I moved in a new house recently. The owners had a BT phone and `broadband' (that is, ADSL). They left us two forms, one saying that we are taking over the line and the other asking what exactly is the service we want. I filled those saying that we only want Internet with 1Mbps download speed and sent the forms thru post to BT. Three days later the phone can be used only for inbound calls and the Internet doesn't work. (Doesn't work means that the router fails the PPPoE authentication. Note that I said router, not ADSL modem.)
So I call them. After waiting for five minutes someone answers but she doesn't seem to speak to me but with some colleague. After I say "Hi, hello, do you hear me" for another half a minute she eventually answers “Ah, so you where saying that there is a problem with the bill.” “Actually, you just answered so I didn't tell you my problem.” “Oh, sorry.” Then the line went silent for a few seconds. Later, the same voice. “Hello, how can I help you?” I explain that I moved into a house, I filled in a form saying that I take over the line and I want to check if everything is OK. “What is your phone number?” “I don't know it.” “What is your account number?” “I don't know that one either.” “Sorry, but we can't discuss any further details until you provide either the phone number or the account number.”
Good. I go thru my email, find the phone number (remember that I can't make phone calls so I can't just call my mobile) and call back a few hours later. This time I do not wait at all before someone answers. “Hello, what is your phone number?” I tell her the phone number. “What is your customer ID?” I explain that I'm not yet a customer and actually I'm calling to see if they received my form saying that I take over the line and hence became a customer. (Remember that the first BT representative said that I need the phone or account number, no mention of any customer ID. Otherwise I might have tried to contact the house owner.) “Sorry, you really need the customer ID.” “I don't think I need. In fact, I think I don't need your services at all. Bye.”
I wonder what other number they would ask for if I would insist to give them money. Competition is good.