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cb500
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 1 of 11

Home Improvement service charge £130

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I see a number of people have been caught  out by this and it is very annoying.

My issue started September 2016. I was getting slow broadband, 2Mbps when I was contracted for up to 17Mbps. Contacted BT and went through a series of diagnostics. Was told that a lower line speed limit can be imposed automatically if there is a line fault (eg higher line speed would cause broadband to drop off line frequently so link would be unstable.) No problems could be found on my connection from exchange up to street cabinet. Was advised to get an engineer to check the line from  my house to street cabinet. (there was some buzzing on phone silent test so I expected there to be a line fault to be honest).

 

Engineer turned up (on the wrong day - early as it happens) and I asked if he would do a line check - said he didn't need to cos could see cabling into house and master socket were old and this was the generally the cause of these problem.

So he changed master socket and cabling to the outside of the house. Then checked the line - there was still a fault!!

 

He went up telegraph pole (off my land) and said he had to change the circuit my line was on from the telegraph pole to street cabinet. He then stated that should fix it.

 

Then after I thought he had gone he came back and replaced the wiring between my house and the telegraph pole.

 

Now I hadn't asked for anything to be replaced and I thought I wouldn't have to pay since it appeared to be a genuine line fault - I haven't touched any of the BT kit since they upgraded it, must be 20 years since.

 

Anyway lo and behold my broadband speed went up to 15Mbps after a couple of days so there was a line fault and it had been fixed. However I have now been saddled with this £130 charge. How can this be right when the engineer didn't check the line for faults at first and then ended up changing virtually everything back to the cabinet (which is about 50 yards away from my house). Come on BT, am I responsible for all the kit over boundry walls and up to cabinets. Obviously I have no idea where the faults actually lay since I've seen no reports etc.

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TelephoneBob
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Message 2 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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Sounds like the Engineer was on a Broadband Boost Job and not a fault. A Broadband Boost is a Service Openreach offer where they will 'try' to improve the performance and speed of your broadband. It's not guaranteed they can though.

The Engineers are authorised to do work both Internal and External. So even though there isn't a fault on the Openreach Network the Engineer can still work on it to improve your broadband, things such as swapping you onto a better E or D side cable or upgrading the block terminal connectors on the pole, etc.

So just because he worked on the Network, doesn't mean there was a fault with it.

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john46
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Message 3 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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pottyperson
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Message 4 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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From what you say, it seems the issue was resolved by replacing the drop wire. If so, I think you should not have been charged, whether the work was defined as a fault repair or simply replacing a knackered cable being irrelevant. There's nothing fellow customers here can do about it so I'm asking the forum moderators if they can establish whether or not the charge was correctly applied. They will post contact info here in the morning.

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DavidM
Moderator
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Message 5 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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Hi @cb500 and thanks for posting.

 

I'm sorry there's been some confusion with the engineer charge. Our online billing chat team should be able to check if the charge is correct so can you try them and let me know how you get on?

 

Cheers

 

David

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cb500
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 6 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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I'm aware of the reasons why BT might charge for improvements however I don't think they apply. All the work the engineer undertook regarding master socket and cabling to outside of house was done before he even checked to see if that was reason for the line fault. I am assuming all work from telegraph pole to street cabinet is BT responsibility and I  have no idea why he came back to change the drop wire from pole to house without even contacting me.  I reported this as a line fault which needed to be fixed not as a request to upgrade my cabling so still at a loss to why I've been charged.

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cb500
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 7 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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I've taken a number of tacks on this issue. I've contacted BT support by telephone and they have basically said they will get the engineers to call back - don't know if they will just say it is a valid charge and needs to be paid though. I have also raised it as a complaint through formal BT channels. Lastly I have raised it here on the forum. I took your advice and used chat with BT support. They just basically said to wait for the engineers to contact me.  This should happen in 48 hrs. I will post the outcome of that or if they do not contact me and hope you can take this further if I get a negative response. Thanks for your support thus far.

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TelephoneBob
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Message 8 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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If it was a Broadband Boost then the Engineer wouldn't have raised a charge as they can't because it's not a fault but an Order.

Openreach charge BT up front for a Broadband Boost, about £230.
cb500
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 9 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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Msg to DavidM. I had a reply from BT complaints via email.  They basically stated I was told there would be a charge if the fault was found on my property. They didn't - basically the inference was that I would be charged if the fault was with kit inside my house.

 

Complaints department spoke with the engineers who stated the problem was caused by tree damage. Yes I do have a tree and the cable passes through the branches as it has done for the past 20 years. The line was perfectly OK to recieve and make phone calls from with no problem and I could still get up to 2Mbps broadband through it.

 

If the problem was caused by tree damage to the drop line why was the master socket, cabling to outside house, and circuit between telegraph pole and street cabinet changed.  In my opinion the 'tree' is just being used as an excuse to charge for work done - even if the fault was with BT kit.

 

I guess I will now have to stand the charge since there is no way I can prove where the fault was just as the engineer, as far as I am aware, has no real proof of the fault being caused by the tree. He certainly didn't say this to me at the time and he also said that there was just a very minor problem (which wouldn't cause a problem but he couldn't sign off the job until fixed))on the line before he replaced the drop wire

 

I'm still disappointed. I will now wait for existing contracts to expire before I move all my BT services (land line, broadband, 2 mobile phones) elsewhere. I will start by removing BT sport asap.

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Keith_Beddoe
Distinguished Sage
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Message 10 of 11

Re: Home Improvement service charge £130

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It does mention trees here.

 

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12439/~/engineer-charges

 

Damage outside caused by things like broken guttering or trees

 

All the other work from the cabinet to the pole, would  not be charged for.

Its quite often done as a matter of course if a fault was suspected, as it saves a possible repeat fault report.

 

The charge would be the same with another provider, as its Openreach that maintain the external network, and charge ALL service providers the same amount, so you would be exactly in the same situation again in the future.

 

Some service providers charge even more, on top of the Openreach charge.