Since having my BT line installed some years ago, I've suffered intermittent loss of service on about a dozen occasions. These episodes are always associated with heavy rain and result in crackles and hiss on voice calls, and loss of broadband. The router continuously tries to re-establish a connection, only to drop out again within seconds.
I've called out an engineer on about 5 occasions, when the fault lasted more than a couple of days. Engineers have changed my connections at the top of the pole, inside the sub-pavement joint box next to the pole, and at the cabinet (about 150 yards away). Sometimes the fixes worked, sometimes the fault just cleared as the weather improved. On the last but one call out, the engineer arrived just at the instant that the fault cleared, declared it a 'no fault found' and I was billed £120+. The fault remained.
On the last call out, the engineer found that a jointing chamber about 75 yards away (adjacent to the China Court restaurant, to be exact) was flooded. He said that he believed this was the source of the fault, but could not do a full repair since that would involve closing the footpath, so he changed the connections and that fixed the problem for another year.
The fault has reappeared (it seems to be improving today, now that the rain has stopped) but the fault desk chap said he would be reluctant to call out an engineer, since there was a likelihood I would be charged £130 if the engineer arrived to find no fault. I got the impression he was trying to persuade me that these 2-or-3-times-a-year drop outs were normal, and just part of life. No fault ticket was raised.
I have been wondering if moving to fibre would fix the fault, but if BT uses FTTC, then the last 150 yards to my home would be copper, which would still pass through the flooded jointing chamber. In fact, the engineer would probably re-use the existing fault-prone line.
I like the spam-blocking and nuisance call-blocking I get from the old firm, and I'm reluctant to move to Virgin (there is a Virgin cabinet outside my house). Is there any way that I can stay with BT without having these recurring 'water' faults or risk a £130 call out fee?
Are you a BT residential customer, as the £130 charge is not correct?
There is also no charge, if the fault is not found.
Yes, a BT Residential customer.
I seem to be getting conflicting information. I was billed £120+ in the past. My complaint was not fruitful on that occasion, and I don't want to pursue it, as these conflicts are bad for my health. I'd much prefer that the company(ies) fixed the fault permanently, but I sense reluctance.
Is my assumption about FTTC correct? Is there an FTTK option (to the kerb)?
if your existing problem is somewhere between the cab and your home then moving to fibre FTTC will not change that as you will still use the same copper wire from cab to home
if problem occured immediately after you get FTTC then you can get free engineer visit as posted by @Keith_Beddoe
the engineer charge was £120 but has been reduced to £85 now
Welcome to the Community @martleshamRetired
Thanks for taking the time to post.
Sorry to hear about the problems you have been having with your connection.
The thing with an intermittent fault is that they can be really hard to find the root cause. From what you have said it sounds like Openreach have an idea what the problem is in this case but are unable to put in a long term fix to stop the chamber flooding.
Are you experiencing any problems with your broadband or phone line at the moment (dropping connection, slow speeds or noise on the phone line)?
Thanks to all for the quick and informative responses.
The broadband problem persisted through the night but since about 10.00 am today the line has improved, for both voice and broadband.
The fault has cleared... until it rains again!
Glad to hear that the fault is now fixed.
Normally in these type of cases, we would ask the customer to come back to us when the fault comes back with the rain so that we can test the line while you're having the fault. Going by the weather we are having at the moment we might as well get a case opened now to get the line checked as I'm sure the rain will be back soon.
I've sent you a Private Message with details on how you can get in contact with the mod team.