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Date: 24 July 2015

Today's Topic: BT landline fault takes two weeks to repair

Triggers: Personal experience

My Grump: The incompetence of BT is beyond a joke

When you go online to report a fault with your landline, you are faced with a webpage that asks you for certain details.

Visit: and you eventually get to this page:

To track the status of your fault you enter the telephone or BT Mobile number you want to track a fault on. OpenReach Van There are several other options where you can give alternative numbers so they can keep you informed of the progress of your fault. You can also enter a number so that all your calls are redirected to the new number while your normal one is being repaired.

Next they run a fault diagnosis to see if it is them or you. If it's your fault, you will get a bill, so do your checks first. This will determine where the fault lies, either at the diagnostic test centre, the BT exchange, the BT network, the lines coming to your house, or inside your property.

Oh, I almost forgot, you can also add comments in the comments box, so that you can describe the problem you are having. Following all this you are given an engineer appointment and an estimated repair date. This can be anything from a week to a fortnight after you report the problem.

A fortnight mind you!! This is a piece of wire between their property and yours, that is causing a problem, but it will take up to a fortnight for them to even get to you, to look at the problem, let alone fix it.


So here we are with a date for repair, and acknowledgement of the fault and a report having gone to the engineers. What could possibly go wrong?

I got up good and early on Friday the 24th of July because the engineer needed to visit the property between 08:00 and 13:00 to look at the problem. Guess what? I sat around waiting and waiting, and nobody came!! The engineer FTU'd (failed to turn up) all that day.
OpenReach Engineer
So I get back in touch with BT to complain, only to find that there is nowhere, and nobody, to compain too. So I have to 'chat' to somebody on the 'live chat' function on the website. This is somebody who can barely write in english, so it was a good job I didn't have to speak to them.

It turns out there was a communications error between BT and OpenReach, which meant that OpenReach didn't even know I had a problem. The job was not logged and although I had a firm appointment as far as BT was concerned, it didn't exist on the system.

This chat person promised to get back in touch on Monday with another OpenReach appointment. In the meantime their system showed the problem had been fixed (even though no one had been to fix anything) so they cancelled the redirect and there was no way on the faults page to re-establish it.

Did I get a call back on Monday? What do you think?

I had to do the chat thing again. I got another promise of an appointment, but it would be another 4 days further away. This is a problem that should have been fixed the previous week, but now I'm having to wait to the end of the second week just to get an appointment.

Eventually, the problem was fixed by a very nice and understanding OpenReach guy. But, after all the broken promises I was feeling a little jaded to say the least. 'It's in hand', 'Someone will call', 'It'll be repaired in 48hrs', 'You're on the list', Sorry for this', 'Sorry for that'. I have to say, I'm sick of it now. I don't want sorry, I want ACTION!! You just stop believing anything they say after that.

However, I have a much better answer.

If BT are so incompetent that engineer appointments don't even get through to the engineers, why can't I deal with OpenReach myself?

Please share your thoughts below, thank you.

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