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Noelect
Contributor
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Message 1 of 7

Customer service, what do you think?

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A couple of weeks ago residents in my village started experiencing problems using their telephones.  The fault, which was intermittent, caused the exchange to return dial tone, following the dialling of a number.  Dropping the connection and redialling resulted in the connection being made, but this was very often only after a few attempts.

I contacted BT Retail (BTR) and after enduring numerous line tests etc I was informed that as the fault was in the exchange and that I had to report the problem to Open Reach (OR) on 0800-023-2023.  After being passed from department to department, I was eventually told categorically that OR could not accept fault reports from customers and that I had to report it to BT Retail (BTR), who would then raise a fault with OR.

I called BTR, again, and after more line tests a fault was raised with OR.  It was then 'reported' by BT that the fault had been cleared, although it hadn't been as the problem persisted.  After more line tests etc. an engineer rang me to say that he was on route to the exchange and would ring me from there, needless to say he didn't.  I then received a text saying that the fault had been cleared.
 
As said the fault is intermittent, it is only apparent if the faulty piece of exchange equipment is allocated to a customer, when they try to make a call.  Therefore if you are lucky you might not experience the problem for perhaps a couple of days.
 
The problem however, did manifest itself again so I rang 150 again and was connected to the BT 'faults' department.  I gave the reference VOL012-********** and was told that the fault had been cleared and closed.  I was then requested to provide an description of the fault and there then followed long periods on hold, whilst records were checked and advice sought.  At the end of all this another line test was insisted upon, which unsurprisingly was passed.  The confusion however continued, and I was informed that an engineer would have to be be sent out to my property and that a charge of £120 would be made, if it transpired that no fault was found.

More discussion took place until it became obvious that the young lady I was speaking with had not understood anything that had been discussed.  At this point I asked to speak with a manager and after another long period on hold I was informed that all the managers were on the telephone and that one would call me back within two hours. Later I was rung by Gareth (0800-028-5085, who informed me that in fact, the engineer who attended the exchange could not find a fault with the equipment and that was why, without any recourse to me, the fault had been closed.
 
Gareth asked me to use another telephone to undertake more tests and promised he would ring me in the morning.  I did as requested and dialled '150' repeatedly for 10 minutes.  The results were as expected, either ringing tone was received, or dial tone was returned, producingd a random pattern depending on whether the faulty piece of equipment was allocated, or not.  If more digits were then dialled, following dropping back to dial tone, they had no effect, however after 20 seconds an announcement  saying "Please hang up and try again", was received.  I also contacted several friend to confirm that they were still experiencing the problem and they confirmed that they were..

Gareth rang again today and insisted that as no fault had been found at the exchange he could not raise the fault again without sending an engineer to my home.  He stated that if no fault was found I would have to pay £120 and that if I didn't agree to this there was no way he could proceed.  I refused to agree to my being charged £120 as I've been incorrectly charged in the past, when 2 engineers were sent to fix the same fault on the same day and the second reported it as fault not found.  It took me a lot of time and effort to get the money refunded.
 
Of course I could be wrong, but I strongly suspect that the OR engineer did not conduct a series of conclusive tests, or perhaps just pulled out each card and reinserted it, possible 'temporarily' clearing an intermittent contact on the card, or backplane and as he was unable to locate the fault he reported it as Fault Not Found.

The problem is incidentally a repeat of exactly the same exchange fault, that occured in June last year.  It is impossible to believe that the same problem, which was cleared last year and now after 7 months, has reappeared and is causing exactly the same problem can necessitate an engineer visit to my home before it can be raised again with OR.  I reiterate, this problem is being experienced by other customers connected to the our telephone exchange, therefore logic must indicate the problem is due to a fault in the exchange common equipment.
 
Lets get this straight, I'm attempting to assist BT by helping them resolve a problem, that is being experienced by many customers on the Hassocks telephone exchange.  I did not expect to have to devote hours of my time, or be subjected to the Spanish Inquisition to do this.  Quite why BT is incapable of rectifying a reported fault in its exchange, without making the threat of charging £120, if they can't find it, is beyond belief.
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6 REPLIES 6
Moderator
Moderator
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Message 2 of 7

Re: Customer service, what do you think?

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Hi Noelect,

 

I have edited the reference number from your post as this is a pubic forum. I am really sorry to read about the difficulties you have had in getting the fault resolved. 

 

I would like to take a look at this fault for you. Please could you send me in your details using the "Contact The Mods" link found in my profile.

 

Thanks

 

PaddyB

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lines_man
Aspiring Expert
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Message 3 of 7

Re: Customer service, what do you think?

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If it's a fault with the Exchange Equipment then it's not an Openreach problem, they only maintain the Network from the MDF to the NTE.....

Exchanges are maintained by BT Operate.....
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Noelect
Contributor
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Message 4 of 7

Re: Customer service, what do you think?

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Hi Lines_man

Thanks for the response.

Since deregulation BT has become even more disfunctional, it was always the only communications company that couldn't communicate internally. I recall the line "Left hand? I didn't know we had a left hand" being used on many occasions.

You say that the exchange equipment is maintained by BT Operate.... I can't find a group business called BT Operate.
so I'm assuming it to be an abbreviation for 'BT Technology, Service & Operations', headed up by Clive Selley who oversees Openreach, Wholesale and Consumer amongst many other businesses.

I'm convinced that most of BT's customers see BT as an entity and therefore contact BT expecting it to be capable of resolving a BT problem. However the only customer access is via Retail i.e.150 or 151, where the staff speak a different language to most of us. Please do not for a minute thing I'm being racist, it's simply a fact that there is a language barrier and this reduces the effectiveness of understanding a problem and its resolution.

Regarding the current problem, BT have insisted that they carry out repeated line tests to establish that there isn't a line fault, before they can raise the fault with whichever department deals with exchange maintenance. The history of the disjointed faulting process is recorded in my original post.

The exchange engineer found no fault, it is intermittant, and the fault was closed.  Now they say they can't reissue it without an engineer visit to my home, with the threat that if no fault is found I will be charged £130. Forum moderator Neil has arranged for an engineer to visit tomorrow and has stated that no charge will be raised no matter what the result of the visit, but BT can't resist reiterating the threat, as you will see in today's text message:

"Hello, BT here. We're sending you an engineer on Thursday 12/02/2015 between 1pm and 6pm. Our tests are showing an internal problem so please make sure you've checked your equipment by following the instructions here www.bt.com/faults or click on this link for a video http://www.bt.com/wiring You can also call 08000285705 or look near the front of your BT telephone book for instructions, the page is entitled Faults, Repairs and Reporting. If you have found the fault on your own equipment, reply to this text with the word CANCEL and we will cancel the engineer for you, we check messages between 8am-9pm daily. Remember if the problem isn't with BT equipment, there will be a charge of 129.99 GBP. Thanks"

So after numerous line tests, all having resulted in there being no fault, one has suddenly appeared on my equipment, today.

 

Not withstanding any of this, the problem, as stated, is one of dialling a number and the exchange equipment dropping back to dial tone. I have just dialled '150' 4 times resulting in two ring tones and 2 drop-back to dial tone. I have tried with different telephones and the problem can easily be replicated on friends and neighbour's telephones, therefore logically it cant be associated with my equipment.

I'm really trying very hard to help BT, to help its customers, but they are incapable of dealing with the problem.

Cheers Noel

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 5 of 7

Re: Customer service, what do you think?

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If you have not already done so please take up PaddyB's offer of help the forum mods will take personal ownership of the problem until resolved
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Noelect
Contributor
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Message 6 of 7

Re: Customer service, what do you think?

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As stated above 'Moderator Neil' has been assigned and is dealing.

I was just asking lines-man who he thinks has responsibility for exchange faults and providing an update.

Cheers Noel
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Moderator
Moderator
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Message 7 of 7

Re: Customer service, what do you think?

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Hi Everyone,

 

This is just a quick update to let you all know that an engineer has attended and detected the fault on the exchange line card, this has been replaced and the fault has been resolved.

 

Once again Noel I'm sorry this took longer than we would have liked to resolve and thanks for your patience and understanding.

 

Thanks

Neil

 

 

 

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