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BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

My BT phone line, which was fine at 16:00 yesterday, suddenly developed a severe fault (router log showed loss of sync at 16:11), became extremely noisy (pops, crackles, hisses) and at the moment is alternating between this and no dial tone.  Of course, this has played hell with my Plusnet Broadband over this line.  Attenuation has increased by 12 dB, sync rate dropped from around 7600 to 448. S/N up from 6 dB to 15 dB.
Last evening I tried repeatedly to get through to BT fault reporting service on 151.  I missed one returned call and eventually had to spend half an hour on hold before I got through to a BT representative.  Half an hour!  Since my broadband is still just about working I had wanted to report the fault online but it says:
"Important
We can only check the line if it's not currently being used. This includes:

- Internet access
- Phone calls using a standard or VoIP phone
- Fax
- Broadband services e.g. BT Vision
You'll need to run this check using a PC connected to a different line and ensure that the line you wish to check is unused."
Am I reading this wrongly or does it really say that I cannot report the line fault using a computer attached to the faulty lineHuh?
It strikes me that Plusnet Customer Service (which sometimes gets complained about on this forum) is vastly better than the phone line arm of BT when it comes to ease of reporting a fault. Later I'll see how BT do when it comes to actually fixing the fault because a BT Engineer is due to visit some time this morning - which is certainly an excellent fast response!  By the way, before I called BT, I plugged my phone into the test socket below the BT Master Socket faceplate to test the line because with the promise of an engineer comes the threat of a £127 charge if it's an internal problem rather than a BT line fault. 
Question:  if I request this, will the BT Engineer be able to reset the DLM on my line after the fault has been repaired?
 
     
36 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

A line can only have one open fault at a time (voice or broadband). As the primary cause is a voice fault you don't need to open a broadband fault - if you don't pay your telephone rental to PN you don't need to raise a BB fault with them until after the voice fault is fixed.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,874
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

Thanks for the clarification Jelv, but due to the wonders of BT's DLM I am going to be left with a slower than normal broadband speed for some time after the (voice) line fault is rectified, even if the line is restored exactly back to its original state.  I was wondering if the BT Engineer who will visit to address the voice fault had the power to do something about that by resetting the DLM system back to its original "training mode"?     
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

I'm guessing your IP Profile will have gone down to 135. Once the fault is fixed the sync speed increase will be very significant and your IP Profile should rise again very quickly. What you need to hope is that the target noise margin hasn't been raised as that takes a lot longer to adjust back to normal. I'd recommend NOT trying to connect while the line is in such a bad state. Once the voice fault is fixed, if things don't get back to normal quickly I'd suggest then is the time to contact PN and ask for the line to be reset.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

As recommend by jelv, we can reset DLM for you and put the line back through the training in period. We'll need to see a stable connection of at least 72 hours before this is performed, just raise a ticket when you want it done.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

Thanks Jelv and Ben.  I hadn't realised (or had forgotten) Plusnet could reset the DLM (after a stable 72 hours).  Last time I had a problem I remembered having to wait much longer until my line returned to normal.
Meanwhile, BT attempted to clear the line, tested it briefly, concluded it was good and sent me an automated message to that effect.  Then they retested it and found they were wrong.  I had to spend another half hour on the phone to BT trying to discover what on earth was going on and make sure they had not closed the fault.  They were unable to tell me whether or not an Engineer will now still visit this morning.  This is terrible customer service.  I say again, anybody complaining about Plusnet should try dealing with a BT voice line fault!    
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,874
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

I'm now on the third morning of waiting for a BT Engineer to come and fix my voice line fault, as nobody turned up for my previous two appointments.  I've just has a call from Jane at BT telling me they have realised there is a 'system problem' and attempts to make appointments with the BT Openreach engineers are not being communicated through.  This seems a shocking error for such an organization but at least somebody called me to let me know what is going on.  Keping the customer informed, even if it's bad news, is good customer service.
Should Plusnet ask clients with broadband speed problems to try the BT Quiet Line test?  You do this by dialling 17070 then selecting option 2.  It is easy to become used to and reconciled to a poor phone line but I don't think you're ever likely to get a good broadband speed if your phone line is audibly noisy (as mine is at present).
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

We should ask customers to test the telephone service if our fault diagnostics point towards this being a potential issue. This would be indicated by an intermittent connection, low SNR margin on the upstream or low upstream sync.
x47c
Grafter
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Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

I have to say my own experience with BT & faults has been excellent.
First occassion BT were here within the hour of the fault being reported and 1 hour later had fixed it.
'twas as usual a fault in the street box which is a total nightmare and needs totally ripping out/start again.
On this occassion due to some line intermittance prior to the fault becoming total my Default SNR was changed and I had to get plusnet to set it back.
Once this was done the IP setting came back up as expected.
I did joke to friends: telephone mended in 2 hours - internet took 2 weeks to return to normal
The second occassion was a clean break due to a large branch dropping on the line during heavy snows.
Again BT struggled through the snow - me helping to push the van at one point to get to my house to fix it.
All fixed without any "damage" to the internet connection.
I think that repair was next day - but on the day of the snows there was no traffic anyway locally.
I was give free diverts to my mobile to keep my landline operational for voice calls.
BT texted me with updates on the job status.
I had calls from the team about to start the job. This enable me to tell them particularly on the second fault exactly what had happened so they did not
waste time on checking the line from the exchange.
I do appreciate in all this that being self employed from home means that I'm more flexible than those who have to take time off work for BT to visit, so if BT needed to change the schedule it would not have been a great issue for me.

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,874
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

Well the BT Openreach engineer arrived shortly after 1 p.m. for a 1-6 p.m. appointment slot.  Just beyond my drive is a big BT manhole, which is currently half full of water.  There is a junction point in a big bell shaped plastic/rubber container with a rubber o-ring seal to prevent water getting in but for some reason the line from my house didn't quite reach, so after 1m of cable there was another junction inside some heat-shrink tubing.  This had not made a good-enough seal to cope with being underwater whenever it rains so the contacts were corroded.  The engineer re-made the contacts and encased the junction inside a plastic container - which hopefully will prove more watertight in the long term.
My sync rate has immediately gone up to 5184 kbps (usually 7600 kbps) although the S/N ratio is up at 15 dB instead of the usual 6 dB.  My IP profile has dropped to 2500, which is better than I imagined it would be, but my download speed ( http://speedtester.bt.com/ ) is 209 kbps, presumably because the Plusnet IP Profile has not yet caught up with the BT one.
What particularly went wrong in this instance was BTs fault logging system.  My appointments on the system were not being communicated to the Openreach engineers.  It took two days of missed appointments for BT to realise this and assign people to communicate by telephone and then another day until an engineer could call.  The line varied between noisy and no dial tone so did not show up as faulty when initially tested - which may have lead to the job being assigned a lower priority.  Fortunately it was completely dead today so there was no ambiguity.
But we waited in all day on Tuesday (because the 151 Operator could not say whether the engineer would call or not), then on Wednesday morning, took Thursday morning off although I got the call at 9 p.m. to say nobody was coming.  And now had to take Friday afternoon off.  We did get free call diversion to a mobile and this worked some of the time but yesterday my wife tried several times to call me and didn't get through.  Overall customer service was very poor - but I am heartily relieved to get the fault finally fixed.          
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

I've bumped your profile to 2500kbps to match the exchange, you can expect a 4500kbps profile if you hold sync for 72 hours+.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

As his target noise margin is now 15db, if this is left to the DLM it's going to take weeks to regain correct sync and IP Profile (he said he usually syncs at 7600 kbps).
Is this not a case where a restarting the training would help?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

We would (should) always recommend allowing 72 hours to ensure the connection is stable before performing an SNR margin reset.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

Thanks, Ben, for bumping up my Plusnet IP Profile.  I'm happy to wait patiently for 72 hours; my line was always very stable hitherto.
Luzern
Seasoned Pro
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Re: BT Line Fault (a perspective on Plusnet Customer Service)

OT, as it did not concern BB, but isn't experience with large companies frequently to the face to face contacts with the man on spot?
An experience I had is similar to ReedRichard's and x47c's.
Not long after moving in to our new to us house, that had a short steep drive, we opted to have the  drive remodelled resurfaced and the sloping  garden terraced, The cable got broken in the work, and required a new run that would leave a scar in our brand new drive. BT man agreed to reroute if a shallow trench was dug in the lawn by our other boundary. IMHO good service
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.