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BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 18th 08, 01:48 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
John Livingston
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 38
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE

It appears that a reported line fault will be charged to the customer,
despite the problem being external to the house (that is - not in
customer's wiring or equipment). This will happen in the circumstance
that a lineman does not find the specific cause of a fault, and enters a
"No fault found" as the clear. In other words, if it's an intermittent
fault, and it isn't happening when the engineer arrives, you will be
charged.

This has happened to me, and I have raised a dispute over the bill. In
my particular circumstance, a voice engineer was sent to fix an HR
("High Resistance") fault which caused the DSL to fail when the phone
was in use. In the process of checking DP and cabinet wiring, the fault
was cleared, but the engineer, not having found a definite problem area,
apparently recorded it as "No fault found". (He had obviously
reterminated a bad connection, without realising it).

From my experience, and from what I hear in other forum threads, It
appears that BT are raising charges by default for all call outs, unless
the engineer finds and reports a clear and obvious fault source. I do
not know if this is now BT policy, or the actions of individual
managers, seeking to meet revenue targets at the customer's expense.

It is perfectly reasonable that BT should raise charges where the fault
is clearly proved into the customer's premises. To charge the customer
for a an inconclusive call to an agreed LINE fault is outrageous.

John
  #2  
Old September 18th 08, 03:37 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 389
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE


"John Livingston" wrote in message
...
It appears that a reported line fault will be charged to the customer,
despite the problem being external to the house (that is - not in
customer's wiring or equipment). This will happen in the circumstance that
a lineman does not find the specific cause of a fault, and enters a "No
fault found" as the clear. In other words, if it's an intermittent fault,
and it isn't happening when the engineer arrives, you will be charged.

This has happened to me, and I have raised a dispute over the bill. In my
particular circumstance, a voice engineer was sent to fix an HR ("High
Resistance") fault which caused the DSL to fail when the phone was in use.
In the process of checking DP and cabinet wiring, the fault was cleared,
but the engineer, not having found a definite problem area, apparently
recorded it as "No fault found". (He had obviously reterminated a bad
connection, without realising it).

From my experience, and from what I hear in other forum threads, It
appears that BT are raising charges by default for all call outs, unless
the engineer finds and reports a clear and obvious fault source. I do not
know if this is now BT policy, or the actions of individual managers,
seeking to meet revenue targets at the customer's expense.

It is perfectly reasonable that BT should raise charges where the fault is
clearly proved into the customer's premises. To charge the customer for a
an inconclusive call to an agreed LINE fault is outrageous.


In this instance did the technician come to your premises FIRST to establish
whether the fault existed?

You should have been able to demonstrate the fault with your equipment, and
then allow him to demonstrate that the fault continued to be present when he
tested with his equipment. If you already knew the fault to be
intermittent, did you make this 110% clear when reporting it, and establish
how you would agree with BT that they had made a permanent repair?

If the technician did not come to your premises first, did you ask him when
he arrived what he had already done? If the fault was by then clearly not
present you should have pressed the point and if necessary asked to speak to
his line manager to confirm that either (a) the technician had repaired the
fault, or (b) the fault was now clearly intermittent.

This is a salutory lesson for us all. It's essential that you as the person
with the technical skill and knowledge of the fault are on the premises to
welcome the BT technician and supervise his/her work. It is worth asking
when booking the call for the name of the technician who will attend,
explaining that you require it for health and safety reasons, or security
reasons.

--
Graham J


  #3  
Old September 18th 08, 04:20 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
John Livingston
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 38
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE

Graham J wrote:
"John Livingston" wrote in message
...
It appears that a reported line fault will be charged to the customer,
despite the problem being external to the house (that is - not in
customer's wiring or equipment). This will happen in the circumstance that
a lineman does not find the specific cause of a fault, and enters a "No
fault found" as the clear. In other words, if it's an intermittent fault,
and it isn't happening when the engineer arrives, you will be charged.

This has happened to me, and I have raised a dispute over the bill. In my
particular circumstance, a voice engineer was sent to fix an HR ("High
Resistance") fault which caused the DSL to fail when the phone was in use.
In the process of checking DP and cabinet wiring, the fault was cleared,
but the engineer, not having found a definite problem area, apparently
recorded it as "No fault found". (He had obviously reterminated a bad
connection, without realising it).

From my experience, and from what I hear in other forum threads, It
appears that BT are raising charges by default for all call outs, unless
the engineer finds and reports a clear and obvious fault source. I do not
know if this is now BT policy, or the actions of individual managers,
seeking to meet revenue targets at the customer's expense.

It is perfectly reasonable that BT should raise charges where the fault is
clearly proved into the customer's premises. To charge the customer for a
an inconclusive call to an agreed LINE fault is outrageous.


In this instance did the technician come to your premises FIRST to establish
whether the fault existed?


No - I did the preparatory work necessary to eliminate the house
wiring/apparatus. Whether or not the fault manifests itself depends on
the current state of the intermittent - not just the technician's judgement.

You should have been able to demonstrate the fault with your equipment, and
then allow him to demonstrate that the fault continued to be present when he
tested with his equipment. If you already knew the fault to be
intermittent, did you make this 110% clear when reporting it, and establish
how you would agree with BT that they had made a permanent repair?


I have router diagnostic SNR/time graphs which clearly show the effect ,
and the intermittent nature. The technician was clearly unfamiliar with
this - but he was sent by BT as THEY had taken the decision that this
was a phone line fault, rather than broadband. (I reported the fault
initially as broadband - the BT service organisation transferred the
action to the voice staff). This is quite irrelevant, however. It's up
to BT, not the customer, to provide the appropriately trained staff.

If the technician did not come to your premises first, did you ask him when
he arrived what he had already done? If the fault was by then clearly not
present you should have pressed the point and if necessary asked to speak to
his line manager to confirm that either (a) the technician had repaired the
fault, or (b) the fault was now clearly intermittent.


Yes - he had tested from the exchange and found nothing. Are you
familiar with the characteristics of an HR fault ? It is common for this
to NOT show up on standard tests - HRs are difficult to track due to
their very intermittency. In the event, his actions were reasonable - to
reterminate the cabinet and DP connections, as they would be the most
likely culprits. (And they were, it turned out).

This is a salutory lesson for us all. It's essential that you as the person
with the technical skill and knowledge of the fault are on the premises to
welcome the BT technician and supervise his/her work. It is worth asking
when booking the call for the name of the technician who will attend,
explaining that you require it for health and safety reasons, or security
reasons.


Are you suggesting that a customer should take supervisory
responsibility for a BT technician ?
Bear in mind that this is a situation which will apply to many other
customers, most of whom have no previous experience in telecomms or BT
processes. The fact that I could demonstrate and explain the fault
symptoms was good fortune - but not an option for other customers with
no less valid problems.
Unless things have changed enormously since I was in BT, there is no way
the fault booking duty can influence the actual staffing of the fault.
If you were to request the technicians name in advance, you would be
told (politely) to sod off, I would have thought.

I think you have rather missed the point - which is that BT are charging
customers for attending intermittent faults IN BT-OWNED LINE PLANT.
There is no mention of this scenario in the BT customer literature (as
opposed to chargeable customer apparatus faults).

John
  #4  
Old September 18th 08, 06:33 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 389
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE


"John Livingston" wrote in message
...
Graham J wrote:
"John Livingston" wrote in message
...
It appears that a reported line fault will be charged to the customer,
despite the problem being external to the house (that is - not in
customer's wiring or equipment). This will happen in the circumstance
that a lineman does not find the specific cause of a fault, and enters a
"No fault found" as the clear. In other words, if it's an intermittent
fault, and it isn't happening when the engineer arrives, you will be
charged.

This has happened to me, and I have raised a dispute over the bill. In
my particular circumstance, a voice engineer was sent to fix an HR
("High Resistance") fault which caused the DSL to fail when the phone
was in use. In the process of checking DP and cabinet wiring, the fault
was cleared, but the engineer, not having found a definite problem area,
apparently recorded it as "No fault found". (He had obviously
reterminated a bad connection, without realising it).

From my experience, and from what I hear in other forum threads, It
appears that BT are raising charges by default for all call outs, unless
the engineer finds and reports a clear and obvious fault source. I do
not know if this is now BT policy, or the actions of individual
managers, seeking to meet revenue targets at the customer's expense.

It is perfectly reasonable that BT should raise charges where the fault
is clearly proved into the customer's premises. To charge the customer
for a an inconclusive call to an agreed LINE fault is outrageous.


In this instance did the technician come to your premises FIRST to
establish whether the fault existed?


No - I did the preparatory work necessary to eliminate the house
wiring/apparatus. Whether or not the fault manifests itself depends on the
current state of the intermittent - not just the technician's judgement.

You should have been able to demonstrate the fault with your equipment,
and then allow him to demonstrate that the fault continued to be present
when he tested with his equipment. If you already knew the fault to be
intermittent, did you make this 110% clear when reporting it, and
establish how you would agree with BT that they had made a permanent
repair?


I have router diagnostic SNR/time graphs which clearly show the effect ,
and the intermittent nature. The technician was clearly unfamiliar with
this - but he was sent by BT as THEY had taken the decision that this was
a phone line fault, rather than broadband. (I reported the fault initially
as broadband - the BT service organisation transferred the action to the
voice staff). This is quite irrelevant, however. It's up to BT, not the
customer, to provide the appropriately trained staff.

If the technician did not come to your premises first, did you ask him
when he arrived what he had already done? If the fault was by then
clearly not present you should have pressed the point and if necessary
asked to speak to his line manager to confirm that either (a) the
technician had repaired the fault, or (b) the fault was now clearly
intermittent.


Yes - he had tested from the exchange and found nothing. Are you familiar
with the characteristics of an HR fault ? It is common for this to NOT
show up on standard tests - HRs are difficult to track due to their very
intermittency. In the event, his actions were reasonable - to reterminate
the cabinet and DP connections, as they would be the most likely culprits.
(And they were, it turned out).


Very clearly the BT technician carried out remedial work. I think you
should rely on this in your negotiation with BT.

The fact that he could not find a fault after completeing the remedial work
simply confirms that he had fixed the fault.

This is a salutory lesson for us all. It's essential that you as the
person with the technical skill and knowledge of the fault are on the
premises to welcome the BT technician and supervise his/her work. It is
worth asking when booking the call for the name of the technician who
will attend, explaining that you require it for health and safety
reasons, or security reasons.


Are you suggesting that a customer should take supervisory responsibility
for a BT technician ?


Yes

Bear in mind that this is a situation which will apply to many other
customers, most of whom have no previous experience in telecomms or BT
processes.


Sadly, in my experience BT will "blind most customers with science" and I'm
sure this leads to customer dissatisfaction.

The fact that I could demonstrate and explain the fault symptoms was good
fortune - but not an option for other customers with no less valid
problems.


Indeed yes, you are in a very fourtunate position.

Unless things have changed enormously since I was in BT, there is no way
the fault booking duty can influence the actual staffing of the fault.
If you were to request the technicians name in advance, you would be told
(politely) to sod off, I would have thought.


You're probably right, but I see this as a fundamental failing of the
concept of customer service.

I think you have rather missed the point - which is that BT are charging
customers for attending intermittent faults IN BT-OWNED LINE PLANT. There
is no mention of this scenario in the BT customer literature (as opposed
to chargeable customer apparatus faults).


No, I understand what you are saying. However, because the technician
carried out remedial work before attending your premises the opportunity for
you to demonstrate the fault was not available to you. This is not good
engineering practise on the part of BT, and I think should form part of your
claim against them.

Please let us know how you get on. If you go to court about this, tell us
so we can all come and observe.

--
Graham J



  #5  
Old September 18th 08, 08:12 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Ato_Zee
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 343
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE


No, I understand what you are saying. However, because the technician
carried out remedial work before attending your premises the opportunity
for
you to demonstrate the fault was not available to you. This is not good
engineering practise on the part of BT, and I think should form part of
your
claim against them.


A lot of remedial work is just going along the associated Krone
strips with a Krone tool. Clears up a fair proportion of
intermittents, then you go to the customers premises and it is
no fault found. Which is why it is better to start with a
voice fault approach, particularly if you have a drop wire
that hasn't bben replaced for a few years, and you
a sure there is a crackle when the wind blows.
  #6  
Old September 18th 08, 09:17 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
John Livingston
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 38
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE

Ato_Zee wrote:
No, I understand what you are saying. However, because the technician
carried out remedial work before attending your premises the opportunity
for
you to demonstrate the fault was not available to you. This is not good
engineering practise on the part of BT, and I think should form part of
your
claim against them.


A lot of remedial work is just going along the associated Krone
strips with a Krone tool. Clears up a fair proportion of
intermittents, then you go to the customers premises and it is
no fault found. Which is why it is better to start with a
voice fault approach, particularly if you have a drop wire
that hasn't bben replaced for a few years, and you
a sure there is a crackle when the wind blows.


Agreed - and a totally sensible approach from the customer satisfaction
angle. But not if BT Retail are charging the customer for FNFs !
Is charging the customer for no fault found a common practice ? Has it
become company policy (either official or de facto) ?

John
  #7  
Old September 18th 08, 11:05 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Jono
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,539
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE

John Livingston brought next idea :
Ato_Zee wrote:
No, I understand what you are saying. However, because the technician
carried out remedial work before attending your premises the opportunity
for
you to demonstrate the fault was not available to you. This is not good
engineering practise on the part of BT, and I think should form part of
your
claim against them.


A lot of remedial work is just going along the associated Krone
strips with a Krone tool. Clears up a fair proportion of
intermittents, then you go to the customers premises and it is
no fault found. Which is why it is better to start with a
voice fault approach, particularly if you have a drop wire
that hasn't bben replaced for a few years, and you
a sure there is a crackle when the wind blows.


Agreed - and a totally sensible approach from the customer satisfaction
angle. But not if BT Retail are charging the customer for FNFs !


They're not, they're passing on Openreach's charges to them.

Is charging the customer for no fault found a common practice ? Has it become
company policy (either official or de facto) ?


It is a change within Openreach that is causing this. Now that
Openreach has to stand on its own two feet, so to speak, it is now more
than the engineers' job's worth to put fault found....imho.


  #8  
Old September 19th 08, 04:34 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 876
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE


"John Livingston" wrote in message
...
It appears that a reported line fault will be charged to the customer,
despite the problem being external to the house (that is - not in
customer's wiring or equipment). This will happen in the circumstance that
a lineman does not find the specific cause of a fault, and enters a "No
fault found" as the clear. In other words, if it's an intermittent fault,
and it isn't happening when the engineer arrives, you will be charged.

This has happened to me, and I have raised a dispute over the bill. In my
particular circumstance, a voice engineer was sent to fix an HR ("High
Resistance") fault which caused the DSL to fail when the phone was in use.
In the process of checking DP and cabinet wiring, the fault was cleared,
but the engineer, not having found a definite problem area, apparently
recorded it as "No fault found". (He had obviously reterminated a bad
connection, without realising it).

From my experience, and from what I hear in other forum threads, It
appears that BT are raising charges by default for all call outs, unless
the engineer finds and reports a clear and obvious fault source. I do not
know if this is now BT policy, or the actions of individual managers,
seeking to meet revenue targets at the customer's expense.

It is perfectly reasonable that BT should raise charges where the fault is
clearly proved into the customer's premises. To charge the customer for a
an inconclusive call to an agreed LINE fault is outrageous.

John


The truth is you have always had to be careful about this.
I haven't been involved with PABX work for about 10
years now so this anecdote goes back at least that far.

Small office system, three of their six POTS lines dead
Disconnected the system from the lines at the NTTP
and tested with a butt to confirm. Suggested to the customer
that he calls BT and report the 3 lines down.
I was on site a little longer doing some extension work
and then had another listen to the lines and I heard them
come back to life one at a time. I re-connected them .
Five minutes later a BT engineer comes through the door,
I greeted him and asked him what he had done to fix the
lines. He shrugged his shoulders and said if he wasn't needed
he would be off then.
I later heard he was charged, and was attempting to recover
it from my firm.
--
Graham.

%Profound_observation%


  #9  
Old September 19th 08, 09:03 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
kráftéé
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,765
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE

John Livingston wrote:
Ato_Zee wrote:
No, I understand what you are saying. However, because the
technician carried out remedial work before attending your
premises the opportunity for
you to demonstrate the fault was not available to you. This is
not good engineering practise on the part of BT, and I think
should form part of your
claim against them.


A lot of remedial work is just going along the associated Krone
strips with a Krone tool. Clears up a fair proportion of
intermittents, then you go to the customers premises and it is
no fault found. Which is why it is better to start with a
voice fault approach, particularly if you have a drop wire
that hasn't bben replaced for a few years, and you
a sure there is a crackle when the wind blows.


Agreed - and a totally sensible approach from the customer
satisfaction angle. But not if BT Retail are charging the customer
for FNFs ! Is charging the customer for no fault found a common practice ?
Has
it become company policy (either official or de facto) ?


FNF has always been chargable but in the golden days of good old (connected
under one roof) British Telecom, charges were very often dismissed,
forgotten, brushed under the carpet. In this 'new' era of a disjointed self
reliant, self profitable, little organisations, charges must always be
raised (if not done locally then it's caught by a national team who have
nothing better to do than trawl through the queues & check each fault clear
code & job notes*)as it is the only way Openreach can raise the oppropiate
cash flow. Of course these charges are raised against the service providers
not the end users, it's upto the service providers is they want to pass the
charges onto their customers.

*I could regale you with tales of engineers being informally discipline
because they didn't raise charges on jobs where they had the nerve to
actually talk to the end user, but I don't think I should & very much doubt
if you would believe me anyway.


  #10  
Old September 19th 08, 11:11 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
John Livingston
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 38
Default BT charging for line fault callouts by default - BEWARE

kraftee wrote:

*I could regale you with tales of engineers being informally discipline
because they didn't raise charges on jobs where they had the nerve to
actually talk to the end user, but I don't think I should & very much doubt
if you would believe me anyway.


I _would_ believe you. I was there, both in the field and in various
management levels. Some of the things I have seen and heard .....

John
 




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