Why is BT’s broadband pledge so misleading over outages? | Money

I’m really exasperated by the exclusions I’ve encountered with the BT Plus “Keep Connected Promise”. The video and blurb on its website are clear that, within an hour of reporting a broadband outage, it will send a 4G Mini Hub and turn on unlimited data on any BT mobile phones associated with the account.

I have experienced two half-day outages and both times BT pointed to the small print which allows it to get out of its promise if the outage is down to “planned or unplanned outages” on its network.

I feel its marketing is highly misleading and it is taking money for a service it doesn’t provide.

MR, London

BT’s sales pitch appears unambiguous. It promises: “In the unlikely event there’s a problem with your broadband and you report a fault, we’ll send you a Mini Hub straightaway, which uses a mobile signal to help your devices go online at no extra cost. If you’ve got mobile with us, within an hour of reporting the fault, we’ll switch on free unlimited data on all your phones so you can stay connected.”

Only in the terms and conditions (which you have to cut and paste into the browser since there’s no link on the web page) are “qualifying” faults mentioned. And you have to read more than half way through to clause 10e to discover that “planned or unplanned outages on BT’s network or any third party service” disqualify you from the promise in the £65.99-a-month Plus deal. Faults in the “home environment” such as wiring issues are also excluded which means a significant proportion of causes aren’t covered. These crucial caveats should be made clear at the outset, in the same way that insurers highlight essential terms in key facts documents.

BT missed the point when it told me: ‘There are some scenarios where sending a 4G Mini Hub might not be possible or the best way to get back online, for example if the fault is likely to be repaired in a few hours, or in the rare event there are broader issues affecting broadband and mobile networks in a specific area.” When I pressed the issue it did not respond. This is something customers should report to the Advertising Standards Authority which did not respond to my request for a comment.

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Submission subject to our terms and conditions

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