Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hello BT! The cost of decent CRM versus the CPA of customers

As requested by @BTCare via twitter... I've used their email contact form to expand on the complaint I've made via phone and tweets.
I had to resort to my PC to do this because the link supplied by BTCare for me to detail all of this didn't open properly on an iPad or iPhone. Think about that for a moment BT. If it had, I wouldn't have written the following on a PC - so almost certainly wouldn't have bothered blogging it. Oh dear. Lesson learned?

Anyway - quick bit of background. I upgraded my broadband to 30+ meg last year and, as part of the deal, got a BT Vision Box. My Freeview recorder had just packed up so I thought, why not? Even though it didn't deliver Freeview HD (which the receiver on my TV does, it's an internet TV with IPlayer and all that good stuff). BT Vision was included in the deal. Services (usually £5 a month) free for year one.

I was told HD was coming soon. Fair enough... I'd sit it out. Then I got a letter offering me a load of new channels... and HD - for an extra £2. I liked the look of the extra channels so rang and tried to get the deal.

Not available for me (so why send it to me?) - I'd have to take out a new contract and pay £7 a month more than I currently do.


So... Here's what I sent them. (I like to blog these things for the record since I absolutely hate email 'forms' which have an alarming tendency to crash and leave the consumer with no record of the email being sent) 

I'm annoyed.
I received a letter offering to upgrade my BT Vision service (which is part of a broadband deal I changed to in the latter part of last year).
The letter offered new channels + upgrading terrestrial channels to HD (which I can get free through my TV's freeview receiver anyway).
I was told when taking out the contract HD would be following soon (I could therefore bear losing it via your box in the meantime). As you will be aware, running additional receivers through the same tv is complex so it's an either or decision.
Now it appears that my 'free' year one provision of BT Vision must terminate if I want HD and a new contract at £7 a month begun.
Issues 1: Either my first year was free or it wasn't.
Issue 2: Either the upgrade is £2 or it isn't.
Issue 3. I don't believe your CRM is so poor that you can't differentiate between your offerings to customers.
I called BT Vision and have now initiated a complaint.
This is your error, you shouldn't contact consumers on a one year free intro deal with an offer of a £2 upgrade if it actually isn't available.
You also shouldn't be charging for HD for terrestrial channels with a straight face - since that is available via freeview and similar set set boxes at no charge.
My expectations: Now you've got yourselves into this mess you should honour the offer you have made - I find the package (including HD) reasonable at £2 a month and will pay that.
And you should do so not just for me, you should do so for everyone you have made the offer to who is in a similar position. Your error - you fix it.
Failing this I will happily go back to freeview, acquire my broadband at exactly the same speed through rival suppliers and consider terminating my lengthy and costly and almost never used landline service.
I hope you will regard my long and valuable custom (MUST BE 25 YEAR PLUS BTW) somewhat higher than the continued (no change to your budgets) £5 a month discount you include in our current contract. 
What exactly is your cost per acquisition of a customer? 
I look forward to hearing your response within 48 hours.
My enquiry reference number: 130323-006027

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?