Feeds

BT sets heavy mob on El Reg

Distraught staff receive counselling over unpaid bill

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Several members of Reg staff are this afternoon receiving counselling after BT set the heavy mob on Vulture Central over an unpaid £200 bill.

The drama unfolded this morning when Register supremo Linus "Fish Fingers" Birtles received an alarming phone call while out-and-about enjoying a double latte mocha-choca decaf with Armenian organic nutmeg sprinkle. The call - from BT's Bromsgrove debt collection heavies - demanded immediate settlement of a 200 quid amount relating to our account at Farm Street, London.

Suitably confused (we do not have, and have never had, premises at Farm Street), Linus called the strong-arm boys, who agreed to not to kick our front door down while the matter was resolved. A further call to BT revealed that the said cash was for a redirect service set up to field calls from the former Vulture Central luxury executive suite in London's Maddox Street. True enough, we had set up such a service in September 2002, but Farm Street? What did it all mean?

Linus then learned that the redirect service had been suspended in July 2004 over non-payment of bills. Protesting that he had not actually seen any bills, Linus was informed that they had been duly sent to the said Farm Street. All well and good, except that Farm Street is the BT exchange at which the redirect was carried out. So, BT had been billing its own exchange and when staff there - perfectly reasonably - declined to settle the account, started with the Tony Soprano-style phonecalls.

In fairness to BT, the telco has agreed to a 50 per cent discount on the outstanding amount given that we could not have been reasonably expected to collect our bills from the nearest exchange. For our part, we concede that we should have realised that the clock was running on this one and acted accordingly - although Linus is adamant he would have cancelled the service had he got a piece of paper indicating that it was still costing him money.

There's a moral in here somewhere - something involving a wise Chinese man with a long beard talking about dragons - but this will come as little comfort to the hacks who witnessed the entire dialogue who are as we speak sobbing quietly into a beer while colleagues console them. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?