I used a BT Payphone from Gatwick airport recently. Shocked that the minimum price of a call had gone up to 40p and I only had 20p, I opted to use my Visa debit card. I was on the phone for less than two minutes. I checked my bank account today and I was charged Â£9.60 for the call!
So, in a state of bewilderment I called BT to have this obvious fault rectified. The friendly American voice at the other end told me that she would see what she could do as it was the first time i’d used the service. She then came back on the phone and told me that she would credit me “4.8 dollars”. Confused, I asked her to clarify if that would be Â£4.80 or US$4.80, and she confirmed that it would be half the price of the call: Â£4.80.
Further confused and bewildered, I asked her if I had been charged Â£4.80 per minute of the call, and that this was not a simple error in their systems. When she confirmed that was the case, I then asked who I could speak to about this situation as BT’s website clearly states the charge is 20 pence per minute with a Â£1 connection charge. I was then told that she did not know what was on the website, but that since I hadn’t asked the price before I called, I must have been unware of the charge for the service.
She then endevoured to find someone else I could speak to, but instead informed me that she had checked with her supervisor and I would be credited the full Â£9.60 as it was the first time I had used the service. Somewhat infuriated by this point, I asked who in BT I could speak to regarding the fact that they charge Â£4.80 per minute for a call, when their website clearly states the price at 20 pence per minute. I was first told that there was no one who could deal with such a request, then after I contested this I was transferred to the supervisor (another friendly American accent – do BT use US call centres?) who told me that he would take my points and transfer them to the relevant party.
Am I going crazy? Am I living in a parallel universe? Can BT honestly charge people Â£4.80 per minute to use a Payphone? Is that legal when their website clearly states the price? This is all somewhat worrying as it’s the day after i’ve just signed a 5 year BT Business contract!