News & Views from Nottingham Photographer Paul 'Spike' Reddington

BT = Bust Telephone, Broadband Terminated

BT own the exchanges and the cables to your house. So if they break, their sister company Openreach will fix them. Hopefully.

BT own the exchanges and the cables to your house. So if they break, their sister company Openreach will fix them. Hopefully.

Never mind Angry Birds, I’m an Angry B’trd as we’ve been without telephone or broadband for 15 days – and the guy at the call centre today says “they don’t know when it will be fixed”

So this blog post is being sent with a Heath Robinson hook-up via my mobile connected to my computer.

Now BT don’t need to perform, because it’s their way or the highway. In fact, Remember when they were calling it ‘The Information Superhighway’? Best we get is 2MB on a good day, with the wind behind the telephone wires…

On Friday 10th October, our telephone stopped working and the broadband slowed to a virtually unusable 30kbps. So I reported the fault, with dire automated warnigns that I would have to pay £195 callout fee if it was a fault with my wiring! Gulp.

I have been given many dates that the fault was going to be fixed, beginning with Wednesday 15th (which I thought was slow service), yet each time has come and gone with no fix. Sometimes the broadband loses it’s pathetically slow broadband connection altogether for a day or two. All my emailing and web browsing is done via my phone.

Sometimes I get a text from 61998 advising that BT Engineers have advised of an extended delay to fix my fault, sometimes not. If I reply to this text then I get a reply saying “Thank you for your question. One of our advisors will look into this and text you back with the answer soon”.

But I don’t get a reply.

If I all to report the fault, I usually get BT’s Indian call centre, who are always very polite, and this is a summary of what happens:

I get an apology from the representative. Then they contact ‘the engineers’ or ‘Openreach’, whilst I hold. They come back to me with various reasons for the fault, such as wires having to be replaced, waiting for a permit to dig up the road etc – even though our lines are on telegraph poles!

There’s a promise that it will be fixed tomorrow, or sometimes in a couple of days, although on my call today to a Geordie accented chap he told me ‘they didn’t know when it would be fixed”

The call centre worker promises to call back the next day to see how I’m getting on, and sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

But today, I saw two Openreach vans at a neighbour’s house. They were fixing her phone, which was also off. I was gobsmacked to learn that the engineers hadn’t even been given a work detail to fix our fault!

One of them explained it was to do with a problem with the Telegraph Poles, which were rotten and it was a Health & Safety issue, meaning wires could not be replaced. They had a manager looking into it. I said “how about giving us Fibre Optic lines?” and he laughed.

Fair play to the Openreach engineer, he has telephoned his manager (on a mobile of course) and now got permission to start to work on our fault. He has managed to get a dial tone back, but the phone still does not work for incoming or outgoing calls.  But at least I have a nice soothing dialtone to listen too when I get frustrated by it all!

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