Ofcom sent 135 Bulldog complaints

Time for regulator to act


More than 130 individual complaints have been sent to Ofcom detailing problems faced by customers of broadband ISP Bulldog.

The 100-page document was compiled by Steve Collis from Dartford who has spearheaded a campaign to notify the regulator about the problems experienced by some punters.

In the last week Collis has been swamped with complaints about the Cable & Wireless (C&W)owned company and is still receiving emails from customers frustrated at being left without telephone and broadband services following their switch to the local loop unbundling (LLU) outfit.

Ofcom has so far refused publicly to discuss the growing number of customer complaints Bulldog. Both Bulldog and C&W have acknowledged there are issues yet Ofcom appears happy to hide behind its "process" instead of trying to help customers who've been left without phone and broadband for weeks on end.

An Ofcom spokesman told us last week: "If Ofcom identifies a particular clear pattern of complains we will speak informally to the company." If matters are not then resolved then Ofcom would launch a formal investigation, he said.

Collis hopes that the 135 complaints detailed in his dossier will help Ofcom identify "a particular clear pattern" prompting it to act on the complaints...complaints like this one received yesterday.

I stupidly accepted Bullodog's offer to upgrade my broadband connection provided I switched the voice service from BT to them. They cut off BT two weeks ago since when I have been without any voice service on the line in question. My experience since then is that it takes hours to get through to a human, that no-one knows anything about the nature of the problem or when it will be solved, they never call back and they never respond to emails except with an automated response.

So I have been two weeks without my residential telephone line and no indication as to when the problem will be solved. I really don't know what to do next.

Or this one.

I have already lodged complaints to ISPA and OFCOM because I think the service at bulldog has gone down the toilet and will never recommend it to anyone else. A year ago Bulldog impressed me, it saddens me as to how low a company can drop, considering that I can never get through to customer support and failure to progress my order over and over again has made me lose all faith in the company.

I have called bulldog three times over the last eight weeks about sorting this out, taking over a week each time to get through, to fix admin errors that your sales and customer service staff seem to make... Every time I am told my order is progressing, I phone in a couple weeks later to find out nothing has happened and that the order is "On hold"... This has wasted my time entirely.

And this from a letter sent to Bulldog...

On the day of disconnection from BT, we have had nothing but misery. Bulldog was late in switching our phone line across. When they did switch us we had five days of downtime on our phone. After over 15 calls and hours and hours of holding, we found out that one of your engineers had 'incorrectly jumpered' our phone in the Exchange. Your staff member on phone support said that 'this shouldn't happen that often but recently we've had quite a few complaints', very reassuring. At this point we realised our number was going through to another user's number on the exchange and we was getting the calls from his number. This went on for three days AFTER reporting this on the day it happened. Absolutely ridiculous!!!. And NOW to this day four weeks later we still don't have a working phone line. We are unable to make ANY outgoing calls. Again, after hours and hours of holding, messages being left, emails being sent, faxes being transferred, we still do not have a resolution.

Last week Bulldog confirmed it had introduced what it described as "a major package of measures" to help cope with complaints about its internet and phone service.

The ISP says it's responded to the "demands of its growing customer base" by opening two new call centres and plans to double the number of customer service staff by the end of the month.

It is also working with BT "to improve the provisioning process which causes delays and errors in connections driving most complaints".

On Friday C&W chairman Richard Lapthorne blamed BT for some of the problems facing Bulldog saying that "in the area of provisioning in particular, the level of service remains inconsistent". The ISP is so concerned that it is considering making a formal complaint to Ofcom.

BT has rejected the allegations made by Bulldog. ®

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