Watch out if you are installing broadband. I’ve had three complaints now about BT screwing up Redcare alarms. Following my ‘stalled on the superhighway’ story in the last issue, where Lorna and Paul Davis were trying to go for a new phone package and quicker broadband, two more retailers have got in touch to say that they too had ‘alarming’ results.

Mike Sohal emailed: “The same happened to me with BT. All these sales reps are the same only interested in sale. I even had to pay £250 to ADT because they messed up my Redcare.”

And similarly Jayesh Patel, from Classic News in Northampton, rang to say that BT stopped his Redcare Secom alarm working, costing him £168.

BT sold him the broadband over the phone, but when he complained they didn’t want to know. He has had nothing in writing to say he is in a contract - but was told instead that he is in a verbal contract (he thinks for two years but he can’t prove it) so he cannot, as a dissatisfied customer, get out of it.

“Every time you ring up it’s a different person in a call centre so I can’t even get the original guy on the phone,” he says.

I’ve suggested going to the regulator Ofcom to complain and also to Trading Standards, because if you’re in a contract you are surely entitled to a copy of it. In fact, without one it wouldn’t stand up in court. And I amuse myself imagining BT trying to retrieve this so-called verbal agreement from among its labyrinth of recordings.

” How’s the drought splashing along in your neck of the woods? This column isn’t supposed to be about the weather, but it’s hard to avoid when you can get all four season in half a week in this country “