Senior fights BTC over defunct business bill

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A senior BTC customer has been overcharged more than $2,500 for a business that no longer exists, according to his “hugely frustrated” daughter who has struggled for months to get the matter remedied.

“We have so many monopolies in Bermuda, it’s difficult to get resolution for the man on the street — you can’t get anyone to speak to,” said the woman, a local executive who requested not to be named to protect the privacy of her 85-year-old father.

The $2,500 he has been overcharged would represent “a windfall for many seniors out there who are struggling — it’s a couple of months’ pension”.

The woman first contacted Bermuda Telephone Company in early October after happening to notice charges on her father’s bill for a business that he closed 12 years ago.

Her father, who “barely uses his mobile phone and does not use a computer”, dissolved his business and went to BTC’s St George’s branch to convert his line to residential — requesting that the business services be cancelled.

“This was done in person, as is typical in Bermuda, especially for someone of my father’s age. She confirmed that the services would be cancelled.”

While she was able to reach sales representatives, who confirmed that the charges came from the old business line, “my frustration was that I couldn’t speak to an actual person who could look into it”.

“First the rep asked if I had written correspondence confirming the cancellation, from more than a decade ago — are you kidding me?” she said. “Again, this was done in person by an honest, older man who trusted that what he was told would actually happen.

“After the rep spoke to her manager, BTC agreed to credit my father’s account $135 — less than 5 per cent of what he was overcharged.”

Earlier this month the company discovered a billing error resulting in extra charges for its business customers for their November bills. The Regulatory Authority interceded, launching an investigation and advising customers that they were not liable for disputed charges until the matter was rectified.

The woman said she had been e-mailing various staff at BTC since November 10 with redress.

“Nobody knew who to speak to. I would get put through to Digicel and then Digicel would send me back. Finding an actual person was difficult, but finding resolution was nonexistent.”

She has yet to hear back from her voice mail and e-mail complaints over the credit of $135.

The Royal Gazette contacted a senior executive at BTC last month regarding the issue, which was referred to customer care, but a response was not received by this newspaper — although the customer said she had been told on Friday that “the manager would be back on Monday and he would review then”.

“There must be records,” she said. “BTC can see the business line has not been active. There are a lot of different pieces of evidence.

“My frustration is that my dad has been pushed to the side. He’s been completely ignored as a senior citizen.”

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Published Jan 10, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 10, 2017 at 1:46 am)

Senior fights BTC over defunct business bill

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