Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/18/bulldog_ofcom/
Bulldog faces Ofcom complaints
Hacked off Bulldog punters are being urged to contact telecoms regulator Ofcom with their complaints about the broadband provider.
Steve Collis from Dartford is spearheading a campaign to notify Ofcom about the problems experienced by some punters after running into his own ISP troubles. Collis plans to pull together as many complaints as he can and forward them en masse to Ofcom.
Collis told The Register: "I have received what can only be described as an overwhelming response from disappointed and angry Bulldog subscribers - who feel that waiting over one hour to speak to a customer adviser, no response from technical support on top of patchy, sporadic or no ADSL and telephone service continuity - is completely unacceptable.
"Many customers have complained of losing their telephone line for weeks on end, forcing them to use mobiles and other such devices at a far greater cost, thus leaving them out of pocket. Others have experienced overpricing of a service that they have not received.
"Customers feel trapped into accepting this ridiculous situation," he told us.
So far Collis has received emails from 40 people but is keen for more and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week the UK's internet trade group ISPA contacted Bulldog over "customer service issues" and received assurances from the Cable & Wireless-owned ISP that measures are in place to deal with matters.
But that is not enough for some punters who've been left without phone and internet services following their transfer to the local loop unbundling (LLU) provider.
ALthough ISPA has intervened, Ofcom has refused to say whether it has seen an increase in the number of complaints about Bulldog or whether it has contacted the ISP.
A spokesman for the watchdog told us that it does not provide data and information on individual companies.
"If Ofcom identifies a particular clear pattern of complains we will speak informally to the company," a spokesman for the regulator told us.
If matters are not then resolved then Ofcom would launch a formal investigation, he said.
Asked whether Ofcom has contacted Bulldog over the complaints, a spokeswoman for the ISP told us: "We're constantly on touch with Ofcom and this is part of our regular discussions with them. Later this week, though, we will be putting forward our new plans to Ofcom concerning our customer services." ®
More emails from unhappy Bulldog punters
The weekend has brought no let-up in the number of emails El Reg has received about LLU ISP Bulldog. Here's just a selection:
I'm sure you have heard all this before but here are my complaints...missed the switch over date, several times...never properly contacted BT Internet to switch over services I continued to get billed ? I had to do it myself through BT, who were fantastic...a service that regularly drops, two or three times a week, for hours at a time...it doesn't do what it says on the tin - it's not 8 meg...the phone line quality is poor: tinny and often with an echo...'Customer Care' - the biggest oxymoron of all time. Impossible to get through. As useless a service as I have ever seen.
Here's another Bulldog trainwreck to add to the barrage. I ordered a new line with 8 meg ADSL as I didn't trust them to meddle with my existing BT line, and didn't want to lose the ASDL service I have from Nildram - which is of unquestionable quality. The new line is scheduled for installation in four days. Two days ago I picked up the phone on my existing line and a voice greeted me with 'Welcome to Bulldog'. Nildram have also been booted off the line and replaced with Bulldog ADSL. Once it became apparent that their customer service was utterly dysfunctional I filed a complaint with ISPA. I'm still waiting to have my service restored from BT which might take up to ten days. I'm one unhappy bunny.
I'm hacked of with Bulldog and I don't even have their broadband! The first was a call from India telling me they have a wonderful offer and how much did I spend on broadband. Then he got stuck in a loop repeating 'that's an amazing 4 meg - eight times faster than your current broadband' . I mentioned that mine was 1 meg cable, so it was really 4 meg but he couldn't grasp that and I hung up. Then he called right back and continued! And more calls over the next few weeks - the last began "Look here Sir, we know you spend 30 pounds a month on phone bills..." And then I begged Bulldog to pull their hounds off. There isn't even a BT line to this property. ®/