A customer of ours recently suffered a complete outage when another ISP tried to install a line into their premises. Obviously wasn’t the ISP’s fault, just a bad job by a BT Openreach engineer eager to get the job done and leave site as quickly as possible. It meant however that the customer had to survive four days of complete outage while numerous engineers came back to site to repair the damage and resolve further issues.
The client was understandably upset with the quality of the work carried out and the time it took to resolve. An experienced engineer, it turns out, should have been able to get service restored within a few hours at most. So he put together a detailed report and sent it to no less than Ian Livingston, BT Chief Executive. And you know what? He got a personal email back from Mr Livingston within 20 minutes detailing his concern on the matter and best course of action the client should be taking. To say I was a little cynical that this was actually the big man himself emailing and not a team of PAs working from outside the UK is an understatement. However the replies kept coming and our client kept responding and today he was met by the BT regional manager at his site.
The manager spent time to go through the client’s concern and has organised for a number teams to visit the site to inspect existing cabling and ensure every precaution is made to prevent a future outage. Not only that but also a fault report for us to escalate through our account manager to claim compensation on behalf of the customer. He also confirmed with the client that this matter was escalated at the highest level and that a number of Director’s were aware of the issue.
What amazes me was Ian’s direct response to the client, especially considering we are talking about a PSTN line here and that he took direct control of the matter to resolve it to the client’s satisfaction. For me it has been a very impressive display of his desire to turn BT around and that no client, no matter how small, would be left behind. Ian, like Willie Walsh at BA, has one of the most difficult jobs in the city but this kind of attitude will resonate throughout the business – even a company as large as BT.
This action alone has made a big impression and I wish Ian all the best in turning BT into the business this country deserves.