NTL Hell

I’ve been an NTL customer for a number of years now and until six months ago it was a relatively painless experience. A good example of my NTL experience is when a contractor dig through the cable in our garden leading to our house. This caused a complete loss of telephone, TV and broadband and complete consternation from the boys who lost access to Runescape. However, one call to 150 and an engineer came out – once to put in a temporary fix and then to completely renew the wire a week later. No fuss, no quibbles and no charge.

Unfortunately not all my NTL experiences have been so positive. About six months ago we started getting problems with the broadband connection – a huge number of pauses and dropouts. It looked as if it was taking an age to resolve DNS addresses. Calls to the broadband helpdesk proved to be of no use as it was an intermittent fault and could not be replicated when I was on the phone. Also everytime I called the helpdesk noone seemed to know anything about my previous call and just wanted to take me through the same standard checklist, which has simply hopeless. Once they had reached the end of their list they were simply clueless.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, through a process of elimination, I finally tracked the problem down to the cable modem itself. So at the beginning of November I sent a letter to customer services (recorded delivery) explaining the situation, that broadband support had not been able to help, what I had done and that I would like a new cable modem. Two weeks later I still hadn’t received any response so I called and was told that I needed to wait up to 28 days for NTL to come back to me. So I waited.

Then one day I got home from work. and there was a message on the answer phone from “Guy” at NTL calling to say that he believed that an engineer had been sent out (there hadn’t), that the problem was now fixed (it wasn’t) and that he would call back later to confirm (he didn’t). So I called customer services to put the record straight. I don’t think I could have got through to a more disinterested individual if I tried. Apparently customer complaints (who my letter had been referred to) don’t have a telephone number and customer services don’t have any way of contacting them. At this point I lost it, told the woman that this was a joke, that I was moving my account, which I am in the process of doing.

The thing is in South Reading I can get 8mb broadband for the same price I am paying for a 2mb service that does not work. I don’t need it but then again I don’t need the hassle that accompanies NTL.

I have read in the papers over that last couple of weeks that. NTL are to merge with Telewest and are in talks to purchase Virgin Mobile. I would say that NTL would be far better concentrating on getting their existing problems sorted first, I.e. Poor customer service, multi billing arrangements, no joined up departments, before that take on a whole load more. But then again what do I know? I am just a paying customer.

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