BT is back to High Street after a gap of 17 years to provide ‘good, old-fashioned’ customer service
BT is coming back to the High Street after a 17-year absence as part of a plan to provide ‘good, old-fashioned’ customer service.
The telecoms giant is revamping its 615 EE phone shops so that BT customers can receive technical support or deal with billing issues.
These shops previously only carried EE’s logo and branding but will now also feature those of its parent company BT, which owns the mobile network.
The announcement came as new BT chief executive Phil Jansen pledged to make the company a ‘national champion’.
BT is also moving all of its customer call centres to the UK and Ireland and has promised 900 ‘home technology experts’ will be on call to visit homes and fix problems.
The boss of BT’s consumer arm, Marc Allera said it was part of a push to improve the company’s reputation after years of complaints about shoddy service.
Allera said customers tell them that they are desperate for somewhere they can go and talk to someone. Customers want good, old-fashioned face-to-face support. So at the stores they will now be able to get services and technical support from BT staff in their local community.
He added that one cannot turn these things around overnight. But two years ago they were the most complained-about telecoms operator and now they are below-average number of complaints. He said they are not the best yet, and the job is not done. But they are turning the corner.
BT is the latest telecoms firm to invest in its High Street presence after rival Vodafone announced it was also due to give its 400 shops a makeover.
In addition to overhauling their appearance and providing more demonstrations of how to use devices, Vodafone said it would open 74 more shops this year and in 2020.
A spokesman for O2 said it was also in the process of improving around 60 of its 450 stores.
All of BT’s shops are within a 20-minute drive of most of the UK’s population, a spokesman claimed.
Home technology experts will be available for support, with customers able to book visits to their homes to fix technical issues.
BT also announced it was launching a ‘skills for tomorrow’ programme that will train 10m people in digital skills, including 3m British schoolchildren.
Jansen, who succeeded Gavin Patterson earlier this year, said they are helping families and communities across the UK, and companies in Britain and around the world, to remove the barriers of today to realise the potential of tomorrow.