18 months ago a BT engineer installed a telephone line to my rented property that had been empty for 8 years. In the front garden is a 150 year old tree with a preservation order on it. The tree had been carefully pruned /shaped by a professional tree surgeon 3 years ago with the permission of the local council.
When the BT engineer came to install the new line, we discussed the situation and my recommendation was to give plenty of slack in the line and place the new line towards the edge of the tree. Instead, he strung the line through the middle of the tree and had no movement in the cable. Consequently in September last year in the heavy storms the cable was chafed by the tree and I lossed service.
The fault was reported and the engineer replaced the cable and this time he placed the cable at the edge of the tree and allowed an appropriate amount of slack. Over the last few days we had winds of 75 mph and the cable is fine and remains unchafed.
I received a bill from BT for £130 for the call out.
I have paid this as my bill is automatically paid by direct debit.
Given the fact that I informed the first engineer of the preservation order and the issue with stringing the cable too tight and through the middle of the tree. I find this disgraceful when such advice was totally ignored.
I was a lineman in the USA for 10 years and I know a lot about the stringing of telephone lines and the problem with trees. We developed innovative methods in preventing these problems.
I have had a discussion with BT complaints Dept and there answer was the issue was "none negotiable". Surprise Surprise!!!. I was prepared to split the difference 50-50 but it fell on deaf ears.
I am looking at taking this to the Ombudsman. Do you think I have a case, or I am completely wasting my time?
The Ombudsman will reject your complaint if you don't follow the correct internal complaints process within BT first.
Best thing to do is write a letter to BT, if the Complaints Team maintain the charge you can request to escalate it to a manager, if they maintain it you can escalate it to the next level up, if they maintain it but you still dispute it then they will refer the complaint to the BT Complaints Review Service. If they still insist on maintaining it they will send you a deadlock letter, thats when you can raise it with the ombudsmen.
I bet if you follow the complaints process they will waive it because the cost for BT to maintain it fars outways the cost to just waive it.