February 27, 2006

NTL …. customer services rating = 0%

Guess what? I’ve joined the “I BLOODY HATE NTL” bandwagon.

Upgraded to 10MBit. Currently on 2MB on a Terayon Modem.
Only 5MBit can be achieved according to www.adslguide.org.uk


Called NTL Customer Support.

“We currently have 75 callers waiting to speak to a customer services advisor, the wait time will be approximately 4 minutes…”

They say that some cable modems cap out at 5 to 8.5MBit. I am entitled to a free cable modem upgrade to cater for the 10MBit speeds. So they pass me to Broadband Technical Support to ask for the sales department to sort it out.

Broadband Technical Support asks me to some really long ass winded series of tests using their appaulingly bad “Test My Speed” website. This is simply a random 50MB file dumped on a webserver. Download with Internet Explorer and save it to the desktop and look at the transfer rate (blah blah blah, very ‘sophisisticated’ speed test). This peaks at 280kb/s. I give them their MAC address, they disconnect my cable modem remotely and reconnect again, by the time this got reconnected, this took 10 minutes, and by then my mobile phone died of battery.

Called up Broadband Technical Support again. This time it was a different person, explained the situation again. In the slowest possible manner(and perhaps the most dumbest idiots english ever), they ask me to go back to their shitty “Test My Speed” website. I confirm the transfer rate (again)... it’s still the same (again), they ask for my MAC address (again), they disconnect/reconnect me (again). Thankfully this took shorter time. “Test My Speed” website again, download 50MB file AGAIN …. TRANSFER RATE IS THE SAME …. AGAIN!!! They tell me it’s definately the modem is capping out at 5MBit … (yes, even customer services know that), ..... they DON’T offer free replacement modem because my current one is too old and that it’s still working ... (WTF??????), they transfer me back to Customer Services to sort out this modem business with them.

7:30pm – Called up Customer Services

“We currently have 90 callers waiting to speak to a customer services advisor, the wait time will be approximately 4 minutes…”

I’m getting a little pissed off now. Spoke to some nice woman on the other side. She also agrees that Broadband Technical support offer a free cable modem … (deja vu?). No-one in customer services can arrange cable modems to be delivered. They pass me back to Broadband Technical Support …... AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!!!!!! DOUBLE WTF????

7:45PM – I got cut off …. %!$!!!!

7:50PM – Called up Broadband Technical Support, long ass wait again.

Person on the other end spoke to his supervisor. He cannot provide me a free cable modem without paying £60 for it (Isn’t your rip-off package of £34.99/month STILL not enough???). I have to speak to customer services AGAIN….. and request a 3-way conference with Broadband Technical support.

8:10PM – Called up Customer Support …. AGAIN!

“We are currently closed, we are open from Monday to …. ” CLICK

_following several minutes of kicking my cable modem around the room, I finally left myself with 3 options …

1) Call up those blatantly proven useless idiots at Customer Services and create threats to send a nuclear warhead to NTL HQ.

2) Find the nearest sledge hammer and smash up the cable modem to pieces. (Yay! It’s faulty, so they should replace my modem for free!)

3) Quit NTL completely, and go through the painful and expensive hassle of getting a BT line, ADSL modem and ADSL router, and find a decent ADSL provider.

I can also explicitly prove the following facts:

1) Customer Services and Broadband Technical Support don’t get on well.

2) Customer Services are more knowledgable than Broadband Technical Support.

3) NTL cuts people off the telephone queue, because they don’t like receiving complaints, nor do they care about them.

4) NTL provides the worst ever customer support I’ve ever experienced.

- 18 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. This may offer some amusement, if you've not already seen it: Best Complaint Letter Ever!

    Maybe you should consider sending something along the same lines? ;)

    27 Feb 2006, 21:28

  2. I have a whole blog tag devoted to ntl. I still get people telling me how bad they were even after one entry 18 months ago.

    ntl sucks. End of.

    27 Feb 2006, 21:34

  3. john

    hi best thing to do with ntl is tell them you want to cancel i had tv telephone and broadband they offer you the earth to save a cancelation they offerd me 6months free services to try and keep me but after 5 years of c**p i told them to shove it up the chocolate starfish free service would be nice if you can put up with a poor service go for the free ride if you like but while you get it free look for better

    21 Mar 2006, 00:11

  4. Mike Peterson

    I have had it up to here (points to top of head) with NTL customer service. On 23rd Feb (2006) they took £50 out of my bank account without reason and without informing me. They had no authorisation to do this. My direct debit extends only to my normal bills.

    I phoned Customer 'service' who refused to listen to me, and cut me off, presumably because I was complaining and they don't like listening to complaints.

    Since then I have written four letters and have received two stock replies saying someone would contact me. Needless to say, nobody has.

    I started the wheels in motion to change to BT. BT contacted NTL to say that I wanted my phone number transferred. Surprise Surprise! Another part of NTL sprang into action. They offered me three free months to stay with them. I am, of course, proceeding with changing to BT. In the course of the conversation the lackey told me that the problem had been sorted, and that I had had a refund. He lied. In fact, the next day they took another £25 out of my account without my agreement and authorisation, and without giving a reason.

    This must be the worst customer servive I have ever experienced. If you are thinking of joining NTL, good luck to you. When I left BT some years ago, they were bad, but never as bad as NTL.

    24 Mar 2006, 11:12

  5. NIgel

    Phoned 27Apr06–14:35; the fourth day I am phoning to get a MAC number from ntl. Again they tried to pass me form one person to another again like they do everyday I phone then I am put on hold for long periods until eventually someone comes on, talks some more rubbish and passes me on to another department. Most of the statements made contradict each other or are so lame that a child can see they are being taken for a ride. Why? Who knows. Perhaps ntl is not happy that I am leaving them for another company, but to tell their staff to act so immaturely? It's for this very reason – lack of propper public relations – that I have left ntl and now they're giving me a good dose of this bad service before I'm fully rid of them. Why can't they just be professional and stop wasting everyone's time including their own. The customer has the right to change their mind at any time and to want to punish them if they want to go somewhere else is sick. I will never be a customer of ntl again. They told me to phone back in two days time to get this MAC. By now I'll rather wait the few weeks to get my broadband on than to call the clowns at ntl, but I'm going to call just to prove my point. Why it takes two days to give a MAC number is another mystery from this Mickey Mouse company. What happened two years ago sums their attitude up nicely:- link

    27 Apr 2006, 15:27

  6. kenny

    i have found that ntl does have no support what so ever for people who wish to leave there service

    for the last week ive been wringing ntl up to cancel my subscription to broadband sure its only 17.99 per month for 1 meg

    but that is a complete rip off compared to the isp i have now ( tiscali ) 8 meg for 17.99 per month

    well any way ive been trying to get in touch with them to cancel my current broadband only to get cut off half way through the calls i make all i get is the dreaded " you are hearing a dial tone this means we have nobody to take your call at the moment please try again later" that is complete bs
    thats all ive been getting for the last few days

    its funny the customer support is there for you when they want your money but try and cancel ntl and let me tell you this you will have the hardest task of doing so

    ntl = a rip off try tiscali they offer better customer support\relations

    27 Jun 2006, 14:01

  7. vinodkrishna@rediffmail.com

    I called them to disconnect my services and they did not record the first request.I called them again after 10 days, and to my amusement found out that they haven't cancelled my services.This time the request was logged and the set top box was promptly taken away next day.After about 10 days, I get a letter saying the service will be disconnected after the 30 day notice period but the date of disconnection was based on the second request.And I get a bill which extends beyond the 30 day period due to the quirky billing system they have.And guess what, the bill contains charges for premium subsriptions that I had(despite them taking the settop box away).I called up and they said the money would be refunded after the disconnection date and I call them again after the disconnection date.This time they say that the billing dept still has the services as active and I need to call the disconnection dept again to get them speak to the billing dept to refund my dues!! And needless to say everytime I call , I am put in a queue and I hangup after 20 odd mins out of frustration (after choosing option 4 which is the house move and disconnection dept).Also, everytime I call, I ask them to call me back, someone takes my number , noone calls !!
    And mind you, the lines are charged at 5p odd from a BT line (that's what they claim), but I've been charged like 10p per minute from my Vodafone cell. I've checked up the complaints procedure on otelo.org which does not help. I found out that you can raise these sort of things at consumerdirect.gov.uk and they offer some helpful advice.And they might refer the matter to trading standards committee and other regulatory authorities, if they find that there's some substance in the complaints.

    Avoid NTL like plague. Beleive me, good customer service is worth that extra two quid.That's what I've learnt from my experience.

    I switched to BT and Sky recently and fpund that Sky has a real good selection(especially with the current 6 months sky movies free offer on a 12 month contract, it's a very good deal if you are a movie buff).BT broadband has given no trouble so far and was easy to set up.

    And please raise issues with consumerdirect.gov.uk if you feel if you are being taken for a ride. Hope this helps.

    10 Jul 2006, 18:58

  8. D Playle

    I h8 ntl, They charge my dad over an extra £50/month and then they cut off the internet connection for 2 weeks then they change the password for our email address so we can get on it (Theres no password recovery either) Ive been looking for 2 hours! Now my dads in debt cos of NTL. Theres 1 more thing, can anyone get the number to customer services so I can get the MAC number cos I don’t like NTL.

    Personly I think NTL sucks, even the website. Im 13-year-old boy and Im able to make better websites than that. I have advanced knowledge in HTML, XHTML, JavaScript, SQL, PHP and PERL. So if I (A teenager) can do it then they should be able to do better!

    NTL my message to you is if you can’t handle a little pressure then don’t try running an ISP company.

    04 Sep 2006, 15:42

  9. marie May

    What you’ve written so far is nothing compared to what I’ve gone through. Last year I told NTHell to disconnect the landline cause we were moving elsewhere, which as far as I can tell they did. However about 3 months went by before they stopped by to reconnect the service in my flat. However, what came as a shock was the fact that they kept sending bills to my new address now charging me for the time between they disconnected the service until they reconnected it (about 2 to 3 months). They were literally trying to steal money from me. And then I started to receive final reminder letters saying pay up or else. I bent over backwards trying to reach a real person through customer harras…er service. They never gave a solution and letters from them kept piling up in my rubbish bin.

    On the other hand, by the time we were expecting someone from NTHell to show up for reconnection, some female executive called me up and offered me a deal in which I’d have to pay only £7.25 as a month charge, provided I made a payment of £25 upfront. The case is I wouldn’t have to pay a single £p during the first 3 months. I accepted, but as as soon as the line became ready for use, they started sending bils for £11.50 as a month charge. What they are doing is illegal right?. They’ve been doing this since we started this new contract. I desperately tried to get help and advice from somewhere but it was fruitless.
    Then they sent the “debt” to a debt recovery company, and after trying to contact those guys, they forced me into pay like £100 of which I owed about £50 according to my estimates. I have the whole paperwork to prove what I’m saying. However they got away with it. I’m sure these sharks do the same to other hard working people and nobody does a thing about it.
    As they have disconnected the line, they have the nerves to tell me I have to pay a further fee to have the line back, and the month charges are still running. So I have to pay to have the service back and furthermore I have to keep paying what they say I owe untill the end of the contract. Can somebody tell me is there anything I can do to expose these rats? I’m sharing this in the hope that somebody who reads this will have an idea that can help start stopping this swindlers, or organize a group and together expose these fraudsters, legally. they have been in breach of a contract and don’t care what I say.

    19 Sep 2006, 14:53

  10. Gregor Samsa

    I’d have to say that my NTL experience, shortlived as it was, was quite positive overall, inasmuch as I’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to be a character in a story by Franz Kafka. Monday they installed broadband. Tuesday I tried to set it up. Four times. Kept telling me I had the wrong cable modem. The best bit was ringing the tech line. Before you got through to someone – say 20 minutes later, at 10p a minute – you had to listen to a litany of recorded messages telling you of the many and varied problems that NTL customers were likely to be suffering at that time – dodgy cable modem messages, services out in Peterborough, lightning strikes (!) elsewhere. Eventually I was told by someone (possibly in India, which makes sense as England obviously isn’t NTL’s strongpoint) to call back the next morning, Wednesday, at 10am. By that time everything would be working. You can probably guess the rest of the story. Wednesday 12.40 – cable modem still dodgy. Rang billing, but they’d been hit by lightning, told me via recorded message to call back tomorrow (ie Thursday) and then neatly cut me off. Rang Tech Support. They said someone would call me back. Sadly, no one did. Tried again Wednesday 8.40pm. Still no luck. But on Thursday everything went right. Got on to NTL customer relations pronto, cancelled the entire package, rang up BT, and made sure my broadband arrangement with them was still operating. Whether I’m bombarded with bills over the next few months is another matter, but frankly, that will be a matter for my solicitor…

    I would not touch these people with a 20-foot barge pole. What’s most frightening is the recorded messages on the Tech Support line, casually reeling off all their service failures around the country, with a heartfelt recorded apology thrown in to make it all better. If you’re in any way thinking of crossing over, call their tech support number first – 0871 225 1111. Don’t worry about what you might have to say when you get through – you won’t – at least not for 20 minutes or so. Just listening to the recorded messages gives you a good idea of what you’ll be up against…

    12 Oct 2006, 09:42

  11. judy

    I hate NTL too – and I am not even a customer!

    I had cable in the US, and always prefered that to ADSL. I don’t have a cable line in my house, so they would need to do some digging in order for me to have cable. Before that though, NTL wanted me to return a letter signed by a neighbor or landlors agreeing to the digging.

    WELL… I called 4 times in the last 4 months, and 4 times I waited for a letter from them. Each time they apologized and said they would send a new letter – and they never came!

    Considering they put me on hold for over 40 minutes every time I call and that most of the people I talked to are RUDE, I am now happy I gave up trying!

    NTL – You SUCK!

    18 Oct 2006, 03:12

  12. I think all my anti-NTL fanboys are coming to you instead now Vince. :(

    18 Oct 2006, 13:47

  13. Mr. steven peter coleman I

    my wife has been tryiny to disconnect with ntl since september2006. we was told yes ok november th 4, 06 that time came still connected rang up was told december 22nd 2006 here she is still connected when will they be told we do not what there service any more. but they must be dum,thick or a 100% thicker.

    10 Jan 2007, 21:21

  14. agatha

    one year after leaving NTL they sent a debt recovery agency to recover a debt they say I owe. Howeve, before I left I had settled everything with them. One of their senior employee also confirmed that I had nothing else to pay.Since leaving they have phoned on a number of occasions offering me what I had for £5.00 instead of £17.99. They keep sending me letters, which I return to sender. I wish they would leave me alone. Now I hate NTL. NTL really stinks and I wish they would take their greed back to America where they belong.

    15 Jan 2007, 18:04

  15. Michael Owens

    NTL ; total crap.

    I am currently on hold to speak to Customer Services, been waiting now for 44 minutes (“our call is important to you – please hold”) <—if it was so important, they would make sure EACH call was answered within the first 3 minutes!

    I have two phone lines, so – as a test, I decided to call NTL Sales ; guess what? Got answered after TWO rings. I hung up, dialed again, same again – answered immediately.

    NTL honestly dont give one iota towards its customers, and everytime you DO have a problem and need to report it, they fob you off to various departments.

    They are truly wankers!

    26 Jan 2007, 16:11

  16. lewis

    i got my 2mb broadband 3 months ago and dowkoads where about 350kb a sec now having a 4 mb i only get 117 what the feck is up wae that ,spread the word, u tube is a big bomshell if any 1 knows how to use it

    30 Jan 2007, 22:42

  17. angie

    hi i got ntl even the instilation was a farse 3 days later i finaly got it sorted but got no compincation for the stress and worry i went through spoke to adviser and was told a complaint was put in i phoned back with a nother problem thay left and put in a second complant with no writen conformation that this has been done feel like thay have fobed me off and left it as am just an idiot who will acseped any excuse i am not happy and after reading this page i am starting to wonder if i should stay with this company.

    05 Feb 2007, 16:53

  18. Lucy

    I would leave NTL/Virgin Media first chance you get, I have been having major problems with them ever since I moved house – over 18 months ago!!

    I work with people who used to work there and they say that most of the customer services team will put you on hold and throw your call back in the queue or put you on hold to go and make a coffee…then put you back in the queue.

    I wrote a four page comedy letter which had people in my office in stitches and a 5 months later, 2 further complaint letters and one complaint email have had no resolution. Customer services is something that happens in other companies as far as NTL are concerned and lets face it as long as they play dumb they get their money in the end just so you can get your life back.

    I think Catherine Tate actually modelled Lauren on an NTL employee.

    NTL – customer care??....oh look a whole flock of monkey’s flying out of my arse!

    03 Apr 2007, 14:35

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