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Tiscali Problems

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Tiscali Problems

As part of a long weekend away I spent yet more time on the trains today to visit some friends in Loughborough.

Talking to them I discovered that their broadband had been down for thirty-five days due to an unspecified problem "at the exchange".

Always the curious type I set about fault finding and came across an unusual solution.

The house has an old style master socket, so I was unable to use the test connection and eliminate internal wiring. I did however move the laptop from it's home upstairs (via standard extension cable) and directly to the master socket.

Swapping out the micro filters had no effect, nor did changing the RJ11 cable, or unplugging the phone. I was unable to change the modem as there was only one modem in the house.

Plugging the phone back in to perform a quiet line test I heard a lot of modem noise on the line (hiss and definite modem tones) and after fourteen seconds the modem synced.

On hanging up the modem loses sync after about seventeen seconds.

Leaving the phone off the hook the two of them are able to get broadband for about fifteen minutes, so there is at least a temporary fix, but I have the following questions-
1. What about cause noise on the line if filters are installed. Am I to assume that both of them are suddenly faulty?
2. Why should the broadband only sync when there is a carrier signal to the phone?
3. With the results of the quiet line test should I advise them to contact BT or Tiscali?

The connection is on the Loughborough exchange and in a Tiscali LLU area. BT Speedtester will not work, suggesting their connection is LLU.

BT report VP as red at Loughborough but I assume this is not relevant to LLU provisioned broadband (is there a Tiscali exchange checker?).

The modem is a Thomson SpeedTouch 330 USB modem connected to a Windows XP Home laptop via Excelsus DSL filters and broadband grade RJ11 cable. I have been unable to find SNR figures etc. on the modem diagnostic screen.

Any help gratefully received.
7 REPLIES
Isitme
Grafter
Posts: 112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Tiscali Problems

Just a thought, do they have a Sky box plugged in without a filter? Unlikely, but do they have anything else plugged in that causes call back, such as alarms, or tank level indicators? If you are hearing noise on the quiet line test when the modem is syncing, that suggests faulty filters.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Tiscali Problems

Hi,

This is how to find the line stats on the 330:

http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/frogstats.htm

On LLU the BT VP status doesn't matter, Tiscali don't provide an equivalent checker.

As for the actual problem, sounds like a loop on the line where the copper pair are touching. Could be as Tom suggests a Sky box or alarm system tooked in a cupboard that's been forgotten about or it could be at any point between the equipment and exchange.
N/A

Tiscali Problems

The house is rented so it is entirely possible there is some legacy kit tucked away somewhere out of sight. As their landlord has recently changed, there's no way to check without an intensive search- which probably won't find anything as there's no alarm box outside the house, and no satellite dish.

I will be gifting them (students- need I say more) a wireless router I have upgraded from to allow them to use the master socket, and will chuck a couple of working microfilters in their direction at the same time. With any luck this will deal with the noise when the USB modem is syncing, either by eliminating a faulty modem, or replacing faulty microfilters (or both).

In terms of only being able to connect when there is a carrier to the phone, I have asked them to phone Tiscali and mention what I've done and hopefully Tiscali will arrange for an engineer to test the line (perhaps replacing the master socket, or I'll do it next time I'm up).

If anyone has any suggestions for prodding Tiscali and/or BT into action I'd appreciate them.

Didn't think that BT VP's could have any effect on LLU connections, thanks for confirming that.

Is a shame Tiscali are not transparent about their exchange problems.

After 35 days without broadband and zero response from Tiscali, I will be migrating them onto PlusNet Package 2 in September.
N/A

Tiscali Problems

The two of them have just returned after their Easter break and, despite swapping out the filters, modem and handset, noise is still there.

I have therefore advised them to report a voice fault to BT on 150, although having mentioned fees I had them running scared. After re-assurance BT have been called in and will be visiting them next week.

The question I'd like some feedback on is their legal position in terms of fees and availability of broadband over the last two months. As their broadband has been basically unusable for this period is it normal practice for Tiscali to refund all/part fees for the fault period (if it's a verified BT line fault can Tiscali claim their costs back from BT)? If it's not normal practice for providers to offer refunds, is there any legislation that might encourage them to do so?
chrisc
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 19-04-2007

Tiscali Problems

Refunds are looked at on a case by case basis after the resolution of the fault. As ADSL is not a guaranteed service then it is unlikely that Tiscali can reclaim costs from BT.
From experience, refunds are more likely to be made for faults on the Tiscali platform than on IP Stream. Comment on the fault ticket when the issue is resolved and the request will get looked at for you.
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Tiscali Problems

Sorry Chris, I appreciate your input, but these people are actually paying Tiscali until their contract expires in September (and I shall be enouraging them to migrate to PN at that point). As such I'm obviously not trying to claim a refund from yourselves. :lol:

I was looking more at general legislative/industry policy and regulations, or users prior experience with claiming refunds from Tiscali.

The post was created as Tiscali customer support has been completely useless over a period of two months, and I have been helping them resolve their connection issues since I visited mid March (the Easter break has held this up a bit as both are students). Having heard the noise on their line (despite swapping everything out and using filters and a modem from my house) I am confident that visits from BT will lead to action (the engineer will have to be deaf to miss it). With any luck the faulty stretch of line will be replaced or repaired next week and that'll be the end of their sync issues (Dave suggested that the pairs are touching in a loop on the line and I'm inclined to agree that is the case).

The issue now is that Tiscali have been taking their money for two months for a service that was completely unusable until I visited, and has been barely usable since I discovered the trick with the phone. That isn't so bad as Tiscali don't appear to have been the cause of the problem but forty plus calls without even a suggestion to try the master socket, change filters or run a noise test on the line is completely unacceptable, and responsibilty for the duration of the issue therefore lies solely with Tiscali.
chrisc
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 19-04-2007

Tiscali Problems

Sorry, misunderstood! Cheesy

TBH i'm not too familiar with the Tiscali refund policy but theres no harm in trying!