test number. Given the problems I have with BT I contacted Sipgate support who very generously credited my account with a small test sum so that I could check outbound connectivity to the PSTN. It worked fine so I have now signed up to Sipgate’s services.
Now compare this attitude and response from a company with whom I had no contractual relationship and had paid no money with that woeful response from BT to whom I pay a very considerable sum of money each month.