Why can’t I cancel BT account?
A few days after my husband moved to live elsewhere he changed all the bills into my name.
All went smoothly apart from with BT, the provider of the landline and broadband. It said I had to ring it.
I did, about six times, and always waited interminable lengths of time until, when I did get through, I couldn’t understand most of what was said.
It was at great speed and presumably read from a script. I am elderly and hard of hearing.
I then needed to query the bills but couldn’t access them online as they were still in my husband’s name.
I wrote to BT and it told me to send £30 to change the name on the account. No other provider had charged for this and I couldn’t afford this cost. The bills were then made accessible online, so I put the matter on hold.
In 2015, after a long, drawn-out divorce, I was able to revert to using my maiden name.
I wrote to BT enclosing a certified copy of the deed poll, which I asked it to return – but I heard nothing.
Two years later, I was moving and changing to a different provider. On the eve of the move my daughter, who was helping me, deleted the BT direct debit.
After that, BT sent a £164.26 cheque made out to my ex-husband. I have tried to get BT to exchange it for one in my name but to no avail. Can you help? EO, BERKS
BT said there was no fee for changing the account holder’s name, although outstanding charges would have had to be paid.
In the letter it sends to confirm closure of an account, customers are advised not to stop any direct debit as having this in place enables it to credit or debit the account paying the bill, depending on whether money is owed or not.
This, of course, would have worked for you. Instead, with the direct debit having been cancelled, the cheque for the credit was automatically made out to your ex-husband as the account had still been in his name.
Further to my involvement, BT sent a replacement cheque in your new name. You say, given your circumstances, this makes a significant financial difference. my house and contents insurance. This says it has a team of tradespeople on hand to carry out urgent repairs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We had no hot water to our taps, bath, shower, washing machine etc, and so phoned the home emergency service and an engineer came out to diagnose the problem.
The hot water, in a different circuit to the radiators, was working OK, and the engineer could not sort the problem out.
A few days later, another engineer came and advised that we flush the radiators – at my expense. This was irrelevant as it was not linked to the problem.
Two days after that a local electrician fixed it in 40 minutes. JK, SURREY
The mistakes meant you and your partner, who are 81 and 75 respectively, were without hot water for 17 days. The agent of John Lewis Finance, which employed the engineers, offered £75 compensation.
You felt this was far from adequate. You particularly
felt that it was imperative John Lewis Finance should know what had happened and, since it was branded as its product, take some responsibility.
After all, it was the firm’s reputation that had drawn you to buy insurance there in the first place.
I contacted John Lewis Finance and it said: “We are disappointed that the home emergency service that he received in this instance did not meet the high standards we would wish for customers, which was a result of the issue being
incorrectly diagnosed by our contractor.”
It has apologised and offered £500 as a gesture of goodwill, which you have accepted.
It has also covered all costs incurred, such as the other engineer you had to pay for.