We have recently moved house. When we first arrived at the house we tried to connect our phone into the master socket. This did not work so we took off the socket faceplate and plugged the phone into the test socket. This resolved the connection issue.
A couple of days ago, we decided to try to put the faceplate back onto the socket as it was looking quite untidy. We disconnected all the internal wiring from the faceplate, as we assumed this was causing the problem in the first place. However, when we tried to put the faceplate back on, the phone stopped working again. Further investigation revealed that the problem was the black cable that runs through the outside wall into the master socket. The connection of this cable into the master socket is loose and only works when the cable is in a certain position.
I called BT to try to explain the fault, but they insisted that this was internal wiring, though I am not sure they understood the problem. I am happy to get a local engineer in to resolve the problem, but my understanding is that the cable into the master test socket is a BT responsibility and therefore this cannot be touched by anyone other than BT.
We did consider just leaving the phone plugged into the test socket and making sure that we did not move the black cable. However, we have been having some blips on broadband and we are concerned that eventually the connection of the cable into the master socket will come completely loose leaving us without phone / broadband.
I would be grateful for any guidance on whether we need BT to resolve this or whether we should just get someone in locally to connect the cable up securely.
Only Openreach are allowed to work on that cable, as its part of the external network. There may be a charge if the damage is on an outside wall of your property.
You need to report the problem to your Service Provider, which may be BT Retail in your case.
Thank you for your quick reply, Keith.
I have just spent a very frustrating hour with BT. They have basically insisted that, as it is the wire inside the house where it connects into the master socket, I can either get a local engineer or pay the automatic £130 up front for a BT engineer to come out.
I showed them your comments, but they still insisted that I could get a local engineer in this case.
I am not sure where to go from here as, whilst I am happy to get a local engineer, I don't want to call one out only to be told that they cannot touch that cable. However, I don't want to pay £130 up front to BT if I could have just got a local engineer.
Any guidance would be appreciated.
You don`t pay upfront. If the fault is proven to your own internal wiring, then a charge will be added to your next bill. If its an external problem, then no charge is made.
An electrician may not want to touch the main phone line incoming, as they would be afraid of damaging Openreach infrastructure, and be landed with a large claim. You would also have to pay a callout fee for an electrician anyway.
Report it to BT as intemittent dial-tone, and request a visit from Openreach. It will depend a lot on what the Openreach Field Technician finds, as to whether they raise it as a chargeable visit. If your phone cable comes directly from underground, without any cable running down the wall, any damage is less likely.
I would suspect that there is an issue on the network side of the master socket, as you are getting the problem on the test socket. I would expect Openreach to fix that problem, so that the test socket works properly, as they are responsible up to that point, provided there are no other terminal blocks before the master socket, which are internally routed.
Thanks, Keith. I will report it as you suggested and not go down the local engineer route.
When I spoke to BT earlier, I was transferred to the Billing team and told I would be charged £130, which led me to believe that I was being charged up front.
Thanks for your help again.
Its more of a warning that you MAY be charged for the visit. They have to do that, so that people do not get an unexpected bill.
One advantage of a proper Openreach visit, is that its properly recorded on the fault history, should you have issues in the future.
Its not unknown for the back section of the master socket, where the incoming A and B wires are terminated, to develop an intermittent connection. There is a circuit board with a couple of electronic components on it, which can develop a crack. Also the very thin connection strips on the test socket, can make a poor connection.
I would not mention to the field technician, that you have tried to fix it, just plead ignorance
If you feel you have been unfairly charged, then you can always ask nicely, on this forum, and see if one of the moderators can look at the technicians report.
Thanks for the tips, Keith. That is very helpful.
Engineer now booked for next Tuesday, so hopefully it will all be resolved then, one way or another.
Thanks again for all your help.