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Whoops - BT Wholesale connect user to wrong ISP
Wednesday 03 September 2003 18:40:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The Register has details of a case where a BT connected a user to the wrong ISP. The user was connected to BT Openworld when they should have being connected to ZetNet.

The situation appears to have arisen from a users order initially being rejected by the BT Wholesale systems, and the user then complaining to BT, who then actually did some more tests and connected the user as a result, but to BT Openworld.

The crucial thing here is what part of BT did the customer get put through to when they complained. Several scenarios are possible, the two most likely are that the user got through to BT Wholesale who assumed it was a BT Openworld customer or the user got through to BT Openworld who then just submitted another order that actually got provisioned. Of course this is just conjecture as The Registers item doesn't make this clear, and often it is difficult to know which part of BT a customer is talking to.

In the absolute worst case this problem represents the behaviour of a monopolistic provider who will go the extra mile for its own customers. The more likely case is that it was a succession of simple and seemingly innocent errors. The important part is to get this cleared up as soon as possible and ensure it does not happen again.

Cases like this, and a number of others that ADSLguide has passed onto BT Wholesale in the last few years, highlight the lack of an ombudsman between the end-user and BT Wholesale. There is almost the need for an appeals process with regards to what can seem arbitrary responses that ISPs get back from BT Wholesale, which then suffer from chinese whispers when passed to the end-user.


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