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Message 1 of 4

BT/OpenReach's mistakes have left us with no internet, all options exhausted

Hi all,

This is quite a long story so I will do my best to keep things concise, I may omit some information but to preface I want to say that whatever you read please read with the understanding that there has been well over 12+ hours of phone calls, many emails/live chats and countless broken promises. 

Additional context would be that we live in a very remote part of Northern Ireland, the only mobile phone service we get is with Vodafone (O2 and 3 give zero service at all), at best we can get 4g in a single corner of the house but it's mostly spotty 3g.

My girlfriend and I moved into a property in October previously owned by a family member, BT has been providing broadband here for several years and a phone line for close to 50 years. In October we changed the billing information over to ourselves with no hassle. At the start of January we were told we would be getting upgraded to Fibre on January 18th, we thought this was fantastic. At 1am on the 18th our internet gets disconnected and by mid-day the engineer from OpenReach calls us to say it's too big of a job to complete, they didn't touch any cables or change anything, they will need help from traffic management and will come back on the 8th of February. We call BT and ask them to reinstate the original broadband and are told this can't be done. We explained that OpenReach said they didn't change anything but this representative was adamant that it couldn't be undone. We call a second time and get a much more friendly guy on the phone who says that the line can't be reinstated today because the system can't process two set-ups in one day, ring back tomorrow it's no big deal.

The next day we call and are told we can't get our internet back. First we are told it's because OpenReach removed the cables, then the person hangs up. We get someone else who tells us OpenReach didn't remove the cables and infact our house address is the issue, they put us on hold and also hang up. On the third call this next person says OpenReach didn't remove the cables but they did disconnect them and the address is a problem. Fast forward through about 8 calls and several reps and we finally get to the bottom of what's happened:

BT created the account for this house many years ago and set our house number to 53, but the actual house number is 56. The council did a terrible job when they were planning this street so according to GPS our house is on the other side of the street, hence why I think BT originally set us up with the wrong number.  The previous owner made efforts in the past to correct this but all were ignored by BT supposedly, we also tried to correct this when we changed our information over in October and was told it was done. They tell us that internet cannot be provided to the incorrect house (i.e our number being 56 means it's the wrong house) however this was no issue for the last 50 years or even the last 3 months? They had no issue sending us a bill to this address. When we agreed to sign up to the Fibre upgrade the person on the phone put the upgrade down as a "house move", so OpenReach (according to BT) lied to us and did infact remove the copper cables, but now they cannot reinstate them as the cables that come to 56 don't match with the file for our house that has it listed as 53. In all of our calls we managed to speak to 1 supervisor/manager who told us "there's no point crying over spilled milk" and "stop focusing on the negatives". I work in customer service and I would probably lose my job if I behaved the way some of the phone reps for BT behave.

BT's solution to this was to send us an EE 4g minihub. This spawned its own problems as BT tried sending it to 53 and DPD refused to deliver it as number 53 (our neighbours) aren't in during the day to accept it, this led to many phone calls and live chats with DPD which was its own headache. Skipping over a lot of details here but it took several calls with BT for someone to finally manually change the delivery address. 3 minihubs shipments and a week of missed delivery dates and we get our minihub.

The minihub is an EE 4g minihub that does not work, we get zero coverage in our area according to the EE website both indoor and outdoor, this comes after a rep in BT promise "100% you will be able to use it!". No matter what we get no service.

So here we are after a week of issues, no internet and lies from BT service reps. We are staring down another two weeks of no internet with no solutions from BT. I work from home most days so this will affect my income in a cost of living crisis. The original BT rep who set it up as a home move is arguably to blame for the whole issue but Open Reach's lies compounded it and the rigidity of BT's customer support has caused more headaches than anything else.

At this stage I don't even know what to ask for, I'll be submitting formal complaints but what can I do? Can I break BT's contract given that we have no service and their solutions have not helped us at all and hope that another provider will treat us better? Is there anyone who can get our old line reinstated in the meantime?

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Message 2 of 4

Re: BT/OpenReach's mistakes have left us with no internet, all options exhausted


Welcome to this user forum for BT Retail phone and broadband customers.

I will see if a moderator can help.

Message 3 of 4

Re: BT/OpenReach's mistakes have left us with no internet, all options exhausted

Hi @ShawinHen,

Thanks for taking the time to post up about your experience. I am so sorry that we haven't been able to get your services installed yet. It would be best if we looked into this for you and manage both your order and complaint for you. We're from Enniskillen which is another remote part of Northern Ireland too. I'm sending you a private message that you can reply back to us on.


Message 4 of 4

Re: BT/OpenReach's mistakes have left us with no internet, all options exhausted

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for reaching out, your help on the matter would be much appreciated. I've replied to your message.