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BT Suspend Doorstep Selling on Isle of Wight After Serious Complaint

Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2023 (2:50 pm) - Score 6,136
WightFibre-BT-EE-Money-Expert-Sellers

BT (EE) has suspended doorstep selling on the Isle of Wight, which was being conducted on their behalf by a third-party firm ‘Money Expert‘, after rival broadband ISP WightFibre complained that the sellers had allegedly been making some very dishonest claims about the operator.

Admittedly, most of us already know to avoid engaging with doorstep sellers, not least because it can be very difficult to identify legitimate sales people from fraudsters. But sometimes the lines between those two can be further blurred, particularly when legitimate companies are found to have made wrongful claims.

NOTE: Anybody concerned about this issue should check out the Isle of Wight Trading Standards advice on doorstep selling.

In this case, WightFibre put out a notice last week (here) to warn customers about some of the sales tactics being used by local door-to-door salespeople, specifically those allegedly in the employ of Money Expert (NOT related to MoneySavingExpert) and seemingly acting on behalf of BT and EE (their IDs and uniforms also displayed the logo of both operators – as pictured).

WightFibre Statement

A number of our customers have called us to report that door-to-door salespeople have been calling on homes on the Island and claiming that:

1. BT have taken over WightFibre, and they are collecting account details to transfer accounts to BT;

Or

2. WightFibre is going out of business, and would you like to transfer your account to BT before they do?

The salespeople wear grey waistcoats marked with BT and EE logos and the words “Money Expert”.

These are legitimate BT / EE salespeople, but their claims are 100% false. WightFibre is healthy and growing fast, and our network is rolling out rapidly across the whole Island and is already available to nearly 50,000 premises.

WightFibre welcomes the competition. WightFibre will beat BT or EE broadband hands down on price, speeds and high levels of customer service. We do not welcome false claims made by these salespeople about WightFibre.

Both BT and Money Expert have confirmed that they do work together to let consumers know about the latest offers available in their area, although such agents should never ask for financial details from anyone and cannot complete sales or transactions. In addition, the operator added that they’re not supposed to discuss the business operation of other providers.

A BT spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk: “We are aware of Wightfibre’s complaint and acted quickly by suspending all activity in the area as we investigate this incident with Money Expert“. Money Expert itself added that it doesn’t have a permanent presence on the Isle of Wight, but they confirmed that “activity on the Island has been suspended while we investigate this incident.

A Spokesperson for Money Expert said:

“Our agents are trained and assessed regularly on compliance and safeguarding. Our agents will never ask for financial details from anyone and cannot complete sales or transactions. We have robust compliance measures in place which include that only BT or EE employees can complete sales transactions over the phone or in-store, or customers can directly place orders through BT websites. This helps to independently validate customers’ understanding and willingness to proceed and avoid misrepresentation.

MoneyExpert does not condone any form of misconduct and our agents are trained to offer BT and EE products and services only and not to discuss the business operation of other providers.”

BT added that they will be in touch with WightFibre as part of the investigation process.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
27 Responses
  1. Avatar photo John says:

    BT is a greedy scum dump. But this is a new low for them

    A 3rd of the worlds lawsuits occur in the US, reason why is because companies can pull this kind of crap and go unpunished

    1. Avatar photo James B says:

      @John

      Clearly this is against how BT tells people to act, so not sure what you mean by your comment.

      Also this isn’t taking place in the US, so your second comment doesn’t make sense either from that perspective. Additionally if all these lawsuits take place in the US, wouldn’t that suggest that “this kind of crap” doesn’t go unpunished, rather companies get sued for it in the US?

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      My point is obviously that there isn’t enough financial punishment being dealt outside the US. It is also painfully obvious that more lawsuits = more punishment

    3. Avatar photo T says:

      @John. They’re not BT staff you absolute tool

    4. Avatar photo John says:

      They are paid by BT to sell for the company. By all means and purposes they represent BT and they need to take the hit for the libel

    5. Avatar photo T says:

      Yes they are and it’s them who’d pay for the issue by potentially BT ending their contract with them and doing it direct they do so in many places. Use ya noggin

    6. Avatar photo John says:

      That does not mean BT suffers any punishment …

  2. Avatar photo Jason says:

    Probably the same as what wright fibre did when they were knocking on the doors to get new customers . All as bad as one another

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Can you prove that?

      I had someone come to my door a couple of years ago selling energy and they asked me if I claimed my discount., After further questions I found out the discount was that their energy service may and mean may be cheaper than what I was on. so no discount, just a lying sales rep, I sent the photo of him to the company he worked for and complained. I don’t normally, but I hate people like that,

      i had one person from Zzoomm come here, but I was not in and that is it, some people have had someone from Openreach knocking at the door saying that fibre is available, but nothing here

  3. Avatar photo awelshman says:

    i do remember a good few years ago i had a knock at the door with someone trying to sell some phone service and saying that they had taken over my local exchange and were in the process of moving everyone over to this company ( dont remember who) but when i asked for the persons name he got a little uncomfortable and very uncomfortable once i said see that bt van parked over there IT’S MINE

  4. Avatar photo Nick says:

    This is, unfortunately, the curse of door to door selling by large companies. You have little control over the barely above minimum wage person talking about you and your product. Whatever training you give them or policy documents you give them to read they will have a commission incentive to get as many sales as possible pushed through, and by any means.
    Stressed parent with screaming child? “Sign here and I will leave you alone”
    Old person with no understanding and/or little eyesight? “Just sign here and everything will be amazing, trust me!”
    Whenever there is an incentive, trust people to exploit any means they find for maximum reward. Especially when the pay is as low as can legally be made.

  5. Avatar photo Vince says:

    Shame BT hasn’t ever stopped the third parties who use the “BT Local Business” name (but usually just call themselves BT during sales and then decide they’re not BT once the poop hits the fan) and lie, mislead and screw customers over continuously…

    Like the recent call where they told me that they had been getting Openreach to ‘upgrade the exchange in the local area due to speed issues’ and they could now offer full fibre to us as a result.

    BT Local Business did not get Openreach to do anything, and they also clearly didn’t check anything as FTTP isn’t available at my office.

    But it then became clear they’re making up any old lies as a few minutes later a different number rang, but it was them again, different agent who proceeded to tell me BT had asked them to call everyone using a copper line and that they had to do something about it – also nonsense – but the best bit is that they insisted we were using a copper line – doubt it buddy, we have fibre ethernet service and have for years – no copper here.

    So if they’re gonna clamp down on liars, best start with the BT Local Business ‘partners’

  6. Avatar photo Neb says:

    Absolutely disgraceful behavior and damaging to the BT brand.

    A reason against one touch switching, when you can’t get hold of your customer?

  7. Avatar photo David says:

    CityFibre are just as bad. They knock on our door every other week. What part of “I’m under contract with my existing provider for another year, please stop knocking on my door” do they not understand?! I will never purchase any product from CityFibre’s partners because of their salespeople’s behaviour.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Stick a note on your door, to city Fibre, I will let you know if or when I want to be a customer.

  8. Avatar photo John Irvine says:

    WightFibre have not made a complaint about BT / EE door step selling. Rather we have simply issued a warning to our customers to be aware of and not to fall for their underhand sales tactics.

    As stated on our post from which ISP Review have quoted above, WightFibre are happy to compete head to head with BT / EE. We will beat them hands down on price, speed and our outstanding levels of customer service.

    In reality their dirty sales tactics have backfired on them as WightFibre’s customers and the broader Isle of Wight community has reacted against their actions. That is why BT / EE have suspended their doorstep selling, not out of any concern for WightFibre.

    Customers buy from brands they can trust. BT / EE have clearly shown they are not a brand to be trusted.

    John Irvine
    CEO, WightFibre.

    1. Avatar photo Oggy says:

      Accusing BT/EE of “dirty sales tactics” on a public forum.

      This could get interesting. I’m away to get the popcorn out.

    2. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

      First time I’ve seen a company CEO comment in the comments section of an article, about a major competitor. I doubt we’ll see a response from Philip Jansen, as it’s unlikely he has the time to read articles, or the comments sections at the bottom of them.
      When I was a teenager I worked for a soft drinks firm and we went door to door looking for initial orders; We received a small basic with the rest of the wage based on sales. Some were pushy and obtained sales from inappropriate behaviour, but their behaviour was driven by their personality not the company directives. For all we know, these reports could have been down to one or two bad apples, trying it on, and it appears BT have reacted rapidly to the complaint, so I’m not sure it’s appropriate for BT to be accused of not being “a brand to be trusted”.

  9. Avatar photo BNG says:

    I had two guys at my door in very flashy suits trying to tell me that Full Fibre was being installed (which I know was BS since the exchange wasn’t ready and we’re many years out in east London). They said I could take out BT FTTC and get moved to gigabit for free when FTTH arrives.

    They made me do a speedtest and presented some sort of BT ID card which didn’t seem legit at all. Unfortunately BT/third party vendor does not have a process to verify those claiming to be knocking on behalf of BT. This happened a day after the rollout plan update was released so I deduced there was no chance for my local exchange to suddenly upgrade to FTTH within the next 2 months when it is not listed at all in the build plan.

    So I decide it’s a scam and decide to “agree” to place an order. They ask for a phone number (a second line for sim testing) and very quickly a woman phoned asking me for things like bank details, sort code (to make a direct debit?). I ended up winding her up for a good hour. I did report to police as there are OAPs on my street but they didn’t attend. The slightly ironic thing is one of my neighbours, who is a copper, fell for it.

    Unfortunately news around our Borough started to come out saying those guys were scammers and set up fradulent direct debits. It should be a priority to have a verification system for these individuals. But then again, how would people know such a service exists?

    A few months later and there is no sign of Fibre but I get to enjoy G.Fast in the meanwhile because space in the side cabinet freed up.

  10. Avatar photo The witcher says:

    The general public just don’t like doorstep sellers. I don’t know why any recognised brand would use such tactics as its just not necessary or desirable

  11. Avatar photo Kevin says:

    I personally think that door to door sales should all end, I’ve had them at my door trying to get me to switch to BT from Sky. I have gigabit broadband from Sky so would fail to see how any faster BT would be compared to them as it’s the same Openreach fibre and ONT setup in my house also BT customer service is woeful compared to Sky. they were told I’m not switching, and they went back down the path. after this I investigated in a ‘No door-to-door salespersons’ sign from B&Q . they just walk up to the door see it and walk away now.

  12. Avatar photo The_other_MJ says:

    I had the same company – Money Expert, come to the door ( Devon) several years ago. Selling BT “officially” she said, we already have BT. She said that there was a problem with the fibre up the road and it would be best to sign up for BT as they will fix quickly. Utter rubbish.

    Took photo of her ID card, told her to piss off, contacted BT forum moderator and gave all details. Two days later received BT email apologising, they stated that they had now ended their contract with Money Expert.

    So BT telling porkies?

  13. Avatar photo Philip says:

    Where sales teams are mostly or purely commission based the sales person will need to try every trick in the book to end the week with any food on the table.

    The hiring companies (the telcos & utilities) are to blame for knowingly using these practices.

  14. Avatar photo Peter says:

    Door step selling should be banned full stop.

  15. Avatar photo Bob says:

    Doorstep salesman including the Charities are always very pushy and often rude and often make false claims. I t ought to be banned

  16. Avatar photo Bob says:

    You have no way of verify who these people are. They may wave a photo ID card at you but that’s meaningless. You have no way of verifying it

    You could try phoning who they claim to represent but you would have to firm a known number as any number they supply could be fake

    Mostly they come around in the evening so the chances of getting an answer on a phone number is zero even if it is the day time you would get though on an automated system and would be hanging on the end of the phone for half hour or more and the chances of getting any sense from who ever answers it is also closer to zero

    The best approach is not to engage with them. Just a polite No thank you and close the door

    If you have a video door bell and see it is one of these pests just dont answer the door

  17. Avatar photo Samuel Tennant says:

    I know he doesn’t own the Words, but as these folks are undoubtedly riding on his good name – has anyone le Martin Lewis know? Might not be illegal like, but likewise it wouldn’t be illegal for him to go town on them (legally, of course) on one of his many media outlets under the pretence of Consumer Advice about switching….

Comments are closed

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