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BT has £900 commonsense failure

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Does BT's greed know no end? The company that spend millions persuading customers it loves them has had a major commonsense failure with a £900 bill sent to Edward and Patricia Curtis in Cornwall.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Curtises were shocked when their usual £100 bill came in at £900. The reason for the rocketing expense was 2,200 calls to directory inquiries - calls the Curtises say they never made.

Logic would appear to back them up. On one day, over 300 calls were made to directory enquiries - one every three minutes for 16 hours. Another 150 were made on another day. Even more illogical was the apparent ability of the Curtises to make 43 calls to directory inquiries in just 4 minutes. When you consider that it takes longer and longer these days for an operator to pick up the phone, this rate is simply impossible.

But BT was having none of it - that's what the computer said after all. The couple's kids must have done it. Eventually, BT threatened to cut the family off, so they had no choice but to cough up and then go to the small claims court to get the money back.

Now it doesn't take a genius to work out that there has been some kind of error here. What any other reasonable company (i.e. one in a competitive market) would have done is cancelled the bill, apologised, worked out what went wrong and then rebilled the Curtis' the right amount. But then BT isn't in a competitive market and thanks to its local-loop pricing structure, it looks like it won't be for any time soon. ®

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