Feeds

Bloke threatens BT with giant plywood cheque

Cash this, suggests hacked-off Reg reader

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

It's Friday, so we're sure the following heartwarming tale will cheer your final slog into the weekend: how Reg reader David Humpage is giving BT some serious grief with giant novelty cheques.

David wrote to the El Reg consumer affairs department explaining that a couple of years back he noticed he was being charged £4.50 a pop for paying his phone bills online. This, he suggests, actually costs the telco nothing, so why the charge?

Two years of correspondence later, BT admitted it didn't take a financial hit for processing online payments, but explained it "averaged together all the non-direct-debit payment methods, and on that basis it costs them £4.50".

David says: "Fair enough, I thought, I don't want to do business with this kind of dishonesty and anyway you haven't apologised about Phorm yet. So I left."

He continues: "As I'd been paying for over two years to have non-existent cheques cashed, I thought I may as well have something for this outlay, so my last cheque was sent blown up on A3 cardboard. Remember, it's legal to write a cheque on anything as long as it contains the right information - there are famous stories of a cheque written on a cow, or in one case on a fish. In the circumstances, I thought they got off pretty lightly."

BT didn't think so, and since dispatching his novelty cheque last November, David has "been deluged with calls from BT people who couldn't speak English and were clearly following a script".

The company also referred the matter to a debt collection agency, which claimed the cheque had bounced. In fact, clarified David's bank, it was never presented for payment.

BT then claimed the cheque rubbered "because it was non-standard" - something David nicely describes as "clearly bollocks".

David splendidly concludes: "I've had my solicitor write them several letters, pointing out that they've been paid with a legal cheque, and it's up to them to cash it. I've even offered to replace the cheque, though stipulating that there'll be a £25 admin charge and the replacement will be on plywood."

Well done that man. The current state of play is that David's solicitor has written to BT threatening to "take them to court if they didn't cash my cheque". He's currently awaiting a reply, while the debt collectors have fallen silent.

We emailed BT this morning asking for its position on giant novelty cheques. A press officer requested the phone number related to the bill in question, and promised to look into the matter. Watch this space... ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.