Hi, my land line failed a couple of days ago. Nio dial tone. I did all the usual tests (disconnect all other devices, plug basic wired phone into test socket, called number from mobile - number not recognised tone), so I had good reasons to believe that the problem was outside my house and probably in the exchange. I called out an engineer getting the usual intimidatory BS about being charged £129. Get a call from the engineer this morning (on my landline!) saying he'd found the issue in the exchange and it would be fixed shortly. All well and good.
But, but, but ...... BT diagnostics were giving BT equipment a clean bill of health, or that's what the call centre is trained to say when a line test comes up clear. Presumably all a line test does is test the physical integrity of the line and not report on exchange problems? In which case, it is quite dishonest for BT to pretend that a clear line test puts the responsibility back onto the customer's equipment. I've worked in IT for over 25 years, so have a pretty good feel for telecoms issues. I ignored the call centre BS and demanded an engineer ASAP. But what of ordinary consumers? A friend of mine was scared to call out an engineer because the threat to charge her. In the end, I came around, did my tests and suggested strongly to her that she should call an engineer, as the problem wasn't in her house. Eventually that was proved to be the case and her line was restored after three weeks.
What of customers who spend money on an independent assessment of their kit. Surely BT should be liable to refund this money if BT diagnostics did not report a problem that was BT's responsibility to fix? It stinks and Ofcom should take a view of it.
Well obviously I didn't. But it is rather beside the point isn't it? BT misrepresents its line test as giving its equipment the call clear, which self evidently it doesn't. I happen to think that misling customers that way is wrong.
Each local loop that OR rent should comply with SIN 351.. This gives the electrical specification the loop should comply with, and when they 'test' the line these are the parameters the test looks at to give a pass or fail, this is the lineplant , the local loop, it always used to be the case as well as testing the line, they would also test the 'exchange' , checking for the correct voltage and dialtone from the exchange equipment, but I guess these days as you speak to a service provider customer service rep, rather than an OR 'engineer' they probably only test the line towards the property,..obviously it the fault is not on the line, or on your equipment, but in the exchange itself, you may well get the warning about potential charges, as they think (because of poor training or a lack of understanding) that there is nothing wrong, (line tests Ok)
If you have checked with a known working phone in the test socket and it's faulty, you can insist they issue a fault report safe that no charge will be raised, but I agree that it could well put some people off reporting a genuine fault