Letter: Phone sweatshops

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Deborah Orr says BT will replace its call centre staffs with more machines ("Trouble at the 21st-century mills", 23 November).

Last month, to air a complaint, I dialled 150. After two tiers of button- pressing, I was told by a machine that they were so busy they wouldn't even put me in a queue: I should try later.

I did try later: same result. So I dialled the customer services manager, and a machine told me they couldn't answer.

I faxed the customer services manager. His reply advised me to ring 150. I wrote to BT's chief executive, Sir Peter Bonfield, and his assistant advised me to ring the customer services manager.

Is it more machines they need, or more people?

Professor GEORGE SOLT

Olney, Buckinghamshire

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