So I called BT and was put through to a young man in a foreign country. He was as helpful as anyone can be at that remove. He looked at my records and said that was pretty much what I could expect living where I do. I asked for my MAC code.
"So you want to leave BT?" he said.
"I might," I replied. "I just want the MAC code."
"Hang on a moment."
I do. He comes back.
"I've just been talking to somebody in sales who might be able to help you. Let me transfer you."
Female voice from the North-East of England comes on (instant smell of toast) and tells me that they've had a look at my records, I've been a customer of BT's for a long time and therefore should have been promoted to the faster broadband. She's prepared to do that now and to lower the rate and to roll our BT phone bills into the same deal but she wants it all to go on to Direct Debit.
I've made some quite responsible decisions in my time and raised three children but I am:
a) genetically incapable of assessing deals of any kind on the telephone
b) married to a woman who is fighting a lone battle against Direct Debit
Therefore, I say, send me the details and I'll look at it.
Meanwhile, I've had lots of feedback on this blog, all of which is appreciated but most of which encourages me in the belief that if you can avoid changing your supplier, then you should.
And then I get an email from someone who'd read this blog and works for BT who might be able to help me. Hey, I'm not a crusader for consumer rights. I know very few problems that can't be solved with the help of a sympathetic soul who knows where the levers are and which ones to pull.
So I shall continue approaching this problem via the front door as well as the back. I'll let you know how it goes.