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    We're working on it! Janice and Dave at BT Broadband need to be told about an Israeli startup called enure (, now in trials with Bezeq.

    Francis Sedgemore

    Welcome back online, Judy! I bet you have a whole stack of articles lined up for our edification.

    BTW, the first link in the post is malformed. Delete the "http//" before "adloyada".

    Francis Sedgemore

    Oh, and a blogroll link would be nice, too. :-)

    Hip Gnosis

    Great to have you back, Judy; you have been missed. So sorry that you had to go through all that. It's good, at least, that you have posted it. BT are probably aware of it, but to make sure, perhaps I'll e-mail them a little link ;)

    The problem with BT must be deeper (or is it broader?) than just the conversion of a state monopoly into a private enterprise. Some "national incumbents", as former state monopolies are called in the telecoms business, have become private-sector enterprises that are efficient have a surprisingly good and consistent pro-customer service culture. Deutsche Telecom was fairly good about it, but Belgium Telecom's conversion was nothing short of miraculous; it went from being one of the most backward, inefficient, deeply fusty and kafkaesque state apparatuses one could imagine -- really impossible to exaggerate -- to a cutting-edge, high-tech, effective, and in every way customer-friendly company. True, it's a smaller organisation than BT, but still a very large company in which to have to impose a change of culture; culture change can be almost impossible even in a company of just ten people, let alone several thousand. I think that in certain parts or sections of British society there is a sort of culture of ineptness that perhaps stems, ultimately, from arrogance. Brits can become inexplicably supercilious and intractable as soon as something is being asked of them, and people in BT or public administrations are in the position of having things asked of them all the time. And they also, in that position, tend to do things and make decisions apparently with the attitude that whatever they do or decide, it must be right, because otherwise why would they be in that position. The result is that they often get it wrong because they don't give it enough effort or thought. In short, there is not enough humility. A culture of arrogance leads to a culture of incompetence. In the case of BT, it leaves lots of people stranded without internet. In the case of the NHS, it kills thousands of innocent civilians each year. In the case of the Home Office, incompetence has blended with idiotic political correctness in a disastrous manner that has led to the UK becoming, after Pakistan, the world's second most productive breeding ground of terrorism. Possess a small amount of marijuana for personal use, and you will be dealt a merciless punitive blow that could ruin your entire life. Preach murder against non-adherents to your religion and do so loudly, publicly and repeatedly -- you will be tolerated. This is bungling things on an historical scale. Hmmm, how did I get from internet connections to der Abend des Abendlandes?

    Squander Two

    I coined a phrase a few years ago to describe the behaviour of ex-nationalised companies: cargo-cult capitalism. The cargo cults build things that look like runways and wait expectantly for planeloads of goodies; ex-nationalised companies try to make themselves look like proper private enterprises and wait expectantly for record profits.

    You see it a lot with rebranding: "Private companies rebrand, don't they? And they make profits. So we'll rebrand!" And so they ditch a well known and popular logo and pick something crap.

    When I say I coined the phrase, by the way, I should add that, thus far, it has caught on with precisely zero people who aren't me. But I still think it's a good one.


    If it's any consolation, I had 3 months of N-T-Hell, during which I had poor internet performance coupled with a complete inability to send or receive attachments/files.

    NTL repeatedly claimed that thefault was my equipment and I only got an engineer visit when I agreed to pay for it if it proved to be my fault. The engineer took exactly 30 seconds to determine that the NTL box was incapable of holding the signal for for than second.

    Subsequently I demanded and received a refund for three months service.


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