A fault (n dialling tone) reported on Friday 10th Feb, resulted in an engineer's visit on Tuesday and a diagnosis that the fault was between the house and a nearby BT junction box/cabinet. So far, so good, and progress could be tracked both by SMS and on the fault progress section of the website.
The promised fix time of Thursday evening came and went with no update. A couple of calls to the Call Centre have established that Openreach were telling them that the fault required a road to be dug up and this needed Council permission. A check with the local Council indicated that no such request had been received.
So the current position is that it's claimed a road needs to be dug up to deal with a fault on presumably a single line. Is this normal? Wouldn't there be redundancy so that the line could be swopped to another cable? The second household line is still working fine. I don't have anything in writing on the website or by SMS about the road dig, so is there something I'm not being told? Is it possible that the fault will take weeks to fix?
You won't be able to get any further updates from www.bt.com because that fault tracking system only works if the fault is an easy one, i.e. reported okay, issued to an engineer okay then fixed okay on the first visit.
When you go down the road of what they call second stage repair www.bt.com doesn't update because it gets its updates from BT Retails fault reporting system and not Openreach's, which is where all the updates, etc are on.
The only way you can get updates now is to call BT Retail, they will call Openreach and get the update to pass onto you.
This has been known problem for quite some time but BT aren't pumping money into sorting it because they have other priorities, i.e. installing a fibre network.
Also as thingy said there are probably no spares, there most likely was when the cable was installed many moons ago but over time if a line goes faulty beyond repair they use a spare until there are no more. This is when they will need to replace or install a new cable.
I think you are right, they have run out of spare cables, so they have to dig up the road to install new ones. So we're not going to get our phone line back until when? Are we talking weeks or months?
Presumably all other phone providers would be in the same position with the possible exception of Virgin.
I now understand we aren't at the stage yet of asking the Council for permission to dig up the road. It's still at the state where Openreach have to agree the terms of the work with their hole-digging contractors.
You need to speak to someone looking after the fault really to get a better idea.
That's not actually possible though. All retail customers have to go through BT Retail, who engage BT Openreach to handle the wiring between exchange/local cabinet to the house. BT Openreach don't, perhaps even aren't allowed to talk to retail clients except for site visits. BT Retail get whatever story Openreach are telling them, which inevitably gets distorted as it passes through the system.
In the days when BT was a monopoly, you were at least dealing with a supposedly vertically integrated organisation. Go back far enough and your landline had to use a BT supplied phone and non-BT phones and devices, even if available, were deemed to be potentially harmful to BT's network or had to go through a certification procedure.
You're probably best off requesting it be escalated to a manager and have someone take ownership of your fault so that they can chase and give you updates to save you calling up every couple of days.
I have the impression this has already happened, but it remains the position , does it not, that Openreach only deal with retail customers when, like a house visit, it cannot be avoided. In the case of having to dig up a road to replace cables, the Openreach team are only going to report progress to BT Retail rather than the retail customer without a phone line.
We've moved on. No sign of roadworks or traffic lights but we've got the dialling tone back, so we can dial out. Dial in and we get the "phone number not recognised" message. Phoning our other number and using 1471 shows that our number is unchanged.
Whether they've permanently repaired the fault and why it took two weeks remains unknown.