BB Activation problems

  jaybee 19:06 16 Apr 2009

I opened a broadband account almost a month ago and was told it would take 7 to 10 days to activate the BT line at my central London exchange which is reasonable. After 10 days and several times since I have been given what to a layman seem like different reasons for delay and I am told today that there is still no firm date for activation of my line. First I was told that maintenance was taking place at the exchange. Then I was told new equipment was being installed and the work could not be completed till after Easter. After Easter I was told there was a problem with ‘tie pairs’. Today I was told that the problem was a DAX splitter on the line and later today I was told that ‘we are still waiting for the frames work to be completed’. Can anyone make sense of this and tell me if it is worth me cancelling the order and starting again with a new ISP. I don’t know if it is relevant but there is an alarm system in the same premises on what I took to be a separate line with a separate phone number connected only to the alarm. I would be most grateful for advice.

  peter99co 20:27 16 Apr 2009

Patience is a virtue!


  grey george 20:51 16 Apr 2009

A new isp would just re-instruct BT to start the work. It is BT that sets up the lines and runs the equipment in the exchanges. It seems rather than looking at the job as a whole, they are doing it bit by bit and keep finding obstructions in there way. Each new fault, like finding a splitter on the line, leads to a new job card being raised and delays while an engineer is tasked. Hope your not going with Tiscali because they seem to be about to collapse. If your patience runs out try the ombudsman: click here

  jaybee 22:58 16 Apr 2009

Grey George
Thanks for rhe Ombudsman option which I will bear in mind should all else fail. No, I am not a Tiscali client and thanks for the warning. I am going with Waitrose, an ISP I have used very satisfactorily in another location when Which magazine voted them top ISP. I like the idea of giving all of their broadband profits to charity and allowing me to vote for which one. However from the accents of the agents, I guess their tech support is based in South Africa so they pretty much have to take what BT tells them as gospel. What I was driving at was that I understand there are several technologies by which BB can be delivered and I was wondering if firstly the sort of problem I am being advised is preventing activation might be surmountable or non-existent by a different BB system than the one Waitrose is having problems with and secondly, which ISP might be worth an alternative try if I can cancel my contract. For all I know I might have to wait months for a solution to the DACS problems. My pitiful ignorance of BB technology does not allow me to know if there is one problem or simply the DACS to overcome. Is there a BT engineer in the house?

  jaybee 23:05 16 Apr 2009

I think I should have made it clear that this seems very much a BT set of issues not Waitrose. The modem and set up kit arrived bang on schedule one day before the very first activation date and BT has been responsible for a series of delay notices since then.

  woodchip 23:28 16 Apr 2009

Patience can be okay, if you are not on the receiving end

  jaybee 09:10 17 Apr 2009

First let grab this chance to say that I defer to the judgement and knowledge that has made you such a highly respected and widely followed contributor to this forum and to thank you for the countless times you have been of great assistance to me, once directly, but many more times through advice given to others that was also relevant to my problem of the moment. Without those such as you, this excellent forum could not thrive. However, I have three observations on your post.

Firstly, Patience may be a virtue as peter99co, grey george and yourself have pointed out but it is only one of 8 virtues and not necessarily the only virtue that may be relevant in this case; secondly your post strongly suggests that it merely a matter of time before all will be well, a judgement that in my lack of knowledge it is not possible to make; and thirdly to some extent I am already ‘on the receiving end’ as you put it. Let me take the third point first.

I have made three round trips of 270 miles from where I live on the Welsh border to the premises in London where Waitrose is contracted to supply me with BB only to find the at the last moment that BT has delayed the indicated activation date. That’s a lot of fuel, a lot of miles and a lot of time. Surely it is not unreasonable to seek some clarity here? Will I ever get BB with a DACS on line at a busy inner city exchange? Is the splitter there to accommodate my alarm system? Since I need an alarm with a dedicated phone number should I ask for a new line to be installed? Maybe another ISP, perhaps cable or Sky, can use different technology from Waitrose and maybe that might get round the problem?

Now about those virtues. Diligence is also a virtue which Wiki defines as ‘A zealout and careful nature in one’s actions and work, budgeting one’s time, monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness. I plead guilty to Diligence here. Justice is another virtue that needs no definition here. I’m no lawyer and making no legal assertions. But is it justice to be sold something that at the time and in the forseeable future could not be mechanically, electronically and in all ways physically delivered? The powers that be at Waitrose and BT surely understand that had I been told when I signed up and allowed my bank to be debited that ‘the service you have just paid for it at this moment impossible to deliver and may not be deliverable for 1,2, 3 months or more’ I might have taken a very different view. Any further advice would be most welcome.

  woodchip 10:25 17 Apr 2009

Thank's very much for comments. But I think you have to get tough on some occasions like this with those you are dealing with. i.e you need to write a strongly worded letter to both the above party's that you are logged into at the moment, snail mail still as its place and do not forget to date the letters for your own benefit. Just tell them that you are fed up with been messed about, give them a week to get things going and if nothing is done, that you intend to take your custom elsewhere. Well that’s what I would do.

  woodchip 10:29 17 Apr 2009

"Since I need an alarm with a dedicated phone number should I ask for a new line to be installed?" Yes but it means a Extra bill, as it's in effect two telephones

  jaybee 14:47 17 Apr 2009

Sorry Woodchip my understanding of telephony is so shallow. I already am billed separately for, and have a separate BT number for the alarm system. All it does is phone the alarm company if the smoke alarm goes off and the bills are therefore very small. I have a different number and BT billing for the number I want to be broadband and which is used for voice calls and dial-up internet at present. I don’t know whether I have one line or two and where the DACS splitter comes in. Can you explain it?

  woodchip 18:17 17 Apr 2009

Then you should have two lines unless they are using a Splitter. but that is no good for BB.

The DACS is the Splitter that shares one phone line

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