There's something of Alice in Wonderland in encounters with the telecommunications industry.
Having failed (so far) to get "broadband" at my home in a village near Andover, I decided that at least we should be seen to be taking the medicine by "going broadband" at my constituency office - right in the town centre, where the BT exchange has been "adsl-enabled" and where NTL have a cable network.
Since NTL already provide my office phone service, they were our first port of call. Sadly, "Yes, the cable is there, but we won't be able to support cable Internet access until later in the year". Ah, but NTL are one of the many resellers of the BT adsl service, so perhaps they could link us to that? "Yes of course, we can provide adsl at your office, but first you will need to install a BT phone line"!
[For those who are already lost in the acronyms of this story, its all explained in another page - click here]
So off we go (by Internet of course) to BT. Perhaps if we have to have a BT line, we might do the whole deal with BT directly, rather than having two suppliers. Good news: "Yes, adsl is available at your location". Bad news (but we already knew this): "You will need to install a BT line". Bad news: "You have to pay the full business line cost for installing and maintaining the phone line, as well as the adsl charges", even though we will only use the line for adsl. Even worse news: "We can't accept your adsl order until we have installed and tested the new phone line".
So does that mean I have to order and pay for a phone line I don't want, before I find out whether BT will be able to deliver the adsl service I do want; and if it can't deliver the adsl service I am out of pocket for the installation and minimum contract cost of a phone line I didn't want in the first place? "Yes".
Possible good news: "Maybe we can do a better deal than NTL to provide both the phone service and adsl, we will get our sales team to contact you".
And there it rests. No call from the sales team. Today is 25th April. The last message from the BT adsl service was 5th April. To quote from Alice again, "I shall sit here," he said, "on and off, for days and days."