Fault on telephone line

  Severn Bore 16:48 03 Dec 2010

I cannot use my landline telephone due to crackling on the line. This seems to occur when we have cold weather. I have confirmed that the problem is with the line by disconnecting everything but my phone from the incoming socket, so there seems no doubt the fault is not with any kit in the house.
Oddly, my Internet connection and second (internet) phone still works satisfactoril.
However, I have a contract with Orange (my ISP) which includes the cost of my landline. They tell me I have to go through there helpline, but from bitter past experience I have found them frustratingly useless.
Can anyone tell me whether I can contact BT direct to have them check the line and correct any fault they find?

  The Kestrel 16:57 03 Dec 2010

You could try the BT phone line fault checker online from click here. I suspect however that it will tell you that your line is not a BT line and you will have to go through \\orange.

  961 17:08 03 Dec 2010

BT will not talk to you direct but refer you to your supplier

This is an important reason for keeping your line rental contract with BT. After all, the difference in price is generally less than £1 per month

If you are with BT they tend to fix your fault within 2 working days, and, most importantly, they will talk to you

If you are with a third party their terms generally offer to try to fix a fault within 5 working days. Generally this will involve a weekend. They require you to contact them (which may be difficult if your phone is off) after which they will send details of the fault to BT, probably with a load of others once a day. All this takes mega time and you will probably find a week can go by with no trouble

In the rural hamlet where we live BT takes two or three days, everybody else takes over a week

  spuds 17:31 03 Dec 2010

Crackling, cold weather and water all point to an outside fault with poor 'damp/wet' connection points.

If your cable is connected to a nearby telegraph pole, ask one of your neighbours if they are having similar problems. We had this problem and it was finally found to be a underground joint that was at fault. Overground joint boxes can also have 'damp' problems. Perhaps work checking to see if there is any corrosion on joints, especially if the cabling is old?.

  Diemmess 17:51 03 Dec 2010

spuds and 961 have made good points

From experience long ago when I had to ask the Post Office Telephones operator for every number I wanted.
Noise and crackling was the inevitable result of an ancient connection from a pole to the house. The copper was ripe and the insulation breaking up.
Nowadays it wouldn't surprise me if BT once involved, had to contact Open Reach for line maintenance.
That's progress!

  Severn Bore 18:00 03 Dec 2010

Thanks for all of the quick replies (as I have come to expect from this splendid forum). Much as I feared. Will probably rweturn to BT after this. My wife will be overjoyed as she said t the outset that I should not have chaged my line rental!!!

  timsmith259 00:29 06 Dec 2010

If BT said they could repair it it would be a t a charge and maybe pretty expensive.

  Fordy 09:58 06 Dec 2010

When my BT landline was crackling BT said they would come and check it, but if the fault was on my equipment I would have to pay. It turned out to be a branch of a tree in the road had rubbed through the insulation on the cable allowing damp to enter. They replaced the cable from pole to house for free, but the engineer said he could not cut the offending branch off as they weren't allowed to carry a saw (health and safety!) so I went up and cut it off to save any further trouble. I now have a crackle free line.

  spuds 13:13 06 Dec 2010

Trees are a very funny thing, especially if they have a preservation order on them. I knew someone in the police force who got the sack through a 'domestic' that evolved around a tree dispute ;o)

  Jameslayer 19:04 06 Dec 2010

Severn Bore has past the problem onto to me. I crackle on the line when using the phone also my internet has been rubbish its slow then sometimes its ok. And the isp when I complained to them said their was a lot of noise on the line.

My mum has been blaming my internet for the crackly lines. Will be ringing BT tomorrow.

  Fordy 09:51 08 Dec 2010

That is exactly how mine behaved, crackled - sometimes so slow I gave up - other times OK- it was obviously due to cable getting damp and then drying out.

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