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Last summer I'd just about had enough of BT's (Bloomin' Terrible) 'service'. The crunch came after I received a red letter saying our service would be terminated in 7 days if I didn't pay the last bill of £87. My phone bills are paid through Direct Debit so I thought this would be easy enough to solve and I sent them copies of my bank statements showing that yes, the bill had been paid and if they couldn't find the money it's their fault. A couple of nights later I had to call for an ambulance for the lady across the road and BT had cut me off! Cue one very angry customer who phoned BT, got them to spend hours sorting it out and then cancelled their service! OK, enough about my legal wrangles with BT. I thought 'sod it', no way was I going back to BT - I'd look for another phone company.
Like an angel from the heavens he arrived 3 days later. Who? Simeon, a door to door Telewest canvasser. Now, these people who knock the door to sell me stuff usually get a mouthful off me but Simeon was invited in for a cup of tea while he gave me his spiel. And it sounded good. Basically, for a one off installation fee of £30 (usually £50) we could get connected to Telewest phone, TV and Blueyonder broadband internet. For this op, however, I'm going to concentrate on my phone service.
After much consideration (well, I heard 'free' calls and consideration over!) I opted for their Talk Unlimited package. Talk Unlimited is fantastic. I pay £26 a month, which includes £10 line rental, and I can make as many alls as I like day and night for free. This includes any local and national calls on any network but if yoou call a mobile, international number, premium number or make an internet call you'll be charged for the call. This sounded just right for us as we both have mobiles so with a bit or organisation, any mobile calls could be made via our mobiles without adding any call charges to our Telewest bill. I signed the contract there and then and was given a copy plus a cancellation document in case I changed my mind. Simeon arranged for our phone to be installed 3 days later with a minimum of fuss and we were able to keep our old phone number. Bonus! We were also given the option of having a second phone line installed for £10 a month but as I'm the only one who uses the phone in this house it wouldn't have been worth it.
On the day of installation, 2 workmen (phew, one of them was gorgeous!) arrived complete with ID cards. They completed the installation within the hour and that was that! The only complaint (well, niggle really) was that my TV and internet couldn't be installed the same day as our phone so I had to wait in again a week later to have these services connected.
Since I had Telewest installed I've never looked back. Our phone bills now come in at an acceptable £30 or under, which compared to my BT bills of £80 + a month is brilliant. On the very few times I've had to call them (free call 150 from your phone) I've always got through quite quickly and had very helpful staff who obviously know what they're talking about. For extra brownie points, if they can't sort it out or answer your query there and then the promise to call you back and *shock* *horror* they always do - unlike BT! I've also had a couple of small discounts on my bills when there's been a problem that could have been sorted out quicker than it was.
The phone line is ultra clear with none of the crackle's that seem to plague you when you're a BT customer. You also have the standard 1471 (last number to call you) and the option to automatically withold your phone number when you make a call. If for any reason you then want your number to be 'broadcast' (can't think of a better word, sorry) you just dial 1470 before you dial the telephone number and it will release your number for JUST that call.
We've never had any problems with our bills, they come on a regular basis and allow you 14 days to pay. When you first get connected you have to pay a month in advance and then every month afterwards you get a very easy to understand bill which breaks up any mobile calls you might have made so you know what you're paying for. The bill can be paid at any Pay Point and at certain banks - I haven't got a bill to hand, but I think you've got to find a Royal Bank of Scotland.
Telewest also offer a variety of other phone packages:
oOo Talk Evenings & Weekends - For £17.50 a month (including £10 line rental) you can make unlimited local and national calls between the hours of 6pm - 6am and from 6pm Friday night to 6am Monday morning. These calls are free, but daytime calls then cost 4p per minute. My mum uses this option as she works full time and the phone doesn't get used during the day.
oOo Talk International - For £3 per month (on top of your usual line rental) you get discounted calls to all direct dial international numbers. Many countries are just 3p per minute but all calls have a 6p connection charge. These calls are charged per second and come on your normal monthly bill.
oOo 3 2 1 - Basically, call any local, regional or national number for 3p per minute between 6am - 6pm, 2p per minute between 6pm and 6am and 1p per minute from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday. Line rental for this package is £10 per month.
I receommend Telewest Talk Unlimited to anyone who makes oodles of local calls and as an added bonus if someone rings you, you can save them money by calling them back!
Ring 0800 953 5383 to get connected or chat about their various options - go on, what have you got to lose except for big phone bills! :o)
I just wish Telewest operated in the Barry/Cardiff area. My Mom,Dad and Sister all live down there and they have to put with Blasted Trash as No Telephone Likely were the only other alternative. Good review though. Peter
Swoff 17.08.2003 14:51
Simeon was a ponce.Mark.
tracey_angel 15.07.2003 02:22
LOL BT were once my employers, yes I was a Directory Enquiries person (dont laugh). Also, do you get extra discount if you live under 30 miles from the Telewest Arena? Trace :) xx