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51% positive

8 reviews from the community

Review of "Home Choice"

published 07/12/2007 | john1968a
Member since : 06/12/2007
Reviews : 1
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Not for me
Pro nice looking set top box
Cons everything
helpful

"homechoice, there are ways out of their contract!"

To anyone having problems with Homechoice and were threatened with a full years subscription fee to cancel the contract, there are ways out of it. Below is the letter I sent them highlighting the problems I had with customer service and the sevice as a whole. They agreed to cancel my contract at no charge after this letter. I think the key in any situation like this (and homechoice are one of the worst!) is to record names and times of every person you speak to and every person at the company that doesn't respond to your problems. when you can prove that they are in breach of their contractual obligations you have a leg to stand on....

here's my letter to Stephen Meakin:

Mr. Meakin,
I'm writing this on the advice of one of your customer service representatives, Nick from Homechoice who I spoke to last night. I had homechoice installed on the 20th Oct and have not been able to access the internet since installation. The following is a rundown of the kind of customer service I have received from your company in trying to get this issue resolved:

First booking for installation:
initially: 8th Oct. 10am-1pm engineer did not show up
Rebooked for 20th October between 7-11am - time needed off work to wait for him.

Friday 21st Oct: finally spoke to someone in customer services who arranged for an engineer to contact me before 11pm - no call back.

Sunday 23rd Oct: engineer finally called at 9am went through full diagnostic, could not discover reason for lack of connection of broadband, arranged for another tech support officer to call. no one called back.

Thursday 27th Oct: service went down for 3 hours, impossible to get through to tech support or customer services. finally got through to emma at customer services around 8.30. I mentioned that I was very unhappy with inability to access technical help / customer services and that I planned to cancel subscription. She transferred call to tech support, line went dead. phoned back, spoke to a very rude customer support officer, said i would have to wait for tech support like everyone else. I mentioned that so far I had been waiting for over one week to get the issue resolved. He mentioned that "as a special favour(!?)" he would get someone to call. At 10.30 a very inexperienced 'tech support officer' called Sam called up, asked me to reboot the system & then told me that his 'diagnostic tool' wasn't functioning properly and he would need to call me back on friday. We arranged for 7pm.

Friday 28th Oct 7pm: no call back from Sam, chased up customer service again, spoke to Emma. they arranged for an engineer to come on Tuesday and would call back on Monday regarding compensation. I mentioned that whether I stayed with homechoice or not depended on what home choice was offering to compensate.

31st Oct (Monday) no call back from Emma, decided to cancel subscription. Got through to customer support (after 20 mins) to initiate cancellation. Also sent an email through the website and have still not had any response from it.

Tuesday 1st Nov: An engineer came to collect the box. I started calling at 10.30 to find out the procedure to cancel the subscription after he left, it took me nearly an hour of constantly being routed to the receptionist due to lack of staff in your customer care centre before I finally got through to a message centre at 11.15-11.30 and spoke to Gary at the messaging centre. He said someone would call back within 4 hours. no one called back. I called again at 4pm and got Gary again. He said he would get someone to call back in 5 mins and that he would check in 1 hr to make sure. No one called and gary didn't call to check. kept trying again and finally got through to Lynn (supervisor at reception) at 6 pm she said that she would make sure someone would call back before 6.30, no one did. She DID call back an hour later, and at 7.30 I got hold of someone by the name of Nick who could only tell me to make a formal complaint - thus this letter.

Looking at the terms and conditions on the homechoice website, there are numerous points you mention about upholding service standards such as these:

"Our Customer Philosophy
We are committed to providing our customers with a combination of leading-edge home entertainment services and the highest level of service. We value the feedback we receive from our customers and encourage our customers to contact us with their comments, complaints and suggestions. If you wish to make comment, raise a complaint or make a suggestion, please do contact our Customer Care team." [how? I can never get through!]

"We strive to deliver a high standard of service at all times. If we do receive a complaint, we aim to respond quickly and purposefully to resolve that complaint."

Customer Service:
"Our Customer Care team is committed to answering 90% of all calls within 15 seconds. We have also set ourselves the target of resolving 80% of first calls to the satisfaction of the customer. E-mails received during office hours from our current and prospective customers will be answered within 3 hours of receipt. Emails received outside of office hours will be replied to within 3 hours of the start of the next working day."

usage terms:
"2.9 If you become aware of a fault occurring with the Internet Service you should notify us by emailing us at support@homechoice.co.uk or phoning us on 0845 678 3333. We will endeavour to rectify the fault as soon as reasonably practicable."

Looking at the above points, they in no way relate to my experience with homechoice and I believe you are in breach of the duty you have stipulated to provide adequate customer service.

The main reason I have decided to cancel my service is due to the fact that:

You do not have enough customer service staff or technical support to provide even a minimal standard of customer service.

You have not rectified my problem in an acceptible time period.

You fail to reply call back or respond to emails.

The fact that the initial issue of my internet connection was never resolved in an acceptible timeframe is not the main reason I cannot continue with homechoice. It is that your level of customer services is of an utterly unacceptible standard and I will not pay for such an appalling lack of service.

I also spoke to the engineer who came to collect the box on Tuesday about the problems in trying to get through. He agreed and told me that recently he had to get through on the same main customer services number and it took him 30 minutes to get connected to someone who wasn't a receptionist. One of your receptionists explained last week that due to your recent advertising campaign you have not been able to handle the influx of new customers. Even if this is correct, why should your customers bear the brunt of your mismanagement?

In last nights call to Nick he mentioned that I would be liable for the remaining years subscription charges. In light of the above points I have no intention of paying this amount and I firmly believe that I would have a strong case against you in court for breach of contract on your part for lack of service if you made any move to aquire that amount. Additionally, as an employee of **********[newspaper corporation] I would be more than happy to raise the issue of lack of staff and the appalling level of service from homechoice with the appropriate research department if you do not drop the early termination charge. Additionally, it is not fair to give a cooling off period that ends before the installation of a service, how could I know how bad the service is from Homechoice until it is installed?

I have since closed the bank account that homechoice would have debited at the advice of my branch and have made an initial complaint to OFCOM today.

......hope that helps anyone trying to get away from homechoice, defintiely one of the worst companies I've ever had to deal with!

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Comments on this review

  • matty0501 published 07/12/2007
    Welcome to Ciao. Nice first review. Matt :-)
  • HokaHey published 07/12/2007
    Well done for getting it sorted - pays to be thorough!
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Product Information : Home Choice

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Internet Service Providers

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Type: Internet Service Providers

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 13/08/2000

Home Choice - Review - homechoice, there are ways out of their contract!
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Quote-start

homechoice, there are ways out of their contract!

Quote-end
07.12.2007 (06.12.2007)

Advantages:
nice looking set top box

Disadvantages:
everything

Recommendable No:

6 Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful See ratings
very helpful by (20%):
  1. matty0501
  2. HokaHey
helpful by (80%):
  1. ewanm
  2. christianfilmcritic
  3. MAFARRIMOND
and 5 other members

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To anyone having problems with Homechoice and were threatened with a full years subscription fee to cancel the contract, there are ways out of it. Below is the letter I sent them highlighting the problems I had with customer service and the sevice as a whole. They agreed to cancel my contract at no charge after this letter. I think the key in any situation like this (and homechoice are one of the worst!) is to record names and times of every person you speak to and every person at the company that doesn't respond to your problems. when you can prove that they are in breach of their contractual obligations you have a leg to stand on....

here's my letter to Stephen Meakin:

Mr. Meakin,
I'm writing this on the advice of one of your customer service representatives, Nick from Homechoice who I spoke to last night. I had homechoice installed on the 20th Oct and have not been able to access the internet since installation. The following is a rundown of the kind of customer service I have received from your company in trying to get this issue resolved:

First booking for installation:
initially: 8th Oct. 10am-1pm engineer did not show up
Rebooked for 20th October between 7-11am - time needed off work to wait for him.

Friday 21st Oct: finally spoke to someone in customer services who arranged for an engineer to contact me before 11pm - no call back.

Sunday 23rd Oct: engineer finally called at 9am went through full diagnostic, could not discover reason for lack of connection of broadband, arranged for another tech support officer to call. no one called back.

Thursday 27th Oct: service went down for 3 hours, impossible to get through to tech support or customer services. finally got through to emma at customer services around 8.30. I mentioned that I was very unhappy with inability to access technical help / customer services and that I planned to cancel subscription. She transferred call to tech support, line went dead. phoned back, spoke to a very rude customer support officer, said i would have to wait for tech support like everyone else. I mentioned that so far I had been waiting for over one week to get the issue resolved. He mentioned that "as a special favour(!?)" he would get someone to call. At 10.30 a very inexperienced 'tech support officer' called Sam called up, asked me to reboot the system & then told me that his 'diagnostic tool' wasn't functioning properly and he would need to call me back on friday. We arranged for 7pm.

Friday 28th Oct 7pm: no call back from Sam, chased up customer service again, spoke to Emma. they arranged for an engineer to come on Tuesday and would call back on Monday regarding compensation. I mentioned that whether I stayed with homechoice or not depended on what home choice was offering to compensate.

31st Oct (Monday) no call back from Emma, decided to cancel subscription. Got through to customer support (after 20 mins) to initiate cancellation. Also sent an email through the website and have still not had any response from it.

Tuesday 1st Nov: An engineer came to collect the box. I started calling at 10.30 to find out the procedure to cancel the subscription after he left, it took me nearly an hour of constantly being routed to the receptionist due to lack of staff in your customer care centre before I finally got through to a message centre at 11.15-11.30 and spoke to Gary at the messaging centre. He said someone would call back within 4 hours. no one called back. I called again at 4pm and got Gary again. He said he would get someone to call back in 5 mins and that he would check in 1 hr to make sure. No one called and gary didn't call to check. kept trying again and finally got through to Lynn (supervisor at reception) at 6 pm she said that she would make sure someone would call back before 6.30, no one did. She DID call back an hour later, and at 7.30 I got hold of someone by the name of Nick who could only tell me to make a formal complaint - thus this letter.

Looking at the terms and conditions on the homechoice website, there are numerous points you mention about upholding service standards such as these:

"Our Customer Philosophy
We are committed to providing our customers with a combination of leading-edge home entertainment services and the highest level of service. We value the feedback we receive from our customers and encourage our customers to contact us with their comments, complaints and suggestions. If you wish to make comment, raise a complaint or make a suggestion, please do contact our Customer Care team." [how? I can never get through!]

"We strive to deliver a high standard of service at all times. If we do receive a complaint, we aim to respond quickly and purposefully to resolve that complaint."

Customer Service:
"Our Customer Care team is committed to answering 90% of all calls within 15 seconds. We have also set ourselves the target of resolving 80% of first calls to the satisfaction of the customer. E-mails received during office hours from our current and prospective customers will be answered within 3 hours of receipt. Emails received outside of office hours will be replied to within 3 hours of the start of the next working day."

usage terms:
"2.9 If you become aware of a fault occurring with the Internet Service you should notify us by emailing us at support@homechoice.co.uk or phoning us on 0845 678 3333. We will endeavour to rectify the fault as soon as reasonably practicable."

Looking at the above points, they in no way relate to my experience with homechoice and I believe you are in breach of the duty you have stipulated to provide adequate customer service.

The main reason I have decided to cancel my service is due to the fact that:

You do not have enough customer service staff or technical support to provide even a minimal standard of customer service.

You have not rectified my problem in an acceptible time period.

You fail to reply call back or respond to emails.

The fact that the initial issue of my internet connection was never resolved in an acceptible timeframe is not the main reason I cannot continue with homechoice. It is that your level of customer services is of an utterly unacceptible standard and I will not pay for such an appalling lack of service.

I also spoke to the engineer who came to collect the box on Tuesday about the problems in trying to get through. He agreed and told me that recently he had to get through on the same main customer services number and it took him 30 minutes to get connected to someone who wasn't a receptionist. One of your receptionists explained last week that due to your recent advertising campaign you have not been able to handle the influx of new customers. Even if this is correct, why should your customers bear the brunt of your mismanagement?

In last nights call to Nick he mentioned that I would be liable for the remaining years subscription charges. In light of the above points I have no intention of paying this amount and I firmly believe that I would have a strong case against you in court for breach of contract on your part for lack of service if you made any move to aquire that amount. Additionally, as an employee of **********[newspaper corporation] I would be more than happy to raise the issue of lack of staff and the appalling level of service from homechoice with the appropriate research department if you do not drop the early termination charge. Additionally, it is not fair to give a cooling off period that ends before the installation of a service, how could I know how bad the service is from Homechoice until it is installed?

I have since closed the bank account that homechoice would have debited at the advice of my branch and have made an initial complaint to OFCOM today.

......hope that helps anyone trying to get away from homechoice, defintiely one of the worst companies I've ever had to deal with!

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Comments about this review »

matty0501 07.12.2007 20:09

Welcome to Ciao. Nice first review. Matt :-)

HokaHey 07.12.2007 11:17

Well done for getting it sorted - pays to be thorough!

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This review of Home Choice has been rated:

"very helpful" by (20%):

  1. matty0501
  2. HokaHey

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