The router incident

The internet is in so many ways a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t seem quite so bloody marvellous, liberating, enlightening or whatever else it’s supposed to be when you can’t fucking use it.

How exactly am I supposed to survive the day when I can’t explore the latest top tips on how to pluck my eyebrows? Life just isn’t the same without being able to consult those useful guides to picking your nose whilst driving.

Hardly the world’s most original thought this, but BT are bunch of unscrupulous, money grabbing, deceitful and wholly unpleasant fuckers. It’s just a pity that I didn’t realise this until I signed up for their broadband service.

I am at a loss to explain my own idiocy. I’m self-employed, work from home and can’t earn a bloody penny without a broadband connection. I was well aware of the fact that BT were about as popular as Osama Bin Laden, or Satan. I knew that the company routinely rank lower than Ryanair in consumer surveys, which is quite worrying given many people seem to think that Michael O’Leary is Satan.

In any case, I had been a BT customer for years as they supplied my landline so I knew they were shit. I’d been unable to log into my account online since time began because there was a glitch in their wholly inadequate system and it flatly refused to recognise my account number.

But I wanted to add BT Sport to my TV package and that other monument to sharp practices and horrendous customer service, Sky Television, were proposing to charge me £11.95 per month for the channel. If I switched my broadband to BT I could watch the sport gratis thank you very much, so I made the fateful call.

I signed up for the service and agreed to quarterly billing by post as I still couldn’t access my account online. Everything initially seemed fine with the service. There were no interruptions and the speed was acceptable, if unspectacular. Then, one day, I discovered that the wankers at BT had stopped my service.

I called them in a fugue of indecent rage. Nobody answered. I called every number that I could find for BT and the line just kept ringing and ringing. They are a telecoms company for fuck’s sake.

Time to circumvent the system. I used my mobile to find a number for BT’s headquarters and phoned their main switchboard. I can’t remember exactly what I said to the poor bastard that answered my call but it amounted to the fact that I would seek him out and stab him to death if he didn’t find me a service agent to speak to immediately. He connected me in an instant and I was informed that the bastards had stopped my broadband service because I had failed to pay my bill. What bill?

I hadn’t received a fucking bill. The utter morons had uploaded the thing to my online account. The one that I couldn’t access. They hadn’t sent a paper bill as promised and now proposed to charge me a fee to reconnect me, which they would only do If I paid immediately. I paid them but was then told that it would take 24 hours to reconnect the service. Astounding.

What a bloody circus. I was eventually reconnected but they still couldn’t fix my online account, so I signed up for payments by direct debit. Life returned to normal, well, my normal anyway. I surfed to my heart’s content and discovered all manner of life-changing information. I became an expert on celebrity weight-loss miracles, the sort that never happen to me, and was able to acquaint myself with the nation’s top ten favourite vegetables. Who writes that shit anyway? Anyone who thinks that peas are better than swede has got a screw lose. But I digress.

I had discovered that BT Infinity fell a little short on the infinite front. BT Bloody Average and Really Quite Limited would have been more accurate. But things were about to get a whole lot worse. Quite limited suddenly became absolutely nothing, nada, fuck all, when my hub packed up.

Now, I can accept the odd equipment failure. Shit happens. It’s what you do about it that counts. And I was dealing with BT, so what they proposed to do about it was bugger all.

An unbelievably sanctimonious twat explained that they couldn’t despatch a new hub because my contract had been running for more than a year, so I had to renew it. This would take 24 hours even though all I had to do was confirm my agreement verbally. They would then order me a new hub which would arrive in, wait for it, five to six days.

I asked if they were proposing to deliver it by camel. The agent was not amused and explained that the delivery schedule was dictated by the distance from the nearest distribution centre to my home. I live just outside London and within a couple of miles of all of the major carriers’ distribution centres. I could have delivered the router to a goat herder on the Mongolian Steppe quicker.

I couldn’t wait five days for a router. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had approximately 30 minutes to drive the three miles to the nearest PC World before it shut. The traffic was so bad that I almost didn’t make it and I demeaned myself with some truly selfish and horribly rude driving together with a parking manoeuvre that I am really ashamed of. Then, I experienced a miracle up there with the second coming of Christ. PC World had the router that I needed in stock.

Within an hour of my conversation with BT I had a new router set up and functioning. BT’s offering arrived a week later. The delivery was so late that when I heard the knock at my door, I realised that the parcel couldn’t possibly have arrived by camel and expected to find sloth hanging from my porch. But it was a man with van. I asked him if he had enjoyed the trip from the Gobi and enquired after the weather in Ulan Bator. He was Romanian and didn’t understand a word I was saying.

A week after the router incident, BT kindly informed me that they were putting my charges up to reflect the advancements in the service they provide. What fucking service is that then?

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