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Message 1 of 8

BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

My broadband has been great over the past year since moving house, much better stability than at my old address (with the same router).

In the last few days coinciding with the hot weather (which may be completely unrelated) we are seeing the connection drop a few times a day and we have a wait 20 or 30 seconds whilst the router does its multi-coloured sequence.

I used the SMS bot service a couple of days ago, which resulted in some kind of reset. Not sure if this has achieved anything. I wait to see if my mobile company has billed me 15 pence to send to a short code too. 

Then today someone calling themselves an OpenReach engineer called my wife, during which the call dropped and the router did a reset. Amazing coincidence of a spam call perhaps!? 

So I called BT from work and they told me no one had called from BT (although it is possble it was genuinely someone from OpenReach). They said I needed to be in front of the router so they could do some tests with resetting etc.

So I go home and they called me back. However no attempt was made at diagnostics - just the lady announced I had a fault on my line between my house and the cabinet and that a SFI would be sent. I would be charged £85 + VAT if the fault was due to a pet or building work. 

I've now got a text saying "a home Tech Expert" will be coming.

Quite hard to understand what is going on. The fault is intermittent, but when I track the fault reference I see "no connection" as the fault. 

Am I seeing a weird combination of outsourced providers trying to meet some weird SLA or target?

I don't understand how a there can be a fault, which BT apparently are already aware of (the lady said someone in BT had reported it) and yet I am being sent a home Tech Expert who resumably is not an engineer, so won't be able to repair the fault in the line, which I was told existed.

What I was expecting would be to be advised on some troubleshooting, after which decide to perhaps to swap out the router, or send an engineer. What I got was a declaration of a fault which misrepresents the problem, and an appointment with a Home Tech Expert. 

Does what I have described sound like the correct BT procedure?

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Message 2 of 8

Re: BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

BT use a 3rd party company called Quebe who only work on the premises equipment (router) and your computers,

You are correct they are not skilled for any line faults. 

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Message 3 of 8

Re: BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

OK, so I'll give BT another call to say I don't need an unqualified expert. Seems a waste of time and money for all involved, so hence my question - is this the procedure one would expect? I can only explain it by thinking of meeting some target to dispatch as many of these experts / sales people to upsell me some more services.

Which isn't what I'm looking for, I just want my ADSL to be back to its previous reliable track record.

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Message 4 of 8

Re: BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

Have you tried The Quiet Line test? There could be noise on your phone line causing the broadband to drop out. 

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Message 5 of 8

Re: BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

Copper lines are automatically tested every day which could explain how BT were already aware of a fault, the question is why have they not done anything about it.

For info; if you have a 'phone with an LCD display then it's easy to tell when the tests are being conducted as the display will briefly light up just as it does when someone rings you and a message such as "Line Cord Error" may be displayed before it goes out again, the phone may beep a little during this process but it won't ring.

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Message 6 of 8

Re: BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

I did the quiet line test, its a quiet as my hearing can detect. Like most people I know, we rarely use the landline so we're not aware, so good tip to check it.
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Message 7 of 8

Re: BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

@Les-Gibson It seems to be a kind of feedback loop. The first call handler (who I couldn't speak to as I was out) logged a connection fault. The second call handler was adamant that this had been reported by someone in BT. I have decided to let the guy from QubeGB come and see what he can do.

I will haev a go at exporting and tidying up the "event logs"

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Message 8 of 8

Re: BT confusing procedures including Home Expert SFI

The engineer / Home Tech Expert (presumably from Qube, he came in an unmarked van and didn't have a BT ID card). 

He changed the faceplate of the socket to a 5C and put an 'OpenReach MK4' filter on it. He also replaced the cable from the socket to the router and also did a factory reset on it. Time will tell as to whether it fixes the intermittant drop outs, but so far so good. 

My understanding was the socket (i.e. the 5C) was exclusively OpenReach's domain, but that was just a gut feeling. Have things been relaxed a bit - the ISP (in this case BT Retail) can have a tinker within reason to the socket?

My initial scepticism was proved wrong, it seemed like his visit was useful.

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