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Aspiring Contributor
Message 1 of 7

Intermittent noisy line after heavy prolonged rain

Greetings. I hope someone here can help please. Since moving to this property nearly two years ago, we have suffered with a very noisy line if it rains for an extended period. The noise sounds like someone opening a packet of crisps! At the same time the broadband speed drops. I have reported the fault on a number of occasions, and several engineers have been out but every time the weather has improved by the time they call, and they have never traced the fault. On the last occasion, I have been charged £127.99, even though there is no fault with my equipment, and we still have a problem. I have a record over the last few months of the drops in service and it does correlate with the periods of heavy rain. How do I go about recovering the £127.99 and having the problem on the line resolved? I have tried ringing the 0800 800 150 number today but was put on hold for 20 minutes and then cut off. I cannot afford to pay another engineer's fee for no result. Thanks for listening. Mark
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Message 2 of 7

Re: Intermittent noisy line after heavy prolonged rain

If you haven't done so already, I would start by waiting for the next batch of heavy rain, then running a test on your test socket. You can find the test socket by unscrewing the faceplate on the main phone socket in your house (it's the one that sticks out from the wall slightly further than the others and normally has some kind of BT logo on it). It sounds like that's something you're not meant to do, but actually it's designed to be done by the customer. Underneath the faceplate you'll find a second socket, which you should plug your phone only into (with no microfilters or anything else). Dial 17070, and you'll hear a chirpy computer women offering you BT line test facilities, you want to pick the 'quiet line test' which I believe is option 1. By using the test socket you're bypassing all the wiring which you are responsible for and could be causing interference, so if you still hear the noise during the quiet test then it's definitely a problem on the BT network.


Once you've done this, and have confirmed it's definitely a BT problem (it sounds like it definitely would be), you'd need to give BT faults a ring and politely but firmly explain the results, and that an engineer is required, and that you're due a refund. It's important not to loose your cool on the phone, I believe the T&Cs  of an engineer visit state that if the engineer can't replicate the fault when he arrives then the charge still applies, even it is a BT fault. Having said that, any decent advisor/manager should waive the charge for you, but they won't if you irritate them.


Hope this helps!

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Recognised Expert
Message 3 of 7

Re: Intermittent noisy line after heavy prolonged rain

I think the quite line is option 2


I would ask the operator to whom you report the fault if they can hear the noise and if so request they make a note of and description on the report screen 


Try to record the noise (I used the audio function on digi cam )


Get other independent people to witness the noise


BT can be very nice or very nasty over charges and £127 is a lot of money so it pays to be well armed in case BT argue the point

If any post helps tick the star box on the left
Just cause Im paranoid dont mean they are not out to get me

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Aspiring Expert
Message 4 of 7

Re: Intermittent noisy line after heavy prolonged rain

I have had a similar problem to you extending over many years in the past. At least the engineers always found a fault - corrosion in line boxes. The fault would clear for 6 month to a year and then be back again. On the last visit about 9 month ago the engineer was very thorough. He decided to move the line box where the underground line comes into the house. It was close to the ground so he put in a new one and moved it higher up the wall. This seems to have cleared the ongoing problem. So it can be done. As another poster quoted get the faults operator to confirm that they can hear the noise as BT state all calla are recorded. On a number of occasions in the past when I have reported the problem the operator has commented on the noise before I have.




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Aspiring Contributor
Message 5 of 7

Re: Intermittent noisy line after heavy prolonged rain

Thank you for all of the excellent advice posted in response to my cry for help. I will wait until the weather causes problems again and follow the steps suggested. Thanks again. Mark
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Message 6 of 7

Re: Intermittent noisy line after heavy prolonged rain

Hi there Mark

I have had a very similar problem, still ongoing, but it seems I am getting nowhere fast.  Like some other posters, we have had intermittent noisy line problems for some years.  In every past case, either the noise has cleared up (often when the weather dries up) or we have called an engineer who has visited and cleaned up some connections in one of the boxes along the 4km overhead line between our house and the local exchange.  On the last occasion, on the day when the engineer came the noise had cleared so he didn't make any repair; just went away and advised me to call 151 again if/when the noise reappeared.  My next bill contained £127 of extra charge.  I have a long list of (polite!) phone conversations with BT on this, but so far they are refusing to remove the charge.

So if a customer's line becomes intermittently noisy like ours, do they complain and risk a £127 charge if the noise happens to be undetectable on the particular day the engineer visits, or do they just accept a line which is periodically unusable? BT's policy on this seems a license for them to levy charges at will.

Best regards


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Aspiring Contributor
Message 7 of 7

Re: Intermittent noisy line after heavy prolonged rain

OK I thought I should bring this thread up to date. As we have had very little rain since I posted, it seemed best to try and sort out the problem of the charge without further delay.


Another thread suggested emailing the CEO, so I tried it. Amazingly I had an email response the same afternoon and telephone contact from a  very efficient lady in the Chairman's office within hours. She promised to look into it and call me by the next Tuesday. On the Sunday morning ( 2 days early) she rang my wife to confirm that the amount of the engineer's charge would be credited to my BT account and that Openreach would be in contact to resolve the ongoing problem.


The engineer called by appointment this morning at 08.15 and after listening to my sorry story, traced the fault to a repair carried out in May 2009 that was letting damp into the joint. At the moment we have a perfect line, although I await the next heavy rain with some concern.


It just shows that you should not give up, and thanks to all in this forum for their help.






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