Thanks very much. I have been contacted from Enniskillen so hopefully progress before Christmas. So strange to have someone who actually understood the fault.
In fairness, this information may or may not be useful to the original poster, but I provide it for the benefit of anyone who may find it useful in the future.
1 ) In my fairly considerable experience of telecommunications companies, you are highly unlikely to find any company who will absolutely guarantee you anything that is not specifically covered within their terms and conditions ( and in some cases even that will be open to interpretation ).
2 ) In the highly unlikely event that you are able to obtain such a guarantee verbally, your chances of getting it in writing are even smaller; and if you do, the chances of that letter or e-mail being personally signed by a human being are negligible to the point of non-existent.
3 ) In the even more unlikely event that you receive such a guarantee, verbal, written or both, when it comes to the crunch, if the terms of that guarantee are abrogated, the response you'll get is that the person who issued the guarantee has either since left the company or shouldn't have issued it in the first place. Your quite correct assertion that neither of these things is relevant and that the company in question should be required to stand by the word of any of it's employees either current or past, and irrespective of whether said employee provided correct information or was authorised to do so, will be rejected; if you choose to pursue the matter further ( which almost no-one ever does ) you will have recourse either to OFCOM ( good luck with that ) or the courts. It is, in short, a hiding to nothing.
My experience is that if any given company cannot either understand the nature of the fault and / or prove to their own satisfaction that there is a fault, then there isn't one. In circumstances like this - like yours - trying to get someone to actually take responsibility is pretty much impossible, and even if you do, it's still possible that that person may subsequently be overruled, even at relatively high echelons.
Having had more than my share of problems with telecommunications companies in my life - BT, I have to say, prominent amongst them - my tolerance levels have dropped progressively lower and lower. My advice, for what it's worth, is that beyond a certain point, a letter to the CEO, which you should follow up rigorously, is likely to be as effective a course of action as any - although even this is by no means infallible. Ploughing endlessly through waves of 'customer service' operatives ( and believe me, in many cases the inverted commas are more than justified ) who do not even understand the problem, much less have the capacity or wherewithal to solve it, will ultimately do no more than raise your blood pressure and prolong the agony.
You are quite right, but both participants in the original transfer have been fined very significant sums of money by Ofcom in the past for breaches in their relationship with customers.
CISAS seems to be part of the problem rather than the solution and the naive customer will fall into the traps the telcos have used many times before. However, CISAS do report on a monthly basis to Ofcom, but there is no public record.
I am waiting until the dust settles over my transfer to BT as it would strengthen my case if BT resolves the problem before I present my case to CISAS and when/if that fails presenting it to Ofcom. I have evidence from the records of my previous provider showing they appear to have a dirty tricks team that falsify the narrative. CISAS tend to believe what the Telco tells them.
The letter to the CEO seems to have prompted the dirty tricks team, rather than just the brush it off, find no fault but don't inform the customer, line test, incompetant (using the phone to talk to customer services was logged as a fault, you couldn't make this up!), blame someone else and misrepresentation teams.
I believe the automatic compensation initiative by Ofcom, has had some impact in making some faults to be fixed incredibly quickly (I had a new router delivered within 24 hrs), but as an unintended consequence has probably left those of us with other faults even worse off.
Still feel like the ant complaining before the road roller, but if no one challenges them they will just continue. However, evidence indicates that they will just carry on as before, befuddling and bullying their customers.
As far as BT retail is concerned they have behaved in a professional way and if they come back and say it cannot be fixed I will believe them. This is very different from being told there is no fault.
I take on board your comments, and in fairness, letters to CEOs nowadays do not, in any case, actually get read by the CEO, unlike the 'good old days'. However, they may get read by someone who is, at least, higher in the food chain than the people you've dealt with up to that point; this has often been the case for me, although even then, as I say, it is by no means infallible.
A question I've often found myself asking in the face of the assertion that 'it can't be fixed', is "when you say 'can't', do you mean 'can't' or do you mean 'won't'? For example: if your CEO was to issue a personal instruction that this problem should be chased down until such time as the fault was identified and located, and a solution found and implemented, are you saying to me that you would tell your CEO to his face that that was impossible?"
In more than forty years of such experiences, I've never yet found anyone who answers that question "yes"; and it's a question I've found myself asking BT on more than one occasion, though they are by no manner of means alone in that respect. What, or who, any individual chooses to believe, is obviously the prerogative of the individual: but from my own experience, I would certainly not take "it can't be fixed" as gospel, no matter who it came from. On one occasion - as you say, you couldn't make this up, and I promise I'm not - I had to actually explain to a telephone engineer how a particular fault could be fixed - and was subsequently proven right.
I have probably spent a lot more time than is sensible on this, but I do object to being taken for a ride.
I have discovered that number porting is actually very complex and sound for simplifying this by OFCOM have been reflected by the industry.
There was a glitch between Vodafone TalkTalk and Openreach on the transfer. My strong suspicion is that Call Trap is being used by the switching provider that TalkTalk / Post Office / iD (who use Three) and this has still not been cancelled since I left TalkTalk in February.
I suppose once you realise it is about money rather than getting it right it makes some perverse logic. Each person will have a target to reach for actions completed rather than faults cleared. However, the integrity of the phone network is compromised if your number is not universally accessible. I suspect this is underreported because it is only easy to diagnose if it is a close relationship that is broken.
Quick questions on internal organisation of BT.
Where are the demarcation lines for groups within BT.
My number is owned by BT, but which part of BT is responsible for its integrity?
From my understanding Openreach is responsible for access up to the MDF in the exchange building, but who is responsible for the routing beyond that?
Who in BT is responsible for ensuring number porting works now and into the future?
I speak from experience - albeit considerable experience - rather than as a past or present employee of BT. That being said:
At risk of being cynical, I would suggest that there's a difference between theoretical responsibility and practical responsibility. Someone on here, I've no doubt, will have the answers to your questions. However, I would suggest that if you define 'responsibility' as meaning a single individual who will give you their full name, a geographical landline phone number on which you can contact them, and an e-mail address which is specific to them rather than to a department, who will hold their hands up and say, 'yes, this is down to me and my department and I will willingly be held personally responsible for sorting it out' ... well, let's be honest, if it was a horse, would you bet on it?
The systems used by BT Retail are lot better than those I have suffered with other providers.
The basic problem seems to come down to what you do if Openreach comes back with the response no problem found.
When I started off I was not so able at defining the problem. I have spoken to Ofcom (again) and there is no route through them to the cross industry body that will only act on refusing to port rather than frustrating a port.
Ofcom use the standard brush off that they monitor complaints and (only) take action if many people complain. They do have teeth, but they rarely use them. Interestingly they will take complaints about the complaints resolution services, though I have never seen this mentioned.
Their only suggestion is talking to my MP!
Battled through having to repeatedly reproduce the fault. Latest stumbling block having proved multiple times that these people are not reaching the BT Network is that there is a data protection issue with providing this information outside BT.
I am now even more certain that nobody with TalkTalk can reach me as we trawled through our contacts and looked for people with TalkTalk email addresses who still had landlines with the company and asked them to call us. They reported they received ring tone but we never answered.
Renumbering would fully solve the problem as
(this is akin to returning a hire car knowing the brakes are faulty)