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Author Topic: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.  (Read 2910 times)

Bowdon

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A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« on: January 11, 2016, 12:31:22 PM »

I'm writing this because I think it gives a snapshot of how the fault fixing system works, or doesn't in my case.

*Rant On*

Quote
On January 6th I noticed that I wasn't getting the usual daily tele-marketers calling the house. At first I was pleased by this situation. Then eventually I missed ole 'John' from Nigeria phoning me, so I started to wonder if there was something wrong with the phone. I decided to call  the phone from my cell phone, and sure enough my landline didn't ring. As my cell phone was still trying to connect I picked up the landline handset and heard the usual dial tone, as though nobody was even trying to contact me.

I reported this on the BT Faults reporting website. Being a BT customer for both phone and fibre services the process of reporting the fault was surprisingly easy. I selected that I couldnít receive calls. The diagnostic program ran and said the fault was at the exchange and it would be fixed on January 11th.

After I had reported this, on the advice of b*cat I called the 17070 phone service from my landline and asked it to tell me the details of the incoming call. It reported back to me a different number to my phone number. I dialled this other number on my cell phone and sure enough my landline started ringing like normal.

On January 8th the BT Faults website informed me that an engineer had been allocated to work on the fault. 3 hours later it said 'Clear 
request, we think your fault is now fixed'. I tried calling my landline with my cell phone again and still got no answer. So the fault hadnít been fixed. A section appeared in the report log with 2 buttons, Not Fixed or Fixed. I pressed Not Fixed. It then asked me the reason. I typed the reason and clicked next. At this point the website on Firefox said 'Required field', and went back to entering the reason again. I re-logged in using Chrome and got to the same part, only this time Chrome said 'Cookie expired' and returned to the reason question. I tried 3 computers using both Firefox and Chrome on each computer, so 6 browsers in total. There was no way to re-open the fault.

At this point I decided to call the BT fault line and got put through to India (I thought BT was bringing the call centres back to the UK?). The  guy on the other end didn't really want to hear the problem. He was talking 90% of the call and because the line was quite bad, I only just managed to get across to him that I wanted to re-open the fault. He asked for the fault number, so I give him that.. and he asked for my cell phone number and said he had re-opened the fault and had arranged a call back for Monday January 11th between 6pm and 7pm. Though it wasn't the best call with 'BT India', I thought my objective had been done, especially after I got the text message from him confirming the call back. So I knew he did hear me.

I kept relogging in to the BT faults website all day January 8th and 9th and the fault had NOT been re-opened. This was extremely frustrating to me as its stressful enough trying to get my message across on the phone.

I did write a post on the bt community forum on January 8th to complain about the website's lack of input functions, and a moderator said he'd look in to that and also in to my fault. I still haven't had any updates from him either.

So not being able to re-open that fault I decided I'd attempt to open another fault and went through the same procedure. This time the 
diagnostics said it was near customers house. The phone pole structure was highlighted on the picture.

So as it stands today on January 11th, my original fault number case got closed automatically on the 10th. I've heard nothing from the bt community guy. Supposedly I'm going to get this call back on my cell phone to see if everything is ok, though the guy didn't do anything so itís a waste of time. I'm trying to wait out to see if this engineer on the second fault case will actually come to my house so I can explain what has happened.

My experience so far with BT's fault fixing system demonstrates a structural problem with a lack of accountability. I don't blame anyone 
directly at OR. But I do blame this publically funded mentality that BT seems to have kept from its old nationalisation days. There doesn't seem to be any checks and balances to make sure work is up to a standard. When BT do announce progress, like allowing customers to directly contact OR, they back away from it fast. There seems little accountability so when situations go wrong there is nobody to blame. If there is no blame then improvements can't be made. Like the engineer who supposedly fixed my first fault case. He won't get punished at all. He can literally sign off on a job and hasnít checked everything works properly.

Unfortunately I'm not the only one to experience these situations. A friend of my dad has had a problem going on for over a month. At first BT were digging a hole and refilling it twice a week for 6 weeks. Then one engineer said the problem is up the nearby pole, but it was night time so he couldnít climb the pole and said he'd come back the next day. He didn't. A few days later a different engineer turned up and wouldn't climb up the pole because there was a hole nearby and health and safety. He said he'd have to get the lift machine up there. He'd arrange it to arrive in a couple of days. A few days went by and my dadís friend got a call saying there had been some delays so now it would be 2  weeks to get the lift there.

I think whatever happens with OR there needs to be major changes to increase accountability. If I was the head of BT I'd want 
accountability as I'd want to improve the functioning of the company. It feels like someone somewhere is hiding away from responsibility and doesn't want accountability as he or she knows how bad the results might turn out. They could be bad in the short term but in the long term it would benefit BT, OR and us, the customers!

*Rant off*
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Black Sheep

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2016, 12:42:16 PM »

I totally 'get' your frustration, but to say there is no accountability ?? ........... oh how little doth you know !!
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AArdvark

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2016, 01:24:14 PM »

BS there may be accountablity in abundance but if not visible and/or accessible outside of OR by the end-user  frustration as per Bowden is the result.

I have experienced the inability to get any feedback to OR when a job goes wrong.
The ISP's are reluctant to chase any issues up with OR as they intimate they also have difficulty getting meaningful feedback. (So I have been told by Plusnet) [excluding A & A :)]
There needs to be a way to query a problem with OR that the end-user has access to without the excuse that the customer of OR is the ISP so you cannot talk to OR !!.
If the ISP is not willing to 'go to bat for you' as is often the case you are simply left frustrated and angry.

Sorry BS, it touches a raw nerve :)



Sent from my LG G3 via Tapatalk (Typos & bad formatting are free)

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Black Sheep

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 01:43:41 PM »

Aardvark ...... no problem at all. I know and experience EU's frustrations regarding this on an almost daily basis.

However, it's not always Openreach to blame. There's a severe lack of uniformity across the whole reporting process that seems to cultivate and magnify issues. IMHO I think it's a genuine lack of understanding of what broadband and PSTN services at the front desk, and also EU's completely mis-interpreting what the engineer has said upon attending the fault.

There will always be issues with a company and customer base this large, but we only tend to hear about the 'Friend of my Fathers' tale, that usually gets 'pepped up' to sensationalise and give greater impact. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone btw, just making the point.

But to wrongly state that there is no accountability, is completely false information that I felt needed pointing out. I can't begin to explain just how much accountability there is ................ so much so that suicides have happened.  >:(

 
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Weaver

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 02:31:56 PM »

This is why I want to use an ISP that will beat BT up if needed and do it all for me, so I myself never have to get involved with BT at all.
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Bowdon

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 02:33:49 PM »

Black Sheep.. I wasn't having a go at a particular engineer. I did highlight that one guy because if he did think he had fixed the fault he would have rang my number and it would appear nobody picked the phone up, so he said the fault was fixed.

The frustration comes because I'm finding it difficult to report the specifics of the fault. From what I've read on the forums of people with this exact issue, when the problem is properly listed it gets fixed easily.

The point I'm making is that it seems to be very hit and miss in the reporting of faults so the engineers don't always have the best information, especially for a more complicated job. I can understand the frustration of an engineer that isn't given the full picture of the job then he's asked to fix it.

I appreciate that you feel you have to defend your colleagues. I understand that. As I've said in our other exchanges I think one failing of the system is that the engineers can't leave notes for each other, so when an engineer attends a fault its all new to him. There are probably more faults reported than there needs to be if information was shared properly.

For the record I like OR engineers.. Give me them over the Kelly's and the Quinn's any day! :)

I'm a person advocating more funding for OR, and an improvement in the reporting and information sharing between engineers.
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Bowdon

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2016, 02:35:35 PM »

This is why I want to use an ISP that will beat BT up if needed and do it all for me, so I myself never have to get involved with BT at all.

It would be good for there to be more competition. Unfortunately companies like Hyperoptic and Gigaclear seem to be reluctant to come out of the tower blocks. Hopefully at some point they will.
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Black Sheep

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2016, 03:34:02 PM »

Bowdon ...... thanks for the feedback and please let me say the 'Angry man' icon at the end wasn't aimed at you whatsoever (as it does appear when I've read it back), it's to the poor management-base we have at OR that sees 'managers' using purely stat-based information over whether to discipline a guy or not.

To cap it all, most of these 'managers' were either sh1te at the job in the first place, or more commonly, have been promoted from other lines-of-business (eg: Sales) within BT, or from outside the company. Basically, individuals with not an ounce of nouse of how OR engineering works. Pure and simple madness IMHO.  >:( :no:

It is this, and the god-awful 'Performance based statistics' that have seen the ultimate demise of a once great unit within BT. Sorry, also the poor training a technician gets when take on. It's a combination of all this that leads to pressure, stress, breakdowns .... and as I say on more than one occasion ..... suicide.

Sorry for the rant, as this is internal politics. I just have to make the point that every single action, or lack of, by the engineer ..... is scrutinised to the nth degree. I would humbly suggest that no other grade within BT is accountable more than the engineer is.

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gt94sss2

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2016, 07:28:30 PM »

So as it stands today on January 11th, my original fault number case got closed automatically on the 10th. I've heard nothing from the bt community guy. Supposedly I'm going to get this call back on my cell phone to see if everything is ok, though the guy didn't do anything so itís a waste of time. I'm trying to wait out to see if this engineer on the second fault case will actually come to my house so I can explain what has happened.

Sorry t hear about the problems you have been having - any website not working properly is particularly irritating and they should find things like that during testing.

Its been a while since I reported a fault on-line with BT - I recall there used to be a field where you could add notes presume you added something to the effect of 'Have dial tone but 17070 reports an incorrect number'

From my time reading the BT forums,it can take 4-5 days for them to deal with an emailed query. Given you only contacted them on Friday afternoon, I guess you haven't reached the top of the pile yet.

It is disappointing that when Openreach recently suggested having more direct contact with end users some ISPs objected though I would flag that Openreach spending more money on repairs etc, means higher charges for the public as its charges and return on investment are all regulated.
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Bowdon

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2016, 10:51:42 AM »

Just an update to my thread. An OR engineer came out to my house early this morning. He was quite chatty and was one of the old school. He said the other number that seemed to be put on to my line wasn't a BT number and was probably an engineer for another ISP, or at least someone who wasnt sure what they was doing. Anyways after setting the pulse rate metre (or whatever that device is called) on the line he went back to the cabinet and saw the problem. Took him 30 minutes to fix it but all was good after that.

Also I found out he was the first engineer that came out to my dads friend the other day. He said he would have fixed the problem but he could hardly see the wires to fix it. He was surprised that the problem still hadnt been fixed by the other engineers.

He also mentioned a lot about how the OR engineers are tracked and everything is logged. Even some trackers on the OR vehicles. It was a very enlightening conversation.
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Black Sheep

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2016, 11:06:51 AM »

Most of the OR Vehicle Fleet is tracked ...... that's how we are 'Performance managed'. We don't have individual PDA-type trackers, it's all done off the movement of the vehicle.  :)
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4candles

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2016, 12:06:30 PM »

We don't have individual PDA-type trackers...

Don't give them ideas!  ;)
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Black Sheep

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2016, 12:40:08 PM »

pmsl ................. believe me Mr Candles, it's been mooted before quite a few times !!  :'( :'(
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Bowdon

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2016, 03:33:12 PM »

I can appreciate what you said earlier Black Sheep about the pressures of the job. I can imagine it can be a stressful job if you are the kind of person that wants to stay at a job and solve a complicated problem. It feels like there is a pressure to get from one job to the next asap.

Anyways, I had another good experience when I got to see the OR guys.

Oh, I must report though, even when I attempted to push the Fixed button on the faults website it still wasn't having any of it! lol.
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Black Sheep

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Re: A personal experience with a simple phone fault.
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2016, 03:47:21 PM »

Ha ha ...... the website is nowt to do with us engineers ..... even we can't get blamed for that from management, oh hold on .....  ;) ;D



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