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About to be charged £65 for… what?

davidb82
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-11-2016

About to be charged £65 for… what?

I'd be grateful if someone could explain this to me:

  1. I ordered 12 months of broadband on October 15, 2016 and paid for the full 12 months upfront.
  2. An engineer arrived to do the installation on November 2. He was on the property from approx. 9:30am to 5pm, and did some work both inside and outside of my flat and the building. When he left, he told me everything was set up and “good to go”.
  3. I received the “Your broadband's ready to go” email on November 11. It wasn't ready to go. The “broadband” light on the router just keeps flashing, indicating “there's a problem with the broadband signal” (according to this page).
  4. Contacted customer service on November 12. Was informed there's an “error on the line”, and that Openreach were scheduled to resolve it by November 17.
  5. Got a call today, November 15, from an Openreach engineer complaining that he couldn't get into the property because I wasn't home. At no time had I been told that I had an appointment with this engineer or that I needed to be home for anything. He advised me to call customer service because as far as he could tell, the problem was not on the outside of the building.
  6. Contacted customer service again. They have now made an appointment for an engineer to enter my flat on November 17, but in order to have this problem investigated, I have to accept that I will pay a £65 fee if the fault is found to be inside my flat.

I have done nothing wrong here: I paid a lot of money upfront, lost a whole day of work due to the engineer taking almost eight hours to do the initial installation, and now I have to lose at least another half day of work on November 17 so they can investigate what's wrong inside the flat. Why didn't the first engineer do that? What was he doing for eight hours? And why should I be liable for £65 just because the first engineer didn't do his job?

This seems to me like a blatant case of a hidden £65 charge, which is completely unjustifiable.

19 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

Hi David,

I'm really sorry that you're having issues and that your services aren't working at the moment, I hope that the engineer scheduled to visit you on Friday manages to resolve your issue without any problems and I can understand why you would be frustrated about the potential £65.00 cost that we sometimes have to pass on from our supplier.

A fault is chargeable if the engineer finds the problem is with your internal wiring, your equipment, the condition of your property or the Openreach network has been damaged within the boundary of your property by things like building or garden works or if no fault is found and this is why we ask you to perform some checks before you raise a fault as these checks reduce the likelihood of the fault being chargeable and we robustly investigate all potential charges to ensure they are valid before passing these on to our customers.

The charge will also apply if you miss the appointment or you cancel without giving us 48 hours' notice.

I hope I've managed to put your mind at ease please let me know if you have any further questions.

 

 Jono H
 Plusnet Help Team
Gel
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

Cagney1994
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

davidb82
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-11-2016

Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

A fault is chargeable if the engineer finds the problem is with your internal wiring, your equipment, the condition of your property or the Openreach network has been damaged within the boundary of your property

Why didn't the engineer who performed the installation find any of those things? He said my service was “good to go” after being on the property for almost eight hours.

Community Gaffer
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

Hi

The engineer who installed your service would not have checked the internal wiring of your property as that is not owned and maintained by our suppliers and this is just one example of what could potentially be the problem that the installation engineer would not check for.

If you've done the checks that we recommend doing before a fault is raised the chance of this charge being applicable is minimal but as I posted earlier as a company we feel it's important to be up front and honest about any potential charges you may incur.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Help Team
davidb82
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-11-2016

Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

The engineer who installed your service would not have checked the internal wiring of your property

He unscrewed the telephone socket inside my flat and connected a device to the wiring, which he said was to generate a signal for testing. He left the device connected for several hours while he worked in another part of the building and outside. Was that not “checking the internal wiring”? If not, what was it? And if there was a fault on the wiring, why didn't it affect the test signal?

If the “checks” you're referring to are, as someone in customer service told me, to unscrew the socket myself and connect the ADSL cable to the “test socket” inside – I unscrewed the socket and there was no “test socket” or other socket of any kind inside it.

This still isn't adding up for me. The issue is not whether Plusnet has been upfront about a potential £65 charge. The issue is why, at this stage of the process – after a lengthy and apparently failed attempt at an initial installation – you should be able to hold any charges for “faults” over me at all.

davidj66
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

Key issue is,do you have any extension sockets elsewhere in your property ? They COULD be causing the issue ,however, I agree that the original BTO engineer should have identified this as an issue on the install visit.

Community Veteran
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

The device the engineer left in the socket would have been a signal generator, this would have been used to identify your line at the cabinet and other points between your house and the cabinet. Its nothing to do with your internal wiring - I am surprised he did not install a new master socket, or have you dismantled it too much?

The £65 is a standard thing all ISP's charge, most charge more, and it helps cut down many unnecessary call outs, as people get to check their own equipment and internal wiring first - old phones, alarms, Sky boxes and more all need to be filtered or they can cause Broadband issues.

There are video's and guides that can help you check your equipment, in the links provided above.

davidj66
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

I wonder if there is an "external" NTE5 socket elsewhere in the building - and the socket in the flat is effectively an extension?Huh

Anyhow, the last time I had a "proper" BTO engineer on site -he identified a problem with an extension as he couldn't get the line to pass one of his tests EVEN THO' the phone was working OK and I had a broadband connection.

Community Gaffer
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

As posted by @Mustrum the device the engineer plugged in was likely a signal generator, It helps the engineer detect the line and helps prevent them accidentally disconnecting somebody else.

 


davidb82 wrote:

after a lengthy and apparently failed attempt at an initial installation – you should be able to hold any charges for “faults” over me at all.


This process is in line with the rest of the industry, it's a charge passed on from our suppliers when they are not at fault for example its unrealistic to expect Plusnet or our suppliers to foot the cost of attending an appointment if the engineer is unable to gain access to the premises or if the fault is caused by the quality of the internal wiring.

 

We robustly defend all charges that we receive from our suppliers that relate to engineer visits but ultimately we would not be able to book an engineer until the customer consented to the possibility of the charges.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Help Team
davidb82
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-11-2016

Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

@davidj66 Thanks for your comment. No extension sockets – there's only the one socket in my flat.

davidb82
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-11-2016

Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

@Mustrum thanks for your comment. I haven't “dismantled” or even touched anything in my flat. The entire building was refurbished over the last few months and I'm the first to live in this flat since the refurbishment. The only equipment in the flat is my Plusnet router and filter – I don't own a landline phone, let alone an alarm or any of the other things you mentioned as potentially causing issues. It's about as blank a slate as you could get.

Browni
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Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

This is what a standard master socket looks like.

Is yours different?

I must have been really bad in a previous life. This is my 3rd ISP in a row that uses lithium.
davidb82
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-11-2016

Re: About to be charged £65 for… what?

@Browni Mine incorporates TV (coaxial?) sockets as well, and doesn't have a test socket inside, but otherwise yes.