B.T. Engineers.

  User-AAE8A2A1-F803-4ACB-B9F96B4C0B5B570C 19:45 16 Aug 2004

A friend who works for B.T. called yesterday and told me that following the recent spate of storms, engineers now have a 3 week backlog of work to catch up on. As many as possible will be working weekends to try and catch up.

Attempts to prioritise repairs for the most vulnerable people have been sabotaged.One example was a call supposedley on the behalf of a lady in her 80's who lived in an isolated house. When the engineer got there, he found the house unoccupied. The only person there was a painter and decorator working for the new owners!

Most complaints have been about internet connections being down and this has turned up instances of people running a small business from their homes and only paying domestic rates for their broadband instead of business rates.

Spare a thought for one soul who allegedly has had 5 modems damaged by various storms.

More worrying are reports of modems being damaged that had surge protection.

There has also been the usual torrents of abusive language when people have been informed that they will have to wait a few weeks for repairs.

Who'd be a B.T. engineer?

  Dorsai 20:52 16 Aug 2004

Not Me. i got charged £75 to get a phone line fitted, and it was all pre-wired when the property had been built. It took 30 seconds in my flat, to connect a signal generator, 10 minutes down the road in the green box to find where the wires went, and then 5 minutes to fit a socket on the wall.

So no, £75 for 15 minutes work..Not me. The abuse from 'feel ripped off customes' would not be worth it.

  Dorsai 20:56 16 Aug 2004

but that is not the engineers fault.

  oresome 20:05 17 Aug 2004

£75 may seem steep for '15 minutes' work, but I expect you spoke to someone on the phone who took details and produced a job request for the engineers. The connection will also have had to be made, or programmed at the exchange. Your billing details will have been updated for the new address and the connection fee processed.

  Dorsai 20:28 17 Aug 2004

Very likely to be true, but then they charge a monthly line rental, weather i use the phone or not.

There is a petrol station down the road. if I want to start using it to fill my new car with unleaded they don't charge me a 'set up fee' before i can start to use them.

Nor a 'pump rental' so i can continue to use them.

They also have to get the stuff working, upgrade occasionally, repair it when it goes wrong, etc.

Why do i have to pay a company for the privilege of spending money with them? If i don't use the phone, it costs them no more that the local filling station that i don't use. But i can use them if i wish. BT wont let me spend my cash unless i pay them for the privilege!

Does this not remind you of a 'scam'?

  Old Shep 17:47 18 Aug 2004

Short answer YES. When I moved home 4 years ago I wanted another extension to the existing phone line put in the basement. Got the BT engineer out who explained to me how to 'do it myself' and saved me £70 at the time. Don't blame the engineeers they only do as they are told, paid a pitance and the rest goes to shareholders.

  Dorsai 18:06 18 Aug 2004

I never, ever, blame the engineer. Nor the person on the end of the phone in customer services.

They are just me, but working for a different company. They don't set the charges or the policies.

I never swear down the phone at those i talk to, as i am the one they phone tomorrow when they have a problem with their car.

still a rip off though.

  smokingbeagle 19:03 18 Aug 2004

They have always turned on the appointed day within the stated time band, seemed to know what they were doing and always courteous. BT may not be cheap but their customer care is excellent. The follow up calls to check customer satisfaction is a nice touch.

  oresome 19:05 18 Aug 2004

I always seem to be the champion for BT on these threads.

Old Shep, I can assure you the shareholders would do far better with their money in the bank.

I think the BT engineer should display some loyalty and promote his companies services, rather than advise you how to bypass them.


There'll be a call box down the road you can use, and like the filling station, there'll be no rental or set up costs to pay up front.

However if you want the convenience of the service at your door, much like the other utilities, there is a cost attached which has to be paid somehow.

B.T. are threatening to remove thousands of boxes due to the spread of mobile phones making boxes unprofitable unless local councils etc pay a fee to keep their boxes.

I have nothing but praise for B.T.'s engineers and customer service.

If they come out to you and any fault is on your side of the main connection, there's a minimum charge of £65

  Demora 09:41 20 Aug 2004

BT.....Hmmmm love em hate em. Whatever. But I recently moved and during a downpour had trouble with the line. The engineer came (after many calls, all ending up in BANGALOR!!!!!!) Anyway When the engineer came he told me that The repair had a charge BUT then He looked and said there wouldn't be one because the problem wasn't in the house and was there equipment, had a broken wire. 30 minutes later it was all fixed.

BTW he also checked out my phone extensions and told me whoever lived here before us hadn't a clue and the extension wiring was a botched job. So maybe getting BT to fix your extensions isn't such a bad idea. We still can't trace the main box in the house. I suspect its behing a fitted cupboard somewhere.

Oh and the last time I used a public phone box was in 1997 when my mobile died at Gatwick. BUT to remove them may be one of the worst things ever. Teenagers get mugged and have there mobile stolen (happened to my youngest daughter a year ago)


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