Update, as of 19th of November - BT did good. please read the following posts for the details. I'll leave this post here as a reminder to myself that rude language is uncalled for.
That's right, BT. You are a bunch of useless timewasting bastards. If I could legally kill you all, I would.
If I didn't need your landline for a decent internet service, you know what? you could rot in hell.
So the story so far: I ring up the day after I confirm my house is in fact my house. Pretty stressful, but you know, I've been expecting a bit of stress - house purchasing is supposed to rank right up there with the best of them.
I get a very helpful chap who organises my phone move. Unfortunately for me, the phone line in the new house is still active, and they apparently need to give some legal notice period before we can switch from our old house to our new house. The kindly gentleman gives me a selection of new phone numbers to pick from, because I'm not able to take my existing number with me. We arrange a date, a fortnight away (26th of November). I ask for ex-directory, which is fine. The gentleman explains that if I can persuade the old house owners to disconnect their line, then we can simply ring up and confirm a new date. I am left with a not-too-disgruntled feeling.
So, the next day, my heavily pregnant wife rings up the old house owners, who confirm to us that they have indeed disconnected the phone line. Taking them at their word, I decide to ring BT back to arrange a newer date.
Oh, can't do that, says the new girl - Carla, from Leicester. Even though it's most likely someone from India, because BT don't actually employ anyone who LIVES in this fucking country, by the looks of it. So - can't do that, the engineers would have to cancel your order and rebook it. the earliest they could move it to is the 23rd, and it would be a load of hassle, so please, just fuck off and stop bothering us. Of course, that was not what she said word for word - the politeness and appeasement was simply dripping from the conversation, but in essense, that's what she means.
So I say, that's fine - three days forward is better than no days, right? please, cancel my order and rebook it for the 23rd. Oh, and can I have a reference number for this call please, CARLA. Thanks.
Oh, no, I can't give you a reference number. tell you what, sucker - I'll ring you back, she says. So I wait. Holy of holies, 30 minutes later, she does ring back - and she's even got a new booking number for me. Yes, your line is disconnected in the new property. I can't confirm the date, you'll have to wait for the engineer, but it should be around the 23rd. No, I can't confirm the number.
So I'm thinking ... bollocks. this hasn't been arranged, has it. She's basically lying to me.
Nicky gets a whiff that we're not getting anywhere, and decides to go to bat. She spends 90 minutes on the phone (so far we're up to about 3 fucking hours just to get our phone service moved from one house to another, which I KNOW FOR A FACT is as simple as entering two numbers in a database somewhere and pressing "activate".) They can't find any trace of the previous order number (surprise surprise) so we get a new one. And this guy promises point blank to my pregnant wife that we'll be connected on the 18th.
Or is it?
Of course it fucking isn't, this is BT we're talking about. Useless shower of bastards.
Today, email arrives. A new order number that we've never seen before. Our phone service will be connected on the 2nd of December (that's right, three weeks after I tell them I want to move house). A different number to the one I've been told about. And they haven't tracked that I want to be ex-directory.
FUCK YOU BRITISH TELECOM.
seriously, if Virgin weren't so shite, you'd be down a customer, but they're nearly *nearly* as bad as you are, and BE internet are just wonderful, I'd hate to give them up.
There may be a short delay in service.