NTL "digital" in shopping centre is nothing of the sort!

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Wednesday 12 November 2003 1.37pm
I was approached by Joseph from the NTL stand in the shopping centre and asked if I wanted digitial TV . I'd had some dealings with NTL before and because of this, I got Joseph to ring NTL and check we could get digital at our flat. On being told we could, I signed a digital contract. Installation day came and after the chap left we discovered that he box he'd fitted was not digital but analogue.

I rang NTL the following week to see why this had happened. I was told there'd been some mistake, and that he'd get it sorted and call me back.

No phonecall. We rang a week later to be told that there is not, never has been and are no plans to provide digital TV in the area. I was outraged! I've seen a lot of people signing up at the NTL stand and can only assume that a lot of others have thought they were signing up to a service NTL don't actually provide.

On the last of these futile calls I asked the representative, Kirsty, why NTL were selling digital both through salespeople and online, when they know they cannot provide the service. At this point she became very abrasive and suggested I disconnect if I was not happy. First sensible answer I've had out of NTL.

NTL are promising something they won't deliver in order to get people to sign a contract, either through incompetence or intentionally. Either way, this is in clear breach of the Trades Descriptions Act and I will be taking my case to Southwark council trading standards. If you have had a similar experience, let me know and we can compile a comprehensive dossier. If you are thinking of signing up next time you see the stand at the shopping centre, I can only advise you to go to Woolies and by a freeview box for 50 instead!

For further tales of woe at the hands of NTL (and boy are there a lot of them) see the NTHell website (http://www.nthellworld.com/) and feedback at Ciao(http://www.ciao.co.uk/NTL_Broadband__Review_5352487) and clik2 (http://www.clik2complaints.co.uk/DPs/dp_ntl1.html)

Wednesday 12 November 2003 6.59pm

I haven't had the same experience with NTL because I don't have a telly, but I did answer one of their adverts re: all-in phone calls for so much a month. And I was thoroughly messed around by them. They didn't come on the day they said, and then came on a completely different day, and then let me down again after I had to get a neighbour to wait in my flat all morning. I got my deposit back in the end, after some trouble.
i don't really like criticising a named firm on the net because everyone has to make a living and other people may have found them quite satisfactory, but they are advertising pretty widely so I think people should know the pitfalls. Thanks Emma b.
Monday 17 November 2003 6.44pm
I had this problem in the Maidstone buildings where NTL were promising for 2 years to upgrade from analogue to digital. I cancelled, but the guy who bought my flat was an engineer and he ran a check on the line himself (don't ask me how - that's engineers stuff) and he discovered.... that the line was digital all along. So it may well be that NTL still have no idea if they are analogue or digital, and you might be able to get digital after all. Just a thought, but as I have written before, it would have been nice to have known that during the 18 months I endured analogue.
Tuesday 18 November 2003 12.01pm
It turns out something very similar seems to be happening in the block I'm in. Apparently the original cable provider had a clause in the contract saying that all flats have to be provided with the 5 basic chanels free of charge, as there are no other aerials into the building. NTL took over the company & the contract and the same obligation holds.

Apparently giving us digital would mean giving everyone some sort of converter (according to the RA in th block anyway) and as they aren't prepared to do that they won't offer digital. A little short sighted as there are well over 400 potential digital customers in that block. However, we're planning to go self managed next year and it looks like the first thing we'll be doing is booting NTL and getting a proper aerial and/or dish. So they've really shot themselves in the foot with this one.

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