Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BTVision iPlayer not working - and the excuses BT use

I've had an experience in the last few months with the folks from BT that really brought home how bad support can be when they have a real issue and how they look to trot out excuses to fob you off when they dont actually have a fix.

So in January iPlayer stopped working at my mother's house.  She isn't a techy so I took over support.  The first call went fine, and a secondary follow up call with 2nd line support was scheduled.

They said the issue was the use of a 3rd party router

Now the challenge is that iPlayer was working with that router previously, also every other iPlayer device in the house is working perfectly well, laptops, iPads, iPhones.  So I check it out with the official router, the problem remains, but I switch back to the 3rd party Asus router as its quite a bit better.  This is BT Infinity so the router is purely the LAN and WiFi.

For the next few calls the story was the same and a 2nd line call was scheduled.  This phoned the wrong number, left a message saying they'd call back... which never happened.

The next time, and we are six weeks in now, the story changed.

This is a well known fault with the BT Vision box it will be fixed in 48 hours

3 days later... yup you guessed it, still no iPlayer so the calls start again.  On each of the previous calls I've got through the menus, let them profile the line and do everything they want to.  I must have seen BBC iPlayer failing to work on 4 different calls.  So this time I just said 'I want this fixed, how can you fix it?'

The YouView box doesn't have this problem

But the person on 1st line support can't do anything about that so their supervisor is called (actually they were meant to call me back, didn't so I called again) this person tries to transfer me to the customer options team... but can't actually make the transfer properly to an agent to explain the situation so just dumps me in the queue.

Customer Options tell me that they can't switch my mother to YouView for .... £300.  I point out that my problem is just to get a box that does what BT advertise BT Vision for, namely having BBC iPlayer.  This is apparently not their problem and in the words of the UK call centre person

I've never heard of a problem with the BT Vision box

So she can't help me, she just wants my mother to pay several hundred quid or sign up to a new more expensive contract.  In other words to get the service that BT advertised her answer is to charge more money... isn't that extortion?  No that involves threats... its fraud I think.  Her coup de grĂ¢ce however was offering to transfer me back to the fault support people who'd transferred me to her in the first place as they said they couldn't fix the problem.

So then I tweeted to BT Vision who referred me to BT Care who got me to fill in a form which resulted in a call which.... resulted in me talking to the fault department where I was told the following...

  1. This has been a fault on all BT Vision boxes since January 11th
  2. The issue is with the Content Delivery partner, the internet is ok but for BT Vision the BBC iPlayer/TV signal isn't being broadcast
  3. The internet iPlayer is ok but BT Vision doesn't use the internet for iPlayer

I know that the last 2 are really the same excuse but I've put it down twice as I really got her to go over, and over, this topic and she did change the story a bit.  But her claim was that the issue was with the content delivery partner.  I said I just didn't believe this as I'd never heard of BBC iPlayer working over the air and couldn't see how that would really work.  She then settled down to

Its a software problem and it will be fixed on 31st March

So that was a nice clear statement, very like the '48 hours' statement and one that I couldn't help think was just meant to get me off the phone and have me waiting around before calling again in 3 weeks because they really have no clue and no intention of fixing the problem.

What has been amazing in this is just how disconnected the systems are at BT.  The BT Options team had no view on my customer complaints and service history, quite clearly or they'd have seen the fault report.  The fault people clearly had no idea about the Options team and how they worked as when they offered to switch me to them they didn't know that it was simply a question of extorting money.  2nd line support is clearly not interested in fixing problems but just making calls and getting off the phone and if the reality is that this is a broad problem with BT Vision there is a ridiculous amount of fluff and bullshit being thrown around.

If it really does impact all BT Vision customers then why isn't it more visible on the BT Help site?  The only issues appear to be from 2012.  If its really to do with that router (I doubt it) tell me the ports and protocols and I'll test/fix it.  If the only box that BT have that works as advertised is YouView then shouldn't I just get that box so I get the service they advertised?

The shame is that this is the only thing that doesn't work, but its become such an integral part of how people watch TV these days its a major issue.  BBC iPlayer is a key feature of BT Vision and it not working massively devalues the box, worst however is the constant bullshit and fabrication by BT Support.  I took over doing this as my mother isn't technical, I hate to think what they would have told her had she phoned.  So at the end of this BT are saying they have a known fault, its been known since January but....

Its taken 2 1/2 months for them to admit that

Is it really worth wasting my time, call time and support time on a known issue in the hope that you can fob people off to think its their mistake or issue?  That really doesn't seem to be the way to run a support call, the lack of a single view on the customer and the ability for someone to actually case manage across channels and areas is also a massive gap.  Dealing with BT is less like dealing with a company and more like dealing with a series of separate organisations whose only interest is to shift the blame to someone else.

Not good, not good at all


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Mike Cranidge said...

I have the same problem and it is now October 2013. To find that this is an on-going problem that was promised to be fixed in March is not very encouraging. It is extremely dispiriting to sit in a small office watching IPlayer when there is a widescreen HD TV and BT Vision Box in the next room! If it doesn't work BT remove if from your menu and advertising. This is poor value for the price we pay.

Anonymous said...

I have had this problem since the major BT Vision update in September 2013 (I'm writing this in November 2013). iPlayer worked fine before the update.

Joan said...

I've also had this problem since the major update I. September 2013. Everything was working perfectly before the update. I want the old version back again, so I can access iPlayer whenever I want to. Calling BT is a complete waste of my time, being pushed from pillar to post and back again, being given a load of excuses that are all complete lies, being told to reboot the system ....... Aargh!

Joan said...

I don't believe it! BBC iPlayer is working this evening, for the first time ever! Yippee!! (The cynic in me is asking "how long will it work for?".) Now, has this little bit of magic come about because I posted a comment on this site yesterday? Or was it something to do with the BT engineer twiddling with the wires in the nearest green box just down the road this morning? Or maybe a bit of both? Well, whatever the reason, at the moment I can fully access and use iPlayer. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Many but not all programmes hang after I select to play them on iPlayer through my BT Vision box.

These same programmes work through iPlayer on every other device in the house without exception.

BT today (9th March 2014) have confirmed they are investigating by his problem, as are the BBC but cannot give an estimated date when the issue is expected to be resolved.

BT tell me they are not contractually obliged to provide iplayer. Yet they are still advertising it as part of their package!

Anonymous said...

24 March 2014. BBC iPlayer hangs exactly as described in previous comment. This has clearly a known fault with a fundamental service BT are unable or unwilling to fix. I would advise anyone against buying the BTVision product.