personal finance

Customer keeps phone number after digital switch woes – The Crusader

Ken Woods was desperate when he asked Crusader to help him escape the tech mire and get what had been promised to the public – that people could keep their home numbers and the changeover was free.

 ++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer champion Maisha Frost on ++;

Instead Ken’s line, broadband and service packages were cancelled in the course of the new agreement being arranged, something that was by far the worse element because of the personal consequences. 

He was also on hook for “early cancellation” and new equipment charges triggered by actions he had not instigated  

And while separate from the cause of his problems, being cut off could not have happened at a worse moment for Ken as during it all his wife passed away. 

“Trying to rescue my number when in the hospice and when so many were trying to call me was very difficult, my old number just rang out engaged,” he told Crusader. “The texts and emails BT sent me were all ‘no reply’, so that didn’t help either.”

Thousands are transferring seamlessly and the issues here thankfully have been sorted out by his provider BT which acted swiftly after Crusader’s alert.

A BT customer for 32 years when informed about the switchover Ken found he needed to have a new hub. “I asked for the equipment but had no reply,” he recalls. “The next thing I heard was that my service had been cancelled. I have made over 30 calls now, have had as many guaranteeing re-connection and spent hours.”

But Ken also is keen to stress: “BT’s customer services people were unfailingly nice and tried their best. It seems they aren’t linked up.”

Now with his original number restored, charges of £70 dropped and a £100 goodwill gesture accepted, “I’m very thankful to Crusader,” he says. “I apparently have two accounts now that should be merged, so once that is done I can really move on.”  

A BT spokesperson said: ““We are very sorry that Ken’s experience fell below the standard we strive to provide our customers. Our complaints team have contacted Ken and his service is now working on his original telephone number. We have provided him with compensation for the delay in providing his service and also a goodwill gesture to acknowledge and apologise for what happened.”

[Ken’s name has been changed]

Digital Voice switch: how consumers can do their bit to help themselves 

When arranging for new equipment and/or be switched, check with customer services before any new order is raised that there are no charges or any duplication of orders. Before action ensure your number is retained and all checks have been done. Keep a record of any personnel you speak to.

If returning old equipment, consider recorded delivery and keep a photo record and any receipt. Ensure any previous contractual free minutes are rolled over.

  • Take heart for most customers the switch will go smoothly and as simple as plugging their existing phone into the back of their broadband router. 
  • For those customers who are taking broadband for the first time, they can expect to get a broadband router ahead of their switch.
  • Any existing customers with additional needs such as health pendants, or without mobile coverage aren’t being switched at the moment). However they can expect additional support when the time comes so if you can keep track, do.
  • Best move for customers: ahead of the switch and for anyone with a device which connects to their landline, speak to your equipment provider to check that the device is ‘digital ready’ and will continue to work after the switch. 
  • If customers have any questions, concerns or want to alert Digital Voice to anything, get in touch on 0330 1234 150: option 1, option 1, option 5.


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