In the old days, you knew where you were with daylight robbery. You'd be sitting in a carriage with an attractive lady, then a Dick Turpinesque character would appear out of the blue, brandishing some early form of gun, and offering you the option of your money or your life.
My experience with BT, while perhaps less dramatic, has been hardly less painful on my pocket. Having signed up with them on a promise of business savings with their phone and broadband service, the reality was anything but.
Over 18 long, long months, BT raised their line rental charge twice, tried endlessly to sell me other products and services, sent me large bills that took me ages to properly understand and then were tear-your-hair out difficult to get sense from when their broadband service went down. I don't know what you call the place you get passed to after having gone from the pillar to the post, but wherever it is I've been passed there. And well beyond.
"We'll take your money and your will to live!"
Fortunately a hero arrived to save the day. Actually she was a heroine and her name was Mandy. Mandy, a Distributor for the Utility Warehouse, had dropped a leaflet about the company through the office letterbox a few weeks previously. Having initially ignored it (sorry, Mandy!) I happened across the leaflet again within minutes of ending another frustrating call with BT. Still furious I arranged to see Mandy the next day and within a month my business was out of BT and with the Utility Warehouse.
We now have a far cheaper phone and broadband service and there have been no glitches at all. I know, too, that Mandy and an award-winning UK-based customer service centre is there to help should we ever have a problem.
So sorry BT, but I'm free. And you know what, nothing short of pointing a real gun at my head would make me come back.