Picture this - a rare day of rest and relaxation at home, a chance to lie in, take things easy for the day. In the late morning you decide to call an elderly relative to have a nice long chat, but ten minutes into the conversation the line suddenly goes dead. Is there a fault on the line? Something BT couldn't have foreseen? No. There's an Openreach van outside and without warning they have decided to replace a perfectly good telephone pole and have therefore cut the line.
When this happened to me today it's fair to say I was irritated, but by the time these so-called professionals left I was livid. I don't have a front or back garden. I have a side garden. The house is about 50 yards from a junction and between it and the main road is my garden. At the end of the garden, outside the boundary of my property, is a telephone pole. What BT do or don't do with this pole is up to them, though obviously I'd prefer a little notice if the service is going to be interrupted. What I will not tolerate is the behaviour I witnessed while the work was taking place.
First, one of the workers stepped over my garden fence (it's the sort with wooden posts and metal wires) into my garden and trampled on a number of plants. I was going to confront him, but he stepped back over the fence, so I decided it wasn't worth the hassle. Then it seemed my fence must have been causing them problems, because the next thing I know they're cutting the wires with bolt cutters and pulling up one of the fence posts. I couldn't believe my eyes!
I went out and demanded to know what they thought they were doing. They apologised and assured me the fence would be reinstated before they left and would be restored to its original condition. I accepted their word for it, but requested they stay out of the garden. Ten minutes later my wife calls me and I go to the window in time to see two of these ignorant louts marching across my lawn - and rather than walking around the flower beds in order to get there they've stamped their way across them.
I told my wife not to worry - I'd warned them to stay out of my garden and they didn't, so I told her than once they left I would go out, survey the damage and then send BT the bill. Well, three hours later they left and I went out to see what they've done. I can honestly say I'm astonished.
During the four and a half hours they were working they managed to tear the branch off one of the trees in my garden, a tree twenty feet from the pole they were working on, but to their credit they very kindly dumped said branch in my garden, smashing a garden ornament in the process. They trampled not one but two flower beds and left wires in one of them. They damaged the lawn - how I'm not sure but there's a foot-long streak where the grass has been torn out leaving bare soil. This is bad enough, but I have yet to come to the most outrageous of their actions.
They did reinstate my fence - but they moved it two feet into my garden, dug up several plants to cover their tracks and dumped them on the roadside. Further, they put the pole into the ground eighteen inches closer to my property than it was previously, meaning that the telephone pole is now on my land.
I'm sorry, BT, but my property is not yours for the taking. You don't get to decide where my property line ends. You don't get to damage my plants, trees and ornaments. I have registered a complaint with Openreach. I suggest you make sure it is taken seriously and addressed appropriately. Some of your customers may not know their rights, but this customer happens to have a law degree and while I'll admit I struggled to get my head around tort law I ACED my property law exams.
Other customers - keep an eye on BT workmen if they appear near your home. It seems they have no respect for private property and don't mind a little casual destruction if it means they can get the job done faster.
Openreach are a company which are part of the BT Group, but work for all service providers. BT Retail are just a service provider.
Have you registered your complaint here?
I am aware of who Openreach are, who they are owned by and what they do. However, where I am BT is the ONLY service provider. I know, because I would not have gone with them had a choice been available.
Openreach has no forum I can find where a warning can be posted regarding their atrocious behaviour, and as the work was being carried out on behalf of BT this seems a more than adequate place to vent quite reasonable frustration.
Yes, I have registered my complaint. I did so via the telephone to a very polite gentleman whose first language clearly was not English as he didn't seem to understand a word I said, but was very apologetic about it, and then via the link you have provided.
I understand your anger but no one here can help you
I'm sure there's at least one customer here with a chainsaw who could help deal with the offending pole if they were so inclined.
I don't expect help. I hope that the BT employees who work as moderators here will ensure that a company owned by BT and in this case operating on their behalf will ensure that my complaint is addressed promptly, but I don't really expect that either. My intention in posting this is merely to warn other customers - if you see a BT Openreach van anywhere near your property, be afraid. Actually, given how dangerous their drivers are, if you see a BT Openreach van just run for cover.
I have vented. It was cathartic. I will now await the phone call from the poor soul Openreach appoint to deal with my complaint and look forward to their insincere apology and explanation of why they don't think they owe me money to repair the damage they've caused, which will undoubtedly be followed by a tirade that will make my opening post in this thread look like the sort of message you'd find in one of those sickly Hallmark cards.
That`s the problem with the British workforce these days (not all, I will admit) they just don`t give a **bleep**. I would raise this with your council and MP.
I needed help have had Bt van left outside house dont even live in street . Trying to find person to ask him or her to move it to where they live . As they dont live in the area i am .tried to get find out who the driver is the registrations is **edited by Mod** any help be gratful thankyou
Hi @Deborah2 Sorry that the parking of this van is causing you concern.
Please visit Openreach and select "I want to report an Openreach engineer or driver" and Openreach will look into this for you.
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