Saturday 7 April 2012

DWP Should Protect Services!

A simple system which enables payments to be made straight from the DWP to B.T would surely be easy enough to arrange in order to protect the service provided to vulnerable customers (& provide oversight on their accounts).

Open Letter to British Telecom

Dear British Telecom (B.T)
 Firstly I would like to remind B.T that I am a State Disablement Benefit claimant and am therefore considered "vulnerable", secondly I wish to make known my intention to approach "OFCOM" concerning the issues raised in this correspondence and to furnish them with a copy of same. I have now been without any telecommunication or televisual service from you for approx. one month! This has caused me extreme stress and a considerable worsening of both my mental state and my (stress-related), Self-Harm condition. In essence therefore I have been subject to an assault at your hands. In previous conversations with B.T I have made known my concerns about the lack of consideration extended to vulnerable customers such as myself that now appears to have become "institutionalised" within your company. An examination of my account records and conversations with the various departments of your organisation (esp. with regard to my most recent changes of address and FOUR new line installations -incl. my initial change of service provider from Virgin Telecom at ......-), will reveal that I have been both a "good" and loyal customer (paying my bills on-time and adhering to my payment plans), whose need for both "Unlimited Broadband" and the "B.T Vision" service has ensured that my State Disablement Benefits have furnished B.T with considerable revenue during this period.
 Prior to privitisation B.T was a "trusted member of the household" and could be relied upon to properly consider the real needs of it's customers, which is why as a vulnerable adult I recently decided to retain my B.T service and not avail myself of Virgin Media's offer of a fibre-optic connection. This was a decision made in part due to a conversation that took place between myself and one of your more senior customer service advisers (see acc. records). On the occasion of the aforementioned conversation a monthly payment plan of under £50 was offered and accepted (your aim clearly being to secure my custom with your company), this conversation took place over The New Year period (Dec-2011-Jan 2012).
 I was therefore both alarmed and surprised when my service was restricted by yourselves WITHOUT WARNING some two weeks or so following my last £50 telephone payment to your company.  B.T's policy regarding not only the restriction of access to customer service advice (an absolute minimum requirement for vulnerable customers such as myself), has been the cause of the stress and worsening of both my physical and mental health conditions to which I referred earlier. This situation has been aggravated as a result of B.T's inability to ensure my access to my Outlook Express account.  As a vulnerable customer one of the reasons that B.T has (so-far), remained my preferred service provider is the "screen-sharing" service available from B.T online.
 Many customers in similar positions as myself (who require access to the internet as a necessity not a privilege), are only "functionally computer literate" and rely on the expertise of their service provider to ensure continuance of their service. Despite (however), my utilisation of your "screen-sharing" system your advisor was unable to access the protocols necessary in order to "un-lock" my Outlook Express account (which had -for reasons unknown to myself-, denied me access). I was not satisfied with the response of your online advisor which I found dismissive and unhelpful. The protocols and user-name/password for my Outlook Express acc. are the same as those required to gain access to my B.T acc. and other services online, as a result I have been completely unable to contact your company in order to discuss the unexpected restriction of my service (for whilst I know my user-name which is the same as my Outlook Express email acc. -see letter heading-, the password reminder for the online acc. cannot be accessed).
 As a direct result of B.T's policies the only means at my disposal of raising these issues with the company and re-instating a service which is vital to my own health and well-being is via this written correspondence. Needless to say the current lack-of-support offered by other governmental and non-governmental organisations/institutions has contributed to the difficulties which I regularly encounter when attempting to secure/protect services such as housing, health-care and the utilities from the rage of the "free-market".
 It is totally unacceptable that I should both be deprived of vital services and forced into a stressful and difficult process of response because of the all-pervasive philosophy of Social-Darwinism which is leading directly to the discrimination against and marginalisation of the concerns of vulnerable minorities within our society.
 Furthermore as your customer it is fully my "intent-to-pay" something of which B.T cannot be appraised as a direct result of it's poor customer service policy.  As proof of my intent I cite my recent telephone payment of £40 into my account (something I did in an attempt to de-restrict my service), however despite the obvious intent represented by this payment to pay your company NO RESONSE WHATSOEVER from yourself has been elicited (despite the fact that B.T are now the ONLY people now able to contact me via the telephone). Such DANGEROUS and UNCARING behaviour by a major service provider must surely be contrary to more than one internationally accepted standard of human rights.
 As B.T has forced me into this difficult and stressful position I must insist that you contact me immediately upon receipt of this correspondence in order to ascertain my intentions and enter in to negotiations with regard to the urgent reinstament of my service. I will make no further payments into my account via your automated service until I receive a PERSONAL RESPONSE from your company.

yours faithfully