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Message 1 of 13

Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles


I've been in this property for 2 and half years and the last 2 -3 weeks have been horrendous with crackling on the line and  impossible to hear...My B/Band has also been dropping with a lost connections....and being sent round in circles  after being told to check the hub and disconnect line and put back in,though often just collapsing the window and opening up solved it..though a dozen times is frustrating.Also when I rang a call centre in Asia ,apart from difficultiess with the accent,the agent seemed to be reading from  a manual to resolve the problem...not good as PC is  in my living room and phone is in the hallway..


The phone line was tested &  found to be OK with the usual "if you want an engineer and cannot find anything wrong it's £99" when they e-mailed me..


March 19 --Yesterday after reporting a fault I got the "Line OK" and same message as above..The line crackling continued and then in the evening there was no dial tone...


March 20..This morning there was no dial tone when tried at 9.30 am and then out the blue a call from a friend on his mobile over my very crackling line.Then afterwards there was a missed call but the line appeared with normal dial tone!


This evening the same crackling and noise has returned like it has for the last 2-3 weeks..


When this occurred I did the following tests..


Removed the lower part of socket and just placed phone in..line still crackles

Tested the phone( which is corded ) at another place and found the tone to be perfect as it was prior to this..


For over 2 years there has been no noise / crackling on the line and all I get from an agent is that the line is OK and  information that an engineer may bill me £99..The normal dial tone coming back deters me from calling an engineer and deters many others too I suspect..


Has anyone experienced such similar problems ans what was the for over 2 years the dialing tone has been OK?...


I'm in a contract that expires on Aug 31 and will be moving on to another ISP after not getting an answer 2 months into an Option1 deal that saw me billed 4 gigabytes in 1 day, leaving me with little option but to pay more for Option 2 after only 2 months.


I'm angry and disappointed because I've never had probems with BT before and on the strength of that recommended  them in the past,though when I do move I will be taking line rental with me,and these forums are littered with threads on poor customer service are evidence of poor service...











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Distinguished Sage
Message 2 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

If the noise can still be heard at the test socket then there would be no charge
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Message 3 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

The problem is that today as mentioned the  dialing tone was dead,then crackling like mad then "normal" ( all in the space of one hour  this morning, and went on to the crackling noise again when I returned this afternoon and  was why I started the thread...


Since posting  this afternoon there has been a change to a "no tone" and now "crackling" as I write..and this evening the B/Band has not been disconnected even when there was no dialing tone.


It's not the corded phone as it was tried at another property...and will be tried again tomorrow.


My fear is some engineer will come out and hear a "normal dialing tone" and be billed £99 and the e-mail I got when I reported the fault from a BT agent said they tried to contact me....but I know they did not as I dialed 1471 and there was nothing from that day.


My line is connected to a pole in a very rural area and some suggest that weather may be the problem..

I will likely have to call out an engineer at the weekend but will be contacting the media if I'm billed,as for 2 years there has been no problem with the dialing tone.


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Distinguished Sage
Message 4 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

they will not just be looking for a dial tone they will carry out tests such as the quite line test if you are having problems at the test socket that eliminates charges
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Message 5 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

Sounds like your incoming line has a fault due to damage. This is allowing a short circuit between the wires in your cable and "earth" - this could be water / moisture in most cases. This allows some of your cables electricity to "leak" out causing the short (imagine a spark jumping - this is the crackle) when the spark jumps it temporarily clears the fault by burning the moisture away and so BB can reset / phone line clear etc etc it goes on and on. The problem is that as the actual metal cores of your cable are physically OK, the BT test reveals that the line is "OK" - ie the voltage gets to your property and back to the exchange without any real problem. The interference is being caused by the fault to "earth" which disrupts BB and makes hearing anything difficult.


What can you do.


1) Trace the route of your incoming cable as far as you can. From the telegraph pole in the street (if overhead) or from where the cable rises from the ground.


2) Inspect every inch carefully - and I mean up close and personal!!!! The black incoming cable BT use can be subject to hardening / cracking over time as a result of Ultra Violet (Suns rays) exposure and it can crack. This can let moisture in, and we have a fault.


3) Check for physical impact damage. Again, check closely. Things such as bikes / trolleys / stored materials can damage the cable enough if they fall over / against it. Also if the cable is from a pole, look for trees / branches rubbing against the cable. This can wear away the insulation and expose the wires. Again, bingo - there's your fault.


4) Look for any junction boxes. The incoming cable from the street will probably go to a small junction box on the outside of your property. This incoming wire (the "Drop wire") is BT's property / responsibility and they will replace it free if damaged. Take the cover of the box if you can and check for damp / loose joints / spare wires touching other wires - in my case the engineer said I might have "Spiders" - a nest of the little so and so's in the box can short out the cabling!! Any of the above can cause your problem.


But most of all, check your cable carefully as this seems to be a lot of the reasons for a fault.

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Recognised Expert
Message 6 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

Sounds like a hr (high resistance) fault. These can be anywhere but usually close to your home probably in the wire from the pole to your home. Have a look and see if you can see any exposed connections or signs of damage.

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Message 7 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

Doesnt matter who you go with we all have to deal with B.T in one way or another its just the incompeteance that stands out it will never get better

good luck 😞

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Distinguished Sage
Message 8 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

No it is OPENREACH you would deal with who are a separate company within the The BT Group they operate under the rules laid down by OFCOM and BT Retail get no advantage over any other service provider
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Message 9 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

Hello again MrCravat, Sorry to see you're having stressful phone problems.


I fully understand your reluctance to call out an engineer to an intermittent problem and risk unfairly being charged £99 if it works when the engineer visits. If you get a good thorough engineer I'm sure he'd listen to you and try to trace the fault. I fear some others might just tick 'no fault found' and rush off to the next call.


Could you record the noise in any way, so you could play it to the engineer as evidence there was something wrong earlier?? 

(I video-ed my washing machine misbehaving and causing error message & weird noise as occasionally it worked OK. In the end it errored when the engineer was there & so he fixed it.  It was under guarantee - but same threat 'if no fault found you have to pay call out fee'. The recording made me feel a bit more confident in dealing with it.

Regards Monica

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Aspiring Contributor
Message 10 of 13

Re: Poor BT Service on Phone Line & going round in Circles

Keep running tests until a fault gets flagged (hopefully). Even with a fault it can take many months of tomfoolery to get fixed!
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