Is switching broadband providers easy? You would have thought so. But in true panto style “Oh no it’s not”.

I’m sure there’s a joke around on “How many customer service people do you need to speak to to switch to BT broadband?” but I can’t find it. One would have thought that switching broadband providers should be as easy as calling them, getting them to send a new hub and switching it on.

But no.

Customer service number 1

On hold for 22 minutes

Brilliantly BT Openreach are upgrading the local infrastructure to this particular client. This means they should be able to get super brilliant fibre broadband up to 900mbs. Amazing except my client is a widow in her 80s. She doesn’t game. Or live stream television. She only has one device connected at a time. And she doesn’t do dual screening.

So essential broadband at 36mbs is perfect – even if it did seem a bit expensive.

Oh, but then they can’t do that after all because your local network is being upgraded so you have to have Fibre complete at double the speed (and a bit more money.

And you get a new digital phone for free. A what?

A phone that only works when plugged into the router?

So, what happens if there’s a power cut?

The phone doesn’t work……. So, no landline if there’s a power cut? That’s correct she’ll have to use her mobile phone. She doesn’t have one. So, she should get one!

As she’s a “later lifer” we’re also planning for the future. She may want an emergency lifeline alarm (a personal alarm she wears round her neck in case she falls and can’t get up it, will call someone to help).

Oh, they don’t work with the digital phone. So, we don’t want a digital phone. But you have to have one with the new Smart Hub 2 super-duper fibre system.

Any options? You’ll need to speak to the alarm people and get them to change their system. It’s not our fault.

Thank you very much … end of call

Customer Service number 2

On hold 3 minutes (call after lunch during the week)

Surely this can’t be right?

It’s not. It’s possible to keep the old phone plugged in as normal and just have the broadband on super duper fast fibre.

And the deal from before doesn’t exist, the best one is fibre essential and WIFI round the house and there’s a good deal on the TV too.

This was sounding better – let’s order it.

It’ll involve getting an engineer round.

OK – when’s the next available appointment? 4 weeks time because of COVID. Can’t we just have the normal broadband and not wait? No because they’re upgrading the local infrastructure and everyone has to have the new super-duper fibre system.

So, no broadband for 4 weeks. Is there nothing you can do about that? No but I’ll email you a link for a 4G Router you can buy from Argos and if you buy an EE data SIM card that would work.

OK – thanks

Forget the TV as we can’t watch it until the broadband is working – let’s order the broadband with a normal phone?

Sorry I can’t, my manager has to. I’ve sent him all the details and he will do it and you’ll get an email confirming. OK, thank you very much. Done. Phew.

12 hours later

Email from lovely customer service number 2 “I’m really sorry he can’t do it either, please call in again”

Customer service number 3

On hold 10 minutes (call after lunch during the week)

Explain the situation. No problems I can do that. But now the engineer is 6 weeks away because of new lockdown for COVID! Place order

Now, is switching broadband providers easy?

6 weeks later

Engineer turns up. Looks at the trees the new fibre lines have to travel through to get from the road to the house. Says they need to be cut down otherwise the branches will break the lines as they sway in the wind. And leaves.

Customer service 4

On hold for 45 minutes (Note: Do not call at weekends)

Explain situation. Cutting down the trees is not an option. Lovely customer service person “If you do not want fibre to the house, you’ll need fibre to the cabinet and then use the existing copper line – let me see what I can do” (25 minutes later) “Sorry I can’t do this you need to speak to sales support, let me put you through.”

I get cut off

Customer service 5

On hold for 55 minutes (Note: do not call at weekends)

Explain situation – let me see what I can do (25 minutes later) – sorry I can’t do this you need to speak to sales support, let me put you through.

I get cut off

Customer service 6

On hold for 3 minutes (remember to call after lunch on a Monday)

Explain situation. “I’ll have to cancel this original order. I’ll arrange for a bag to be sent so you can return the new Smart Hub 2. Sorry I can’t place a new order as it takes 24 hours for this order to be cancelled off the system. Please can you call back tomorrow.”

Customer service 7

On hold for 1 minute (remembered to call after lunch)

Explain situation. They double check – and funnily enough I’m right. Get put through to Sales Support. Order fibre to the cabinet. New Smart Hub 2 to be sent out (But I’ve still got the original. Can’t I just keep the one I’ve got? No because it needs to be returned now for inventory). Broadband to go live in 7 days. 7 days? Why not sooner? I’m sorry I don’t know.

This has all taken 2 months. In the meantime, we set up a temporary 4G router TP-link AC1200 bought from Amazon and a unlimited data SIM from Smarty. Even though they’ve worked incredibly well – the client needs conventionality and still wants to use BT.

No complaints about the customer service people. Everyone I spoke to was as nice and as helpful as they could be. Apart from the first one who sounded like they’d been having one of those days. It’s the system making it as difficult as it can possibly be.

So, is switching broadband providers easy? Not as easy as it should be. It takes time. Patience. And more time. And more patience.

This is what we do for clients. To be honest it’s not always this challenging. But it can be.

If you don’t have the time, or inclination to complete it yourself and you would like a chat about how the Homemover Specialist could help you move house (or sort the broadband), contact us on 01483 255895 or by email. For more top tips and latest news make sure you follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram page