Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

BT Alternatives

Posts: 716
Registered: 18-09-2007

BT Alternatives

Hey folks,

My trials and tribulations have started already and i havent even got a phone number yet.

I have a phone socket in my new place which BT installed in 2002, it has since been de-activated, the phone line/socket still resides there, all be it dormant at this moment in time.

I rang up BT on monday asking them to reactivate the phone line for me, no problem they said, that will £25 - i paid, and the informed i wud receive a letter confirming my order and activated line within 3 days.

Fast forward to this morning.... still no confirmation letter, i rang BT to be informed someone had cancelled my order without my consent and they cud not give me any reason wotsoever for it to have been cancelled. My debit card works, and if that was the problem surely it wud have been detailed as being the problem.

The girl on the BT end was very apologetic and all the rest and said she wud investigate activate the line in a max of 2 hours, and ring me back, ahem, that was a no show. Rang back jus there now to be informed there is no record of my order anywhere and its goin to take 2 weeks to activate. I told him "Ill think about it" :roll:

I have never dealt with anyone other than BT before, and i think its about time i changed that, if this is how they wish to treat me as a new customer in my new home then they sure as hell are gonna be last on my list.

Who else offers telecommunication services? i have a dormant line but no phone number.

Or is it a case cos BT were the original guys who installed the line i must stay with them?

Please help. I need this ASAP and obviously giving BT week to activate a phone line wasnt long enough, and i dont wanna give them any longer.


I have contacted Toucan, they require the line to be activated by BT. I fear this is goin to be the case for all poential providers Sad and BT have now closed for the night - what a joke.
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

BT Alternatives

"All your phone line are belong to us!"-- I'm afraid you have to be part of the BT borg collective unless you use cable.

BT install, own and maintain all the phone lines between premises and the exchange although they may lease lines to the likes of TalkTalk and, as you have discovered, Toucan
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

BT Alternatives

Don't forget our dear old PN Tongue
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,886
Registered: 05-04-2007

BT Alternatives


I'd be really careful about choosing a WLR (Wholesale Line Rental) voice provider, or CPS Provider.

I was with a alternative provider ( - before it was bought by Centrica, and subsequently CPW))where I used a access code to use their network.

I had one of their sales people (oddly enough from India) call me when carrier pre-select (CPS) was first introduced that were able to switch provider at the exchange and you used a access code to use BT instead of them.

I declined at the time, but a few days later I got a letter from BT saying they were sorry to see me leave, and that were my new CPS provider, however I had 7 days to let them know if this wasn't right, which I did of course Smiley

So.. please, word to the wise, look very carefully at the alternative providers out there - some are better than others, and It's all down to the luck of the draw as to who you get at the end of the phone doing the order for you.

I have heard some interesting stories about Toucan, some good, some not so good, so it's worth shopping around to make sure that you get not only a good deal, but good customer service too, especially if things go wrong with billing.

It's worth taking a look at to look at the best options for you, and of course recommendations from friends.

Hopefully this will make sense - I've only just got up and have the kids running riot!

Posts: 942
Registered: 05-04-2007

BT Alternatives

Whenever I've had to deal with BT, I've not had too much problem - a great deal better than the cable providers I had the misfortune to contact.

NTL stated originally that we would have a phone line and cable TV connected 1 week after we'd moved in (chosen by us for convenience). When the day for installation came, they sent 1 engineer along who then said "You've not got a connection here - I'll need to get onto my manager to get a 2-man crew out to sort it". We were happy with that and thought it shouldn't take too long. A couple of days later, we received a letter from NTL stating that there were problems with the cabling in our street and it would take them at least 6 weeks before they could attend to fix it.

At this point, we decided enough was enough and I contacted BT who said that they would arrange for us to be reconnected, but due to a problem with our line they would have to send an engineer around. 1 week later, an engineer turned up and fixed the problem and I had a working phone line. 1 day later again, I received a phone call on my mobile from another engineer who had also turned up to fix the problem.

All of my other experiences with BT have been good - the first time I rang them up to get a phone line connected, by the time I walked back from the nearest phone box to our flat it was working, and the last time we moved, I contacted them in advance and got a text on the day of the move to confirm our new line was active and the number (we'd chosen not to keep the previous occupants number).