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Message 1 of 6

Reporting a land line fault for an elderly neighbour

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My elderly neighbour (in her late nineties) and her bedridden sister lost their phone connection this morning and asked me to have a look. As they have no other means of communication their phone line is vital to them.

I thought this should be a relatively straightforward task, how wrong could you be!!

Trying to register the fault online was a complete waste of time as you have to log in which then registers that it's my number that I'm enquiring about. You used to be able to enter a different number a while back but that appears to have been removed???

So, the next option is to call BT on 151. Well after half an hour of repeatly being told someone would answer ASAP I gave up. The only option left was to use the TEXT method which results in me being charged (not sure what yet) for each text I send.

OK, so I now have a reply from BT saying the fault has been submitted and they'll let me know the 'fix time' in 48 hrs. Thinking I'm now getting somewhere as I have a fault reference I thought I'd check the progress on line and maybe  able to add some notes as to the fault being a priority due to the age and health of the  sisters. Think again! Going on line to the track a fault option makes you login and you then are greeted with a reply that there are no faults registered on your account. By this time I'm pulling my hair out!

For what it's worth their fault is the phone keeps continuously ringing when on the cradle so they have to lift the handset and all you hear is a loud noise. 

I used to work for BT many years ago and their fault system was good in the old days, at least you could speak to somebody! To say I'm appalled by my experience today doesn't come close.

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Message 2 of 6

Re: Reporting a land line fault for an elderly neighbour

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Hi @midibob, welcome back and sorry you've had such difficulty reporting a fault on behalf of your elderly neighbour.

I've sent you a Private Message so you can get in touch with the Mod team and we'll be happy to help you with this.



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Message 3 of 6

Re: Reporting a land line fault for an elderly neighbour

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This is identical to my problem. Elderly couple dependant on their land line as the mobile reception is poor in our village.

I too was able to log the fault by text but I am unable to get any progress report because they do not have broadband or any email address linked to their account. For me to get access they need to give their permission but they can't do that without broadband.  I tried telephone but I too gave up holding on. (Text said up to 48 hours to get a time estimate) .

All I need is a quick telephone call to BT with an update on the fault.  That should be a prime function of a telecoms company.

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Message 4 of 6

Re: Reporting a land line fault for an elderly neighbour

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I've left this for a while due to being away but I'm glad to say the fault was fixed the next day. The tale went something like this..

After conversing with the Moderator here they could look in to this fault but possibly not for a few days, understandable as it isn't their prime function. They did suggest for a more prompt response to use the 'BT contact us' link on the main BT site. Using this I managed to contact a human via the 'Tech support' option, albeit via the keypad, but at last a human!

After a lengthy exchange explaining the situation the fault was escalated as an Emergency Welfare. I also explained that I couldn't view the fault number and then had to provide all my details so I could be added to the account? I also had to provide my number as a contact. OK, so far so good.

So, closed the chat session and went back in to see if I could now access the fault. Nope! The time to fix I was told would be within 24 Hours and as it was now 5 o'clock I thought I'd wait and see what would happen the next day.

The following day, about lunchtime,  my wife just happened to be outside and saw the BT engineer who she spoke to. He told her the fault was in the exchange which had now been fixed and just needed to access the neighbours house to check it. All was good and the engineer departed.

So I'm thinking I've not had an update from BT at all and now the faults repaired still no update? For a comms company I think there's something missing here!

I have to say that I'm really disppointed with the service (or lack of it). If it was left to my poor neighbour I doubt whether she'd still have working phone now as she would have been unable to report it. Lots of vunerable old folks don't have the Internet or mobile phones!! BT take note. The amount of hoops I had to jump through and time wasted to get not only the fault reported but to get it escalated was appalling.


Message 5 of 6

Re: Reporting a land line fault for an elderly neighbour

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You need to bear in mind that is not BT Retail who do the repairs, its Openreach, and they deal with lots of other providers as well. BT Retail do not get any priority.

The "BT Engineer" would have been an Openreach Field Technician dealing with lots of other faults. If was an exchange fault, then its possible it was affecting a number of other customers as well.

BT Retail, and other providers, rely on progress updates from Openreach, which can take a while to arrive. If its a major service failure, then regular updates are normally provided.

This page may help in future


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Message 6 of 6

Re: Reporting a land line fault for an elderly neighbour

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As I used to work for BT I know how it works but that doesn't alter the fact that it was extermely difficult to do what I see as a very basic function. Being as I was the fault reporter I would have expected an update of some description and certainly a confirmation that the fault was cleared.

Thank you for the link but it states if you don't have a printer (lots of old folks don't) then ring the 0800 800 150 which in my experience kept me hanging on for over half an hour with no answer! Funnily enough that's the same number for raising a complaint.

You couldn't make it up!