This is ostensibly about PlusNet - it isn't - it is about Openreach. PN are just the man caught in the middle.
I am one of the refugees from Be who got moved over onto Sky a couple of months ago. I thought I would give them a go, as we were reassured that the product would be identical. That is a farce in itself, especially the billing, 5p a minute on-hold support, "online assistance", Sky thinking an interleave of 96 is Fastpath, and the joys of YouTube buffering. Anyway, I lasted an entire fortnight before deciding to do what I should have done when I heard that Be had been sold - and I ordered fibre with PlusNet.
The order went in on April 30th, with a date set for an engineer's visit on May 19th. A bit of a wait, but I reckoned it would be worth it. The router arrived after a few days. Ironically, that would be the day that BT announced it was recruiting 1600 new technical staff.
The subcontractor (you just knew it wasn't BTO themselves didn't you?) phoned up on the day and turned up half an hour or so later at 2pm with a puzzled expression on his face. He removed the faceplate and plugged in a "clucker" to trace the line. He then disappeared off again to the cab. Reappearing some time later, he couldn't find the line pair in the cabinet. I should say that voice and ADSL were running fine before then, and still are after his visit - for which I am thankful - so the line definitely is connected and working.
After a couple more trips, he asked if we had a mobile phone that he could use. Seriously. A telecomms engineer without his own phone? From what he said, he couldn't find the dial tone on the "D side" (i.e. distribution - the pair to the house) in the cab. After more to-ing and fro-ing and phone calls he declared that there was a fault at the exchange, and BT hadn't connected the data side there. He said he wasn't qualified to work on that equipment and would have to leave it at that. I'm not sure how he made the mental leap between not finding D-side dial tone and an exchange fault, but there you go. He said it was "unlikely" that they would be able to do anything that day and would report back to BT. This was around 3:30pm
He also mentioned that he had had to "borrow" another customers pair to check the cabinet identity. From what I have read, I can only hope that they got their phone line back. I'm sure they did.
The next day, having read all about sub-contractors and also prompted by a "your product change is now complete - welcome to fibre" activation emails, I decided to contact PlusNet myself and see what the situation was. They hadn't heard anything, and nor was there anything on the BT log about this contract. No fault had been recorded to be investigated. However, what was recorded with BT was:
"Additional information:[19/05/2014 16:03:02] - Suppliers have been unable to gain access due to exception circumstances.Caused by e.g. bomb scare, area under flood."
Which I suspect was the closest tick-box to "subcontractors aren't allowed in the exchange"
On Thurs May 22nd an update email from PlusNet informed me that BT would be out inside 2 days to fix the fault.
On Fri May 23rd An update telling me that "the review date for line plant work has been pushed back to 28/05/14". Sigh.
On Weds May 28th An update telling me that "an engineer will be out to fix the fault in the network"
On Fri May 30th an update saying nothing had been heard from BT
On Mon June 2nd an update - something moving at last!: "an engineer has been assigned for 04-06-2014 to resolve the fault at your exchange. The engineer will be attending between 8 AM and 1 PM and our suppliers have advised that access to the property may be required.
Another day off work then.
Weds 4th June 1pm. Waiting patiently for something to happen. Anything.
Weds 4th June 5pm. Waiting less patiently. Nothing happened, ping responder showing no disconnection all day. Ticketed PlusNet asking if anything happened.
Thurs 5th June (today): Reply to ticket: "We have checked the logs with our suppliers as requested and it appears nothing was done on 04/06/2014 as previously advised. The fault still remains open and it has been revised to be assigned tomorrow"
Nice. 2 days off work so far. This is great when you are self employed, as it means you don't have to take annual leave. Of course, you don't actually get paid either.
I should say that PlusNet have been caught in the middle of this. The chances are that any other ISP I had gone to would have experienced the same opacity and soviet-like intransigence with BTO. PlusNet have kept me up to date so far as is possible, they respond to tickets, phone support is good (even if the hold music is deafening) and I actually feel like I am talking to a human being on the other end of the line. That part alone puts them ahead of the rest so far as I can see.
So, anyone taking bets as to whether it gets fixed tomorrow and I can have the delight of waiting another 3 weeks for a subcontractor? It took 3 years of unsuccessful complaining via my ISP to get my unreliable phone line sorted, it was an email to the BT CEO that did it in the end. I'm sorely tempted to try that approach again.
In the meantime, anyone got any inside info on the MYLOF (Mid Yorks Lofthouse Gate) exchange? Cab capacity etc. is fine from what the chap at PN said, so that isn't ths issue.