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Message 11 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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@imjolly wrote:
which residential features are not working with DV?


Where to begin?

'Call Sign' is going early (confirmed withdrawal date: 30.09.22) - apparently because the all-singing, all-dancing, Smart Hub 2 can't cope with different ringing cadence (single-ring, in this case). I'm willing to bet that means 'Ring Back When Free' (press 5 over engaged tone) will also disappear, as it relies on a triple-ring to signal that the number you've been trying to call is now available. Perhaps BT could change that to the regular double-ring (after all, Caller Display tells you that the call is a "Ring Back"), thus allowing the feature to continue, but it's not mentioned on their 'Digital Voice Calling Features' web page, so I strongly suspect that it, too, is for the chop.

'Reminder Call' doesn't work on Digital Voice, according to a DV user I recently asked on here. That feature is also not mentioned on the DV Calling Features page, so I think we can safely assume it's being withdrawn. I rely on the 'Regular Reminder Call' variant of this feature; it's invaluable for me as a shift worker doing different days and hours each week. It means I can set all of my alarm calls a week in advance and not have to worry about them. A call from BT won't let you down, unlike a regular alarm clock or mobile phone alarm, so it gives me peace of mind on that count as well. I'll be lost without this feature and the thought of losing it is causing me considerable anxiety.

'Reminder Call' and 'Ring Back' are both available as pay-per-use on analogue (as well as monthly subscription), so customers who use them only occasionally will be affected along with subscribers.

'3-Way Calling' and 'Call Waiting' will not work with a non-Digital Voice phone, as they rely on use of the 'Recall' button (also known as 'Hook' or 'Flash'). Recall uses pulse/loop-disconnect dialling, which is not supported by Digital Voice, therefore the only way to continue using those two features is with a DV phone (which not everyone wants, especially if they prefer corded). I'm not sure how the DV phones get around the Recall issue, but that button is completely absent from them. Obviously, the Recall button on older phones will become redundant with Digital Voice.

'Choose to Refuse' and 'Anonymous Call Reject' are not mentioned on the DV Calling Features page, either. I suppose BT think that Call Protect is a sufficient replacement for those two features. However, Call Protect (which I tried and soon removed) is utterly pathetic compared to CTR and ACR. It doesn't actually "block" anything! In fact, Openreach internally refer to the feature as "Choose to Divert" - a far more accurate name. Calls are still connected (thus ensuring vital revenue for BT or whoever your provider is); your phone just doesn't ring and Caller Display is somehow bypassed as well. But, you have to keep dialling 1572 to see if a voice message has been left that might, just might, be important. And no, you can't deactivate the Voicemail element. What a pain! You also can't review your list of blocked numbers and unblock them using your telephone keypad - you have to do it online (not good for those without a My BT account, which is most of those who only take a phone service from BT), whereas CTR lets you do it on the phone. You can only block the last number that rang as well, whereas CTR allows you to manually add a number. I cancelled the feature and went back to Choose to Refuse and Anonymous Call Reject (both incompatible with Call Protect - which of course BT never told me when they talked me into having it). I admit that ACR is more valuable, as CTR only allows you to block 10 numbers; it would be far better if BT expanded that to 100 (the maximum permitted with Call Protect). But clearly they have no interest in expanding the service and want to wind it down.

'International and Premium Rate Call Barring' - this one is admin-controlled (unlike options 3 and 7 of the 'Call Barring' feature, which are customer-controlled with a PIN). Perhaps it will continue, but it's not mentioned on the DV Calling Features page.

1471 - No mention of this, either. I imagine that the 'Call Return' (press 3) element, at least, will go.

Presumably Call Barring and Call Diversion will still work as before, using a conventional phone connected to the hub. However, for some reason, the DV Calling Features page only gives the touch-tone codes for Call Diversion.

'Reminder Call' is the one I'll miss most. I can see no technical reason for it not to continue, as it requires neither a different ringing cadence nor the Recall button.

The above features are available, at no extra cost, to customers of Line Rental Plus and Home Phone Saver (with a few variations between the two). Those customers will be getting poor value for money once the majority of said features have gone. "There's no change to your plan or bill", brag BT about the digital switchover. An absolute lie!

No doubt the beautifully-spoken and reassuringly familiar voice of 1471 and most other BT network announcements (whose identity is unconfirmed, but rumoured to be Eleanor Bron), will also vanish and be replaced by something more modern and ghastly.

I've asked BT (twice) about which features will disappear with Digital Voice. They said "none, as far as we know." A few weeks later, I received a letter about Call Sign being withdrawn in September. They've really thought this through, haven't they(!) 🙄
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Message 12 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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I think reminder call was implemented within the local exchange software, and as the exchanges are going, that would no longer be possible.

Many of the other features you mention are added features within the exchange software on many of the exchange equipment types. Features like call barring are implemented on the network, so it should be possible to maintain those.

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Message 13 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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@Keith_Beddoe wrote:
I think reminder call was implemented within the local exchange software, and as the exchanges are going, that would no longer be possible.

That sounds about right. BT say that "Reminder Call is subject to availability" and, apparently, only System X exchanges can handle the 'Regular Reminder Call' (dial *56* instead of *55*) variant of the feature  - also known as 'Repeat Reminder Call' and 'Reminder Programme Service'; that must be why BT don't mention *56* in the Calling Features User Guide for residential customers, but it's in the guide for business customers. It works on my line (so I must be on System X), but not on my workplace line some 20 miles away. Also, when doing a standard Reminder Call on my line I hear a voice prompt after dialling *55*, but there's no prompt on my workplace line. At work, I just have to complete the instruction by entering the time in 24-hour format, followed by hash; then I hear a confirmation of the time set, in the same voice as on my line but in a rather more 'stuttered' and less natural manner.

@Keith_Beddoe wrote:
Many of the other features you mention are added features within the exchange software on many of the exchange equipment types. Features like call barring are implemented on the network, so it should be possible to maintain those.

So a system of useful calling features that has been carefully built up over many years is to be largely jettisoned because BT can't be bothered carrying them across to the network as a whole? How is that 'progress'? 😓

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Message 14 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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Or to put it another way, why should a commercial company spend £millions developing software to continue a very niche service for a handful of customers that is not going to give them any return on the investment.

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Message 15 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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There's always one grump, isn't there?

If they were that uneconomical for BT, they wouldn't charge nearly £15.00 a month for the full Calling Features Pack and up to £7.50 per month for certain additional features such as Anonymous Call Reject. They're raking it in!

I'm sure the cost of incorporating all the features would be minimal, compared to the cost of implementing the digital switchover and even developing special handsets (for an increasingly 'niche' landline service!).

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Message 16 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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I totally agree with you Tim. DV switch-over is a major change for those that don't have broadband. But why are we talking about broadband? Are you saying DV only works with broadband? Not everyone has signed up to broadband! So how would it work, if they don't have a broadband connection? Everyone is supposed to be getting DV by 2025, not just broadband customers! 😃

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Message 17 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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They will be given a low bandwidth broadband connection sufficient for DV.

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Message 18 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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I'm surprised we are talking broadband! 🤔

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Message 19 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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20211027_173845.jpg

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Message 20 of 27

Re: No Warning about DV Switchover

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The question in the blue box should read 'what about voice customers who don't HAVE broadband'? I know not everyone has phone lines that will work with broadband, unless they are changed, so I guess some customers will be getting new phones lines for DV to work.

 

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