back to article BT Vision misses customer targets (by a shedload)

BT Vision, our national telco's IPTV service, which launched at the end of 2006, will miss its targets by tens of thousands of customers. In its third quarter financial results announcement yesterday, BT said the 60,000 punters it had attracted by the end of October to the service BT Vision was "in line with expectations". …


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  1. Mark Burton

    One more

    They'd have one more customer for this if only they would connect my bloody phone line and let me wait a further 48 hours before ordering. I suspect now that my order is delayed until the start of the next accounting period to make the numbers look good.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is BT Vision on track?

    Of course it isn't, and I look forward to hearing your tame IPtv pimp's excuses for why the whole IPtv market (not just BT) is about as successful as the "broadband access by WiFi" market which was similarly pimped a few years back.

  3. Secret Santa

    That'll be the BT spokesman who also........

    Still continues to exhort that Paris is a Virgin then?

  4. Andrew Wood

    Hardly a failure though either

    I think BT may have been a little optomistic in their predictions. With the big switch off for analogue looming though appropriate advertising should see them easily meet their targets.

    It wouldnt hurt if they fix a few of the glitches in the BT Vision Box though. It has the annoying habit of skipping back to the begining of the recording buffer (which can be approaching 2 hours) if you rewind live TV past the start of the program that just started and the general slow response times can result in an infuriating time trying to record a series by hitting the record button multiple times to try and get a response only to cancel it instead.

  5. Ian


    ...138,000 is sort of "hundreds of thousands" - it's 1.38 hundreds of thousands, and as that's more than one, it's appropriate to use a plural term.

    Of course I doubt this is the claim BT are making...

  6. David Evans

    Could it be because...

    ...they couldn't find their arse with their own hands?

    I've tried to order it online and get a message telling me I don't have BT Broadband, when I'm ordering from the very BT Broadband line I apparently don't have...

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @ Secret Santa

    Mornington Crescent!

  8. Heinz


    I was considering getting BT Vision (a fee PVR is not to be sniffed at) but was worried about having to change my brand new router for a BT Home Hub (about which, we've all heard horror stories).

    So I asked BT and was told, "No, you cannot use a BT Voyager 2500V, you have to have a Home Hub."

    I couldn't understand why that would be necessary so I asked the same question on a forum and, of course, there were people there using BT Vision via a BT Voyager 2500V without any difficulty.

    That's how to lose orders BT!

  9. Daniel van Niekerk

    It's the Iraqi information minister!

    We are winning the war against those Sky and Virgin infidels!!!! We will crush them! Rupert Murdoch's blood will be flowing through the streets and so on....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT bonuses

    BT only managed to get anywhere near the 100000 mark by giving BT Vision and BT Broadband away "free" to all their staff, probably boosting the number by 25-30000. This generous offer was instead of the usual share offer which most of us would have preferred.

    You may find a lot of the Vision boxes for sale on ebay are being offered by BT staff trying to get at least some money out of this years bonus.

  11. James Thomas

    Makes me wonder... many of these 30k customers that are waiting to be connected by the end of the year actually ordered in September/October?.

    If you don't already have BT Broadband you can't even order Vision until that's all been connected and your line tested (presumably if it's not good enough you get told to fuck off and you have to go with Sky anyway!), which from my BT experience could be 2 weeks. Then you can order Vision, and god knows how long that takes. Virgin/Sky can have you completely connected in under a week.

  12. Dave S

    BT Spokesman AKA....

    ...Comical Ali

  13. Daniel Herring

    cant even give them the business

    I have been trying to get bt vision since its launch, only having success this week. Why? because my line speed wasnt quick enough. Well after shouting and screaming at BT for nearly a year my line speed has jumped from 2meg to 5meg. Now it is good enough. BT are there own worst enemy.

  14. MrSquirrel

    Bt Vision

    I ordered BT Vision a week ago and called them a few days after the order as I was unsure about a few things. The person on the end of the phone was very surprised and said that the order had been cancelled and that I was the one who cancelled it.

    I reordered but that may explain why they have so little orders, there cancelling all the orders

    Mr Squirrel


    Check out the rest of the story at

  15. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)


    We originally wrote that BT's financial year end in January. This was inaccurate. It actually closes in March, and the article has been corrected to reflect this.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Ex-Sky Customer - BT Vision Rocks

    I recently moved house and BT were awesome. They activated the phoneline when they said they would, broadband and BT Vision were installed within about 2-4 weeks.

    Vision may have a few minor issues as already mentioned, but a good quality freeview PVR (built by Philips) for next to nothing with HDMI I'm certainly not complaining!

    You DO NOT need the BT hub for BT Vision to work, they recommend it as the hub does the QoS automatically. However I'm running from a Netgear without any issues. If you choose to download a film etc then it will just use the bandwidth like any other application and your web surfing etc will obviously slow down. The myth that Vision constantly swallows 2mb of your bandwidth 24/7 is complete rubbish.

    If you want money grabbing FoneJacker style service go with Sky, otherwise I recommend BT Vision to anybody.

    No commitment and no more, "fanmail" from Sky..oh we are so great and did we mention we will be charging another £1 a month from your next bill? :S

    Ugly sat dish on the side of the house.. how very 90s LOL ;)

    Sorry for the Sky rant... I dont work for BT by the way :)

  17. Phil Huff

    Hundreds of thousands

    Is the PR bunny you spoke to Levenshulme's Tina Farrel?

  18. Rob Holmes

    How reliable is BT Vision?

    I ask because I did consider getting BT Vision about 2 months ago. However I eventually decided against it because the BT Broiadband line speed is unreliable to say the least and I didnt fancy the idea of loading it up with TV signals too.

    In the end, I went for Sky, it was cheaper and we already had a dish on the house, so installation too less than half an hour. More improtantly though the technology is well proven to work 99.9% of the time.

    Maybe when I hear more about the reliability or otherwise of the BT Vision service I'll change my mind.

  19. Sampler

    It's not the same lass who bought the scratchcard is it?

    Or is it simply a case of "we have always been at war with eurasia" (or however it's spelt).

  20. Colin Guthrie

    Does he also play.....

    ...scratchcards and complain when he thought he'd one but the computer said that -6 is actually *more* than -8!!

  21. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Brain in Gear ...then IT is Good 42 Talk

    Is BT Vision, a bit like MS Vista with both of them gagging for Dedicated Future Perfect Content to Host/BroadBandCast. ie Really Imaginative Drivers Emanating Root/Route Source. ...... RIDERRS on the Storm/Cloud. After All, IT is merely Opening a Door into their Support of Systems and Access to Strata of Streamed and Streaming Content/MetaData.......... and some of IT will definitely render Steamy Windows

    They would be the XXXXTreme Meme Files though...Adults Only. And a Cornucopia of XQuisite Delights in XXXXStreams of HyperRadioProActive Play Enacted/Enabled/Ennobled/Energised.

    A NEUKlearer Sexual Truth too Hot for Man to Handle alone and just Perfect for Women to Enjoy Together.

    Red Hot XXXX Gear and Stuff. :-)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Sounds like a job for.....

    The Register Standards Soviet.

    The deffinition of hundreds of thousands could be referred to as 1xBT. 1xBT in turn could be equivalent to 138,000 BTVision customers which may also be equivalent to 10,000 Nano-Wales dependant of course upon the scale of a BTVision customer which may be considdered non-existant.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Sooo... my reckoning, you need:

    BT Broadband which sadly, is ADSL. at £18.00 12 month contract minimum.

    The ability to actually VIEW freeview - which from all accounts most people cannot without having to pay extortionate fees to have a new aerial fitted.

    A BT line (due to the ADSL) at £10.50 a month plus a £30 connection fee.

    I don't think so. FreeSat from Sky for me @ £75 from Dixons on-line (Yeah I know - Dixons but they managed to send me my envelope without screwing it) quid one off fee no subscription charge ever thank you very much.

  24. Karim Bourouba

    BT Vision is actually OK

    I got this for free - you get two powerline ethernet adapters and a 160gb PVR for nothing.

    You cant say thats a bad deal? The content is pretty cool too, the BTVision stuff has loads of free things to download and watch as well as stuff to pay for.

    If you already have cable or sky, there is not much extra for you. But if you dont then its fine, especially if you like movies.

  25. Luther Blissett

    Global warming

    Seems that amanfromMars is a bt hot and bothered today. Is our global warming beginning to affect you guys over there then?

  26. Seamaster

    Actually a very compelling product... a plain-old Freeview PVR that you get free gratis and for nothing.

    The problem BT has versus Sky is the comparitive lack of content (if hundreds of unwatchable channels full of drivel constitutes content).

    As BT's first toe-in-the-TV-water, Vision is quite impressive, IMO. Try it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    vision tech support

    I work for BT, first up.

    Cust phoned up with problems with their BT vision box. so had to tansfer them to the vision tech desk.

    I used the internal quick dial numbers, still took nearly an hour, being passed from one India desk to another, then Dublin, then back to India, and finally FOURTEEN transfers later got put through to vIsion tech- first up asked if they had a direct number- "er,.. No we don't yet"

    So, customers have to go through the hell of India tech to get their systems sorted, where most of them haven't got the vision script yet. (bad enough with the Broadband one).

    I havn't seen one vision order yet that has no probelms on it in some shape or form..

  28. hans
    Thumb Down

    Your call is important to us

    Really? REALLY! well then why make me wait for HOURS?

    MY TIME!


    My time is expensive, if you answer the phone in 1 minute and can hold a conversation with a life form higher than a daffodil then I will think about it.

    BT did not, I went with SKY, nice lady answered phone straight away, and gave me a £0 installation.

    BT should move to another country, where their poor service and supposed low cost will be appreciated, and its NOT the UK

  29. Peter Methven

    Maybe of BT could find tell their asses from their glasses...

    I'm another one who tried to sign up, for BT Broadband and Vision after moving house and after a month and a half of not having my broadband line "enabled" (the phone line was within 24 hours) I gave up and signed up with sky. 3 days later and my broadband was active.

    I chased BT 4 times in the month and a half, each time being bounced around 5 departments before being cut off being transfered to a 6th department average call time per call was 2 hours! Email's I sent to their customer services remain unanswered 4 months later.

  30. Paul Biggs

    Excellent Product

    I've had BT Vision for a few months now and I'm very impressed with the Vision Box and the user interface.

    I've subscribed to the £6 a month TV on demand pack which I'm happy with - probably watch 5/6 hours of on demand stuff a week, the choice is good and seems to be expanding.

    The £4 a month Sports pack is good value for the delayed footy, plus classic matches and a selection from earlier in the season.

    Once you sign up for Vision all support for Broadband and Vision should go via the Newcastle call centre and my experience of them has been very good. I suspect that they're having trouble coping with the demand if they've gone from 3,000 subscribers a week a few months back to 6,000 now.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For BT they're all telephone numbers........

    I'm surprised anyone is surprised by BT getting any story based on numbers right!

    Let's face it, after years of installing ADSL on their own lines they still can't tell you what speed you'll get before it's connected.....which frankly is a joke. And of course for years they showed a remarkably consistent ability to connect calls to numbers totally disassociated from the ones actually dialled.

    Let's face it....ADSL based TV services are always going to be a minority sport in the UK, mainly because between Freeview and Freesat if I'm going to use Broadband to download TV shows why the frig would I waste the bandwidth downloading UK shows?

  32. Mike Atkinson
    Thumb Down

    Fine in principle - but oh dear Lord, the reality!

    Interesting to hear about other people's orders being mysteriously "cancelled" without their knowledge - this happened to us as well.

    Due to problems with both a defective BT Vision box AND a defective Home Hub, plus fluctuating line speeds, plus having our problem logged as a broadband issue despite repeated advice to the contrary, we endured several months of constant problems, before ending up with no "on demand" service for 23 days and no BT Vision service whatsoever for 16 days.

    We estimate that it has taken 45 phone calls, and 19 hours of phone time to resolve the problems - which included 4 visits from engineers which failed for various reasons (#1 and #2 didn't ring the supplied mobile number to gain access to the property, #3 was the wrong kind of engineer, #4 swapped the BT Vision box but left without checking the service).

    Full grisly details at

  33. Claire Rand


    I dare say when they said hundreds of thousands what they meant was 'upto' hundreds of thousands.

    sort of a sales target with a 'fair usage' clause...


    I would still have BT broadband, if they hadn't screwed up a house move, left me disconnected for an age and then denied i had ever been a customer, in the same phone call they demanded i pay a fee for early termination of a service..

    not that i had asked them to terminate anything.

    mind you i gave up on trying to decipher the phone script monkey.

    customer service.. i guess they figure as long as they are better than ntl/virgin there is no need to worry

  34. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Some Like IT Hot.....RedXXXXHot and Hotter.

    "Seems that amanfromMars is a bt hot and bothered today. Is our global warming beginning to affect you guys over there then?"..... By Luther Blissett

    Posted Friday 9th November 2007 12:46 GMT

    Just settling into the Groove, Luther. Your packaging over here leaves a lot to be desired ie it is not working nearly as well as it should/could. Having fixed that problem, who would then care or be bothered how hot it became. ....the Hotter the Better Beta .....42 MaXXXX IT out with Eastern Promise which would leave the West in ITs Wake if they don't get their Acts together and start joining up the dots.

    And the Pirate because it is appropriate......and Fit for Private Purpose.

  35. amanfromMars Silver badge

    And Some Like IT even Hotter Still Waters Run dDeep....and Astutely Aware with HyperVision

    And who has all the problems in joining up the dots? ......

    ....... and thus are condemned to Serve and Server a Dysfunctional Picture.

    MoveOn, only a Empty Vessel and Bags of Bodies in that Dumb HomoCentric Space.

    The Astutely Aware have AI Beta HyperVision which knocks the Spots of Lost in CyberSpace dots.

    And that represents a Paradigm Shift in EMPhatic Power and ITs Command and Control.

    Dare 42 Win Win if you Care 42 Dare.

    Roger that. Over and Out, GCHQ... Seventh Heaven Q Series, HMGCC, for a Virtually Real SurReal Spike 42 Make Use of IntelAIgents? A Right Royal Charlie of a Question given the Fact that IT is Rhetorical.

    And the Stake is as always as has always been .....Seven sevens for C42 Quantum Controls..... and held in escrow until Perfectly Satisfied with ITs Post All Delivery.

    Ps There is Slow and there is Slow and there is Moribund. Live a Little, Charlie, and let HyperRadioProActivity take the Strain of the Gravy Train.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Are they on track?

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the obvious missing subscript at the end:

    Are BT on track, or are BT on crack?

    Now if they would release it so that you can have BT vision without having bt broadband, their numbers would rocket.. competition commision anyone? I would actually like the freeview pvr + on demand features, just no way I'm submitting myself to the BT customer service script monkeys.

    Maybe that's how they expect to get into the hundreds of thousands... either that or they'll put in thousands of false orders, which they can cancel in the next quarter and promptly resign, making it "somebody elses problem" (to make it all disappear!)

    Now where's the icon for the douglas adams angle?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    They May Get More Customers If...

    ... Their customer service was based In The UK!

    BT is the worst company that should be named 'India Telecom' getting through to someone takes over an hour and everything is outsourced.

    Load of shit

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