I am an Englishman who has been dealing in Bulgarian real estate since September 2004. I moved here permanently in May 2005 and last January I moved my operation from my home to commercial premises. I located a new building in Gabrovo.
We met the building's owner and decided to take one of the shops from 1 February. I went to BTC's local office with appropriate documents on 23 January to order a business line and ADSL internet service. I was told that we would hear within four days.
Four days later BTC told us that we could not have a line. The reason? Although the building had been constructed with telephone lines for each unit there was no actual service cable to the building. Apparently, the owner had to apply to BTC direct for the service connection. We returned to the building's owner who informed us that he had made an application to BTC for the line to be installed last August.
BTC eventually said that they would make the connection but not until 15 March at the earliest as they had to apply to the municipality. 15 March passed with no sign of BTC. At the end of March we visited BTC's head office. Here is what ensued:
a) We learnt that our application had been submitted to BTC's Varna office and that the Gabrovo office was awaiting their decision. We were not told why the Varna office was involved.
b) We asked him to telephone the Varna office to see if a decision had been made. He told us it was not possible!
c) We asked if we could have the telephone number of the Varna office. He declined.
d) He did give us the telephone number of BTC's Veliko Tarnovo office and said that they would give us Varna's number. We called this number and they also refused to give us the number for Varna!
e) When I complained he merely told me: "What do you expect? After all, this is Bulgaria!"
Since this meeting we have been given more excuses for the non-installation.
How can a company behave like this?
Roger Turner, Gabrovo
VAGABOND enquired and got the following reply from the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company.
"We would like to apologise to Mr Turner for the inconvenience caused by one of our employees. Apparently, prior to the meeting with Mr Turner, our colleague in Gabrovo was not briefed on the details of BTC's investment plans for the town and was not aware of the paperwork required for the connection.
We would like to inform you that the building will be linked to the BTC network during the week beginning May 14."