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Here is yet another letter from a person suffering the usual troubles with BTOpenWorld. Be sure to check out our guestbook to post your own experiences, or read about other people's difficulties with the greedy telecom company. It is interesting to note though, we have actually had only one letter from someone who is actually happy with OpenWorld. BT clearly face an uphill struggle to convince their customers of their technical competence in providing services and their ability to offer timely services at realistic prices to their customers.

In our opinion (and in the opinion of most other people we have heard from):

BT DSL is: Overpriced, too slow, not installed in a timely fashion, often not installed correctly first, second, or even third time, uncompetative with offerings in other countries, not widely available, poorly supported.


After waiting and waiting for ADSL, due in my area 'By End March-2001'
according to BTOpenworld (until they removed that page in Mid-Feb), I'm
still waiting for an ADSL connection. After my enquiries were pushed from (whos availchecker initially said the exchange was upgraded - now it
doesn't) to BTOpenworld (who won't help until it says on their system that
its been upgraded) and back again, I complained to OFTEL and started
investigating the rest of BTs websites for irregularities.

Here's some of the things I've uncovered...

1. 'Reconnect For Free' the ad says. Not true - if you're reconnecting a
line that has been upgraded to ISDN or ADSL you have to pay £49.25 (or
£49.50 depending on which cowboy you call in their customer service dept). I
have ISDN and want ADSL* but they were going to charge me nearly £50 just to
DOWNGRADE the phone line.
Found this little trinket out when I decided that if they were going to
charge me £40/month for internet access, it might as well be for ADSL. I
asked the cost of cancelling completely - which was Zero - and asked if I
could reconnect for free like their advert said. Nope - £50 to you, mate.
I've made the ITC aware of their TV ad, and the ASA on the same offer on
their site. I've also informed BBCs Watchdog, cos I know BT love talking to

2. Even if I did pay the £50 to downgrade my phoneline for the ADSL upgrade,
there's no guarantee that the line would be suitable until they've done
their line tests on it. So, basically, I could spend £50 to go back to a
regular phone, then they could turn round and say they can't install ADSL.
Who picks up the tab? Yep - the customer.
A futile excercise anyway, as I've no intention of paying £50 to
downgrade. They've got more chance of their CEO giving birth (although
rumour has it that the new CEO is having kittens!! :-)

3. This is a complex one, but I think I've found evidence of fraud, or at
least a blatant lie.
My exchange (Heckmondwike) was due to be updated in Phase 4 (which ended
March 2001), according to a (now removed) webpage on BTOpenWorlds website.
This is backed up by a useless map showing blotches of red which indicates
upgraded areas on the BTIgnite website ( - at best
guess (the map is actually pretty useless as it has no other info on it
other than red and blue marks, and theres no text to back up the claims)
Heckmondwike is in the large red blotch in the middle of England at the
level of the Humber.
BT Ignite claim the Phase 4 rollout has been completed successfully on
their website; Heckmondwike was part of this rollout.
The availability checker at showed that my exchange
HAD been upgraded - when it was checked at the beginning of April.
BTOpenWorlds availability checker said it WAS NOT upgraded at the same time.
That's when I begun asking for more information, and when they started
stonewalling I started delving deeper.
The availability checker at has since been modified
to say my exchange HAS NOT been updated.
I'm trying to get hard data (as BT already seems to be destroying the
evidence) to back up my claims, I've asked BTIgnite for a list of upgraded
exchanges which, if they send to me should clarify the situation.
However, at present, it appears that BT are lying about the status of this
rollout (it's not complete like they claim). The question many people should
ask now is Why are BT lying so blatantly about this? If I was a shareholder,
I would be asking this question, as it would affect the share value (not
upgraded=less value=lower revenues=lower share price...)
I would really like to bring this to the attention of BTs shareholders but
don't know how. Any ideas?

Anyway, I hope these little bits of info help. If you are planning to put
any of this on your webpage, you can publish my name with what I've written
here. BT know my name already, and unless they start answering my VALID
questions regarding their service, they deserve to have to deal with all the
problems I uncover. They've all got my name attached...sooner or later
someone with a brain at BT will realise the connection and answer my growing
list of questions just to get me off their back.

Jason Frear.