Dear British Telecom

You will be aware, I am certain,
of the extortionate amount
you charge me every month
in order that I can have
my telephone, my internet and my TV
all through one source.

Given that this service
has now been out of action
for eight days, and given
that, had you asked,
I could have told you
where the problem was –
in that green box outside
my house with the doors
swinging open and the wires exposed:
but you never asked;

just referred me to your web site
which tells me that the problem
is somewhere just outside my house
(I could have told you that)

And given that so far
this disruption has cost me
five football matches,
an invitation to a poetry event
and an enquiry about
the possibility of a shag,

I trust that, when
you eventually restore
the service, you will
be adding a substantial
rebate to my bill.
Yours sincerely (but not best wishes)


54 Responses to “Dear British Telecom”

  1. This poem explains why I haven’t been around for the last little while.
    I shall do my best to catch up with you all over the next few days.
    Bear with me


  2. I see you like a pipe, but you know it’s bad for your health don’t you 😉

    Great, fun poem

  3. Yes, the problems of modern communication & red tapedom are well advocated in your poem, David. I’ve had similar problems with the now ex-communicated British Gas. Re-imbursement? That’s as likey as Carlos Tevez signing for F.C.United Of Manchester (:
    A canny read. I hope you are well? I was in Whitby 8 days ago (:

    • Your comment had me laughing out loud Jeff.

      I am envious of your visit to Whitby – I hope to get there early in the New Year.

      I shall nonetheless continue to pursue them for reimbursement – it seems only right and proper to me


  4. We have the same phenomena: Suddenlink Communication Systems. No cure for this malady yet.

  5. LOL!!!

    Great that you are back; I have missed you even though We have been in touch every day! There must be some sense in that?!

    Don’t forget to eat while you are catching up!!!!!!!!

    Big Warm Bundle of Winter Love



    • Thank you Christine,

      Big warm bundles of love are certainly required on days like today – I shall not be going out again 🙂

      I will take my time catching up!! Promise 🙂

      Lots of love

  6. I was wondering why you have not been around and you have a lot of catching up to do as your email box must be full.

    I’m very sorry you missed the possibility of a shag, i would sue them for that, on the grounds you have not had a shag for years and it was their fault 🙂

  7. LOL My internet was out for a week, but they won’t refund any money!! Seems all the companies are alike!! Hugs, enjoyed!!

  8. Hi David, LOL good to see your British Telecom problems are over. You didn’t miss much football wise if you were going to watch the champion league, (what a bummer) and I am sure that shag (what ever that is if it is non smoking) will hold til later?

    Did you sent the poem to them btw? I think they might rebate your bill if they have a sense of humour that is. 🙂

    Arohanui and congrats with the restoration of your communication with the rest of the world 🙂

    • Ah, I listened to the football on the radio – It was certainly disappointing but not altogether unexpected.

      I will send them the poem – see if it does any good 🙂

      As regards ‘shag’ – I will let you look it up 🙂 And it is certainly non smoking *Grin*

      Thank you and Arohanui to you too 🙂


      • 😳 okay so I learned a new word. Thanks a lot!
        When we moved to this house, we also had no tv for some weeks. No idea why, they just couldn’t fix it. We watched video’s with the sons and it was very cosy 🙂 The cat was scared and only came out of hiding in the evening and so we all sat together (this house, still small, is a lot bigger than the old one) .
        Listening to the radio must have been rather nostalgic. I thought you would have been watching football in a pub 🙂

        Your experiences has made us decide to keep phone, tv and internet companies seperate. So when one thing fails, the other will still be there. 🙂

      • Ah, it is a slang word (vulgar slang I guess) Ina so you would likely not have come across it. 🙂
        But I was sure you would catch up 🙂

        I actually enjoy listening to football on the radio. In the days before satellite television one could watch the pictures with the sound turned down and listen to the commentary on the radio (it is better on the radio) But these days they are out of sync (the radio is ahead of the TV) so it is not really possible to do that and to enjoy it.

        I did wish, this week, that I had kept them separate!!!


  9. And the mystery is solved. Good to have you back, my friend: it’s just not the same without you. A great ‘comeback’ piece, too: deliciously snarky and vitriolic – and with perfect justification! (Do you want me to explain to Ina what a shag is in this context, or would you enjoy that very special moment?)

  10. Hi David,

    Good to see you back and connected. 🙂 I think the ineptitude of telecommunications corporations is world wide.

    Our service provider had us all ready to go within the week when we moved house but good old Telstra from whom all cable lines are rented (bastards!) had us waiting another week for no good reason. It takes at least a week to put a plug in a socket apparently :-O

    I agree with Ina that if you haven’t you should send this poem along with your request for a rebate. After all your inconvienence it does indeed seem fair… 🙂

    Thankyou for the smile. I do love your wit. 😀 I hope the catch-up won’t be too overwhelming for you.

    and K’sOTC 🙂

    • Thank you Tikarma,

      I was totally unimpressed by their response – in particular with the patronising bastard on the phone who tried to persuade me that the fault was with the wiring inside my house and who told me that it would cost me £130 if that was the case!!!
      It took me to get quite shirty with them before they put any urgency into their response and I find that quite unacceptable!!

      I have no criticism of Chris, who was the engineer who finally sorted out the problem. would you believe – the problem turned out to be in the green box!!! DUH!!

      I was beginning to suffer from sense of humour failure the longer it went on. But writing the poem helped 🙂

      And I will send them the poem *Grin*

      and K’sOTC 🙂

  11. You do rants quite well yourself! I was getting worried about you. Glad you are alright. Sorry to hear about your missed opportunities.

  12. Letter in response from British Telecom

    Dear David,

    We were quite alamed to read your letter, but then Nigel from Marketing came down with his ponytail and graphs and explained to us that this will not affect the profit margin for the fiscal year and our BMW’s are in no danger of being taken away from us. What a relief! You had us scared for a moment!

    We know that your communications services were out of action for eight days due to the green box outside, but as you are not a qualified technician, we could not take your word on this. Our team of experts assessed the situation and after great cost to our stockholders (that we must now have to recoup from our customers), have discovered that the problem actually lies with the green box. We are nothing but thorough in providing you with the most up to date diagnostic results. We have also spent a considerable amount of money on a design team who have brainstormed your situation and have come up with the solution of painting the box blue, so you will never have to worry about problems with the green box again. You will find these expenses passed on in your next bill.

    We are glad you found our website so usefull. Most of our customers can’t even get it to load up. Obviously you couldn’t do this from home as your service was out, so we presumed you went to a friends house or local library. Would you happen to know what internet provider they use, as we can not get anything to load up here in our head office?

    We apologtise for any inconvenience. Be thankfull it was only a poetry event you missed out on, not something important like missing the Board of Directors meeting for British Telecom. Imagine not being able to vote for a three million pound payrise for your CEO! The world would collapse!

    We were extremely alarmed that you missed out on five football matches, as we are a major sponsor this year and so therefore our advertising dollars have been wasted. We will try to recoup this loss in a general rate rise next quarter.

    We are sorry to hear that this has affected your interpersonal relationships. Nigel has suggested that you use a reputable escort agency that provides receipts, claim it back on your tax as “Home Mobility Support”, lease the young lady back to the agency, so you can also claim depriciation. Failing this, Nigel recomends growing a ponytail and buying a BMW. He says the chicks go wild for it, and we all agree. Nigel does very well with the ladies.

    Should you have any more problems, feel free to call our customer service hotline in Mumbai. Our operators are waiting for your call, and a recent independant study has found that now over 70% of our poerators speak english, and over 35% know that they work for a comunications company.

    We look forward to payment of many accounts in the future,

    British Telecom

    “We care”

    • We look forward to payment of many accounts in the future,

      LOL! 🙂

    • Jamie,

      This is absolutely brilliant
      I was laughing all the way through.

      Clearly you have had some experience of dealing with big corporations!!!

      My very best to you my friend and thank you for making me laugh so much.


      • Hi David,

        I’m glad you enjoyed it my friend. I figured after all of that you could use a good laugh about it. And, I would never miss the oppertunity to take a swipe at the big corporations 🙂

        Yes, I think we have all been victims of corporate greed. Poor service because we are all just a revenue stream, not customers.

        I hope life has been treating you well and have found the time off the net at least a bit usefull for other projects or just living life. 🙂

        Once again, I am glad I could bring a smile to that Irish face and give you a good laught.

        Take care my friend.

        Beabbachd leat,


      • Jamie,

        I did make some use of my time off the net –

        I got my Christmas tree up, sent off all my cards (some with letters) and organised Christmas presents. Now all I have to do is wrap the presents – I almost always buy rectangular presents because I can wrap those – any other shape is too complicated for me!! 🙂

        You look after yourself. I hope you are enjoying some time off work.

        Beabbachd leat


    • 🙂 I think this is not unrealistic! LOL

  13. Seems you’re paying them not for service, but for the mere promise that they’ll provide you service when they get around to it…

  14. Oh, David, I have had the same pains from a company here in the U.S. — Comcast. I wish you luck if you actually try to get anywhere with them. I finally submitted my payment pro-rated for the 5 days I was down. I included a letter with an explanation — still waiting to see what happens next. I’m really gladd to have you back online, though. I was wondering. Good to see you back!

  15. How did Jamie McPherson manage to get hold of BT’s letter to you, when you had such little contact with them? Beats me. He must be a clever chap, that Jamie McPherson. I should cultivate his friendship if you can! 🙂

    • One of ther bonuses John of my time on the internet is the number of people from all over the globe who have become good friends.
      Jamie is certainly one of those
      He is a very talented man, and a very talented musician.


      • Awwww…thank you David 🙂 You are certainly a dear friend too. For all the trouble and complications in our life, at least the internet has brought wonderful people like yourself into our lives. For that, it is a blessing.

        It’s been a real joy to be able to watch our friendships grow through the sharing of our arts. Maybe we need to redifine art as a medium for bringing people together.

        Beannachd leat my friend,


    • Hi John,

      I have my ways 🙂 I worked for a telco here in Australia for seven before I joined the public service and know how the little buggers operate 🙂

      Take care,


  16. What a great letter by Jamie McPherson , it sounds like he ( did ) work for BT.

  17. Sounds like the telecos in the United States. We were to a meeting last week in Window Rock, the capital of the Navajo Nation, one of the poorest places in the U.S., and representatives from Cell One, one of the biggest telcos in the world, were complaining about Navajo Tech, that we were taking “funding” from them by building our own wireless network, built by Navajo Technical College, a small tribal college, in the middle of the desert. I think I’ll send them to the British Isles to confront the famous BelfastDavid to see what comes of the confrontation. Should be fun. I’m really glad you’re back. If you get your money back, let me know.

    • Thank you Tom,

      I am not quite sure when the concept of ‘customer service’ disappeared.
      But it does seem to have been replaced by an ethos of ‘screw the customer’

      I just had a letter this morning from British Gas full of weasel words about having my best interests at heart!!! Yea Right!!!

      I will keep you all informed about any progress I make with BT


  18. lol….well Lord luv ya, they better give you SOME kind of refund for that! though in my experience with any cable-type monopoly is that they will find one hundred ways to charge extra to a customer for this and that to add to your bill ….but ways to refund the customer, not so much 😦

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