Getting a refund from Bulldog / Pipex / Tiscalli ... dont hold you breath but do hold onto hope

I was a Bulldog (/Pipex) customer till June 2008 when I bailed out instead of getting the "benefit" of being moved to Pipex Homecall. After leaving their custom, they still billed me a full months billing. Though they promised to pay me the money back, it took in excess of 11 calls to the Pipex "help" desk (contradiction) over a 5 month period before I actually got my money back. Either they are complely stupid, dumb and incapable of organising even finding a brewery (let along the preverbial knees-up) or this was a clear & deliberate corporate policy to provarocate in the hope that people would have enough and not bother claiming their money back. So £20 obtained for services-not-supplied isn't much as a 1-off, but do it to 10000 people and you've got a nice improvement to the bottom line...

My point - don't ever consider using Pipex/Tiscalli unless you want to be ripped off and have a quality of service that would try a saint.

Since early 2005 our broadband provider was Bulldog. The attraction was 2-fold - LLU 'up to 8Mb' and no download limits (not even a cap in the so-called 'fair usage policy'. Bully's helpdesk could often annoying till you finally got past the gatekeepers to talk to the real staff, but I didn't have to contact them very often so I was pretty happy.

During this time of course, C&W sold Bully to Pipex. Not much change though.
Then Pipex was sold to Tiscalli and in June 2008 the enevitable happened and in order to "ensure everyone benefits from the best quality service".. Pipex was ... "moving all Bulldog accounts onto the Pipex Homecall systems". Some digging later and of course, this means that we were gonna be moved off the C&W/Bulldog LLU onto a congested Pipex LLU along with nasties like FUP and traffic shaping no doubt.

Credit to them, Pipex recognised some (most?) users would want out and allowed customers to move "without Penalty".

So, I jumped ship (to Be Internet - they even connected my service 3 days early).
A few days later, "Bulldog from Pipex" billed me for the next month. Fine.. these things happen.

Call #1 went fine, the rep apologised, said it was routine billing already in the pipeline and it would get sorted out at the start of August.
At the start of August, call #2, it was on their systems that I needed a refund and would be raised automatically at the end of August.

However, by the end of August, no such "automatic" request had been made. By now, all calls were routed to somewhere "offshore" (aka somewhere cheap where they don't really talk English -- in this case, the Phillipines). Through end of August, September, October and November, I was having to chase every few weeks with their operators 'promising' payment, mentioning it had been escalated, confirming there had been no escalation or payment request, saying my Direct Debit had been cancelled (it hadn't) and various other excuses, non-truths, incorrect or inconsistant statements. I was twice promised a £10 payment in compensation then next time I had to chase the offshored rep would deny there being any mention of it on the account..... Maybe these "Pipex Homecall systems" that they use to provide their "best quality service" are called "Post-It"(tm) notes. (though, from my experience, Thrown-Away Notes is more likely)

On advice from the Hopeless Desk, I even sent complaint emails to care@homecall, which solicited an auto reply confirming they deal with complaints in 2 days. Over a week later and - yup - I still have not had a response.

Only after finally getting someone to pass me through to a department that sounded much more "on-shore" than "offshore" did I get my point and the promise of a cheque on it's way.

And, finally, to my immense suprise, today, in the post arrived a cheque. My £19.45 has finally been refunded along with £20 in goodwill/compensation/whatever. Now lets just hope the cheque doesn't bounce.

So, you'd think I should be happy? Well given the hassle & annoyance from Pipex/Tiscalli deliberately trying to avoid giving the money back, £20 on a £19.45 payment is ok and I'm quite happy with that (in fact, it more than covers 1 month of my service with Be) but I'm still really really really annoyed that I had to chase them in order to get any of it back. I'm very very certain that without constant chivying they would have never ever paid a penny back.

If you are ever considering a Pipex or Tiscalli related service, the don't. They are rubbish. Avoid like the plague and go somewhere else. Anywhere else.