MP to take up the fight for a fair broadband deal from BT

Moray MP goes ‘to infinity and beyond’ for angry constituents

COMPLAINTS IN MORAY against the standard of service being provided by BT are to be taken up by the region’s MP.

In the last week insideMoray has been highlighting a string of complaints over the level of service people are receiving from BT Broadband.

These have included conflicting and confusing information over the delivery of Superfast Broadband services to Moray and the Highlands and Islands – which has to a large degree been funded by the Scottish Government through Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Customers have also told insideMoray of their frustration when both seeking information from BT and their often shocking levels of customer service when dealing with complaints.

In many cases customers who are being told they can sign up for Superfast services are then finding that the connection speeds are far below those being advertised – and often below even the speed they had been receiving under standard broadband.

Customers are also questioning why BT are being allowed to charge many customers for a Superfast service that they are not delivering – in many cases with no reasonable expectation of their ever doing so.

Now Angus Robertson MP has confirmed to insideMoray that his office in Elgin has also been receiving a high level of complaints – and not only from consumers, as he highlights other internet providers being frustrated at BT’s failures to deliver a reliable service.

Upsurge in complaints

Mr Robertson said: “In my Moray Constituency Office there has been a clear upsurge in complaints relating to BT infrastructure provision.

“These range from delays for individual customers, to problems getting connections for larger scale new housing developments and issues from other broadband and communication providers who state that delays from BT are affecting their ability to provide a good service to their customers.

“While occasional complaints relating to organisations and companies providing a service to millions of people are not unusual, this upsurge in complaints suggests to me that there may be a significant underlying problem – and information I have suggests this is not particular to Moray but is much more widespread.”

Mr Roberson added that he has pursued a number of cases on behalf of constituents and is in the process of compiling a dossier of issues to present to BT Openreach. He has also been assured that a meeting will be arranged with BT to go through the concerns being expressed.

The MP added: “The delays and level of customer service being experienced by some of my constituents in Moray are, to my mind, unacceptable and we need to get to the bottom of why this is happening more frequently.

“Is it because there is a lack of resource? What has changed to cause this apparent drop in standards and for more people than previously to feel they have to go to their MP to get answers from BT?

“As with mobile communications, broadband has become a necessity for many people to enable them to communicate effectively with friends and family, to access vital services and for those in business to be competitive and succeed.

“When a service becomes more critical like this so does the imperative on companies like BT to provide that service effectively.”

The Editor Writes….

The level of service being provided by BT and BT Openreach has been falling well short of requirements for some considerable time.

Many leading computer magazines don’t even list BT Broadband amongst available Internet providers – that has come about because the company has consistently been at the bottom of surveys on customer service throughout the UK.

While BT’s advertising boasts of their ‘Infinity’ Broadband being the quickest and most reliable on the market, that is in many cases simply not true.

The company think nothing of charging customers a standard rate for services that they are failing to deliver – as the Superfast rollout has come into many Moray streets, consumers are learning that it is a lottery on if they live in a lucky home that will get what they are paying for – or something well below that of their neighbours.

It is good that our MP is taking up the case for his unhappy constituents, we can only hope that this will lead to a fair deal for Moray broadband customers. As Mr Robertson says, broadband is no longer a commodity for the chosen few, it is a necessity in modern living.