BT backs down after YouTube blastCustomer criticises company in online video

22 November 2007

A close-up of a telephone cord a man is using to make a call.

A BT customer forced the telecoms giant to back down in a billing dispute after he lambasted its customer service in a YouTube video, it's reported today.

Patrick Askins posted the scathing clip on the video-sharing site following a frustrating six months trying to resolve the row.

But the tactic worked and Patrick, from Warwick, received a letter on behalf of BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland and was refunded the disputed cash.

The Daily Mail reports the problems began in April when Patrick was informed that BT was adding an extra £90.70 to his £103 phone bill.

0845 calls

BT stated that due to a 'systems error' he had not been charged for 0844 and 0845 calls between August and November last year.

He wrote to the company asking for a written explanation but never received one and spent £200 in calls and postage trying to resolve the dispute, says the newspaper.

He also had his phone line cut off three times and finally lost his patience when BT sent automated voice calls to his phone warning that he owed money.

Call centres

Patrick told the paper: ‘There's only so many times you can listen to a recorded voice asking you to press a different number to speak to a particular department and then having to listen to the holding music.'

He added: ‘I was cut off three times and was forever calling call centres in Bombay and although the staff were very polite they were not able to help very much.

‘It was only after I put the film on the internet did I get a letter back from Sir Christopher Bland's office apologising for the hassle.’

The paper says that BT apologised and arranged for Patrick's account to be credited with £90.70 plus VAT.