I live in the country and never experience any doorstep selling.
I’ve learned to screen calls on my landline and mobile – and have never been prey to a sales scam.
I’ve been online for a long time, and have learned to become better at avoiding phishing attacks and protecting my security – though I have to keep continually alert.
So I’m shocked and angry that I’ve fallen prey to a scam from an unexpected source – from BT itself.
I’m a phone and broadband customer, and started paying my BT bill by direct debit nine years ago.
So I didn’t immediately notice that BT had started charging me a monthly fee for BT TV and for BT Sport – services I didn’t ask for, don’t want, and don’t even know how to use.
How did this happen? It seems that all broadband-only customers have started being charged for BT TV unless they opt out. In my case, when amending my phone and broadband package a year ago I accepted the offer of a ‘free’ TV box. I can see now that it may have been ‘free’ for 12 months, at which point charges of £25/month kicked in. I never even opened that box.
The month these charges kicked in was the first month in many years I went over my overdraft limit – but still I did not spot that BT was to blame.
I’ve called the bank to renegotiate my overdraft. I’ve called BT and demanded out of BT TV and BT Sport.
But those adjustments aren’t enough. How many others are paying monthly amounts to BT by direct debit for services they didn’t ask for and don’t use?
The expensive acquisition of Champions League football is headline-grabbing for BT Sport. But how many even know how to watch BT Sport? I certainly can’t given the speed of my rural BT broadband.
Why should loyal BT customers be taxed to pay for elite football and its overpaid players?
Are BT shareholders aware that profits are being bolstered by this racket and that there’ll be a price to pay when customers realise they’ve been scammed?
I confess I never found the Payment Protection issue all that concerning – but it certainly is now to the banks and their shareholders.
The Great BT TV Scam seems potentially a bigger deal. It’s magic money for now for BT – but there will be a price to pay.
Had I been scammed by overseas spivs I would have had to shrug my shoulders and hope to learn from the experience.
But to be scammed by BT plc, a business I’ve trusted with my bank details in the form of a direct debit, is a different matter. I want to tell others so they can check their accounts and take action.
I’ve taken action. I’ve cancelled my direct debit and have asked for paper bills (at my expense). I don’t trust BT with my bank details anymore. There’s a price to pay for loss of trust.