I moved in to a new property on 1st June, discovered helpfully that there was a BT socket installed and fibre connectivity to the building – I was ecstatic, purely because I had not been subject to fibre connectivity in my house before (living in the countryside as opposed to a city!).
I had my new line number and provision date from my new ISP (Plusnet) in a couple of days and in a few more days my trusty Technicolour TG582n “FTTC” router. I was sat there assuming it was going to be a quick 10 minute engineer visit on 12th June , this is where things went suddenly downhill.
The Openreach engineer visited at the latest possible point in his timeslot, went ahead and spoke to my girlfriend who told him where to place the extension cable, what kind of speeds we were expecting, so on and so forth. In the end the Engineer decided to run a completely new master socket in our place of choice in the property (this took a good while) and came back to do some tests, a fault had shown.
The engineer spent an hour or so locating the fault to the “underground duct”. He went along to this duct and discovered it was “blocked”. The engineer went away and said they would have to contact the council and have the footpath dug up to unblock the duct, so away he went in frustration, never to be seen again.
I should add at this point that testing internally the download connectivity is fine, however anything to be uploaded is abysmal. There is also 40-60% packet loss to most websites.
A few days later (~14th June) I decided to chase Plusnet to see if the engineer had submitted his installation report, he had not, and I proceeded to launch a fault with my ISP.
I have checked into this for you and it seems the engineer never reported this so we were never made aware to investigate further, so please accept my apologises for the engineer 'dropping the ball' so to speak.
I have carried out tests on your line and it has detected a fault so I will raise this to our suppliers and move your query to our phone faults team to monitor / update you as needed.
I also discovered that the engineer who had visited had taken a faceplate of a cable run out in the street (where the duct meets a wall) and had left cables exposed, not good. I raised this with my ISP who passed it over to Openreach.
Plusnet gave me an estimated repair time of the 19th and that there was no need for an engineer to visit my property on this date as they believe that the issues are external.
The Engineer visited on 19th, replaced the cable run covering and I saw no change in speed on my side. I explained to my ISP that I’m still unable to upload anything.
Plusnet got back to me the following day (20th June) with the following:
As we discussed after speaking to our suppliers they have advised me that there is a fault ongoing with the exchange and the pole and this will be why your Fibre service is intermittent.
They have advised that an engineer is currently working on the fault and we should have a further update form them on the 27/06/2014.
I waited this out until 27th with still no change after the fibre engineer was confirmed to have rectified the “issue”. At this point I was almost a month in to my contract with Plusnet and started getting somewhat angry, paying for a service that I’m unable to receive.
I asked Plusnet at this point to liaise with Openreach and explain that a fault is still present and to ensure no direct debit payment is taken for next month.
Openreach believed that they had cleared a fault on your line, however I have informed them that this is not the case and as such we expect to be able to provide further information tomorrow.
I then summarised exactly what had happened to far with Plusnet, as I am doing here today.
I'd like to address some of the comments you raise in order to correctly set your expectations regarding the fault process and our relationship with our supplier, though I'd also like to assure you we will be continuing to push for a resolution as soon as possible on this.
We'll happily pass on your thoughts regarding the fault, but must rely on Openreach to find and fix this, especially including the timescales. The 72 hour response is standard whenever a fault is raised or passed back for further investigation. It's usually passed back sooner than this but the time is advised in order to set expectation correctly - it's not something we have any way around.
With regard to engineer visits, these are usually weekdays in either the morning slot between 8am and 1pm or the afternoon slot between 1 and 6pm. Though sometimes weekend appointments are available (and we advise on this on a case by case basis) it's not possible to rely on these as they're few and far between. We certainly can't book an appointment at a set time, it's just a case of the slot being booked and the engineer attending at some point within the window. This is the same for all phone suppliers who resell the BT service.
Further, we also have to wait until we're advised a visit is required before booking - we're certainly not able to demand an engineer visit at any point. We can and will ask that this is looked into, and reject any other solutions that are offered (unless of course the fault is resolved - fingers crossed that that happens soon whichever way this goes).
The order itself is already marked as complete. We can't change that. We can report it (and indeed by reporting the fault have done) but we simply don't have the control that you appear to think we do. We can't overturn a decision like that, hence the need for raising the fault.
With regard to the service not working, we'll be happy to make a refund or add credits for the service, whichever you would prefer, though would rather do this once the fault is resolved so we know how long the service hasn't been working for - unfortunately we're not able to prevent payments going through.
I hope that helps clear some things up and am sorry that it's not good news, though I hope you appreciate our position here. We'll make sure to keep you updated on the latest regarding this, I'll personally check on the fault later this afternoon and advise you on the current progress.
I then proceeded to respond with some comments as to how I’ve been messed around a lot this month and that their relationship with Openreach, being their supplier, should be a lot more forward and not accepting a simple engineer visit each time. Their response to this is as follows:
I have contacted Openreach regarding your fault today.
At present, we are discussing the possibility of sending an engineer to the local network as opposed to the engineer carrying out work on your premises. This is because the previous engineer had located a fault in the local network and furthermore, as per your response, it appears that all relevant tests have been carried out at your property on the numerous engineer visits already carried out.
Our suppliers have reported that they will contact the relevant controls (work allocation) department with this in mind to identify the best course of action going forward. We have been advised to expect an update regarding the outcome of this discussion on Monday. Please be aware however as we are only requesting this it is possible that we will be in a similar situation on Monday should our suppliers decide that the engineer visit is still necessary.
In order to prevent further delays we would highly recommend that you arrange another engineer visit with us and should this not resolve or progress the fault we would then look to escalate this issue further within Openreach.
Should you wish to arrange the visit then please reply to this message with 3 appointment timeslots when either yourself or a friend or family member will be available to grant access to the engineer. I have checked the availability for an engineer visit and the earliest timeslot is currently 03/07/13 AM however this is subject to change depending on engineer availability.
I will now place this ticket on hold until 01/07/13 as we await further updates from our suppliers. We will be in touch within 72 hours of this ticket being released.
With no conclusion from the work allocations team, I am now sat here having booked another engineer appointment, waiting to see what this copper engineer is going to come up with now.
I’m open to suggestions from anybody as to how I can get this dealt with a lot quicker, as we’re creeping up to a full month of provisioned and broken service and I'm completely unimpressed.
Edited by Deehem (Tue 02-Jul-13 21:22:07)