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Openreach Management

Caerefail
Rising Star
Posts: 75
Thanks: 6
Fixes: 2
Registered: 07-09-2015

Openreach Management

Good morning all,

Reading all the posts about the service provided by OR (Openreach) and PlusNet, I thought I'd share my current problems.

Late September last year the broadband started dropping on incoming phone calls. I carried out all the tests, changed the router and connected directly to the test socket - problem still there. Reported the fault to PlusNet, and by a miracle there was noise on the line during that conversation! However, by the time the engineer came to see us, the line was clear and no fault could be traced. The line improved briefly but then started dropping again. To cut a long story short, 2 or 3 engineer visits and several weeks later, still no fault had been found but the line had stabilised to something manageable. Then in Mid December there was a quick power cut - as if something had just given up the ghost - and the line stabilised, with relatively few errors! (I'm so sad that I monitor my router stats daily and it shows up really clearly - error seconds dropped from 3-5000 per day to 2-300!) So fault closed, without ever really being solved.

Fast forward to 21 March, ES on the line had been gradually increasing then quite suddenly we started with horrendous noise on the phone line before losing the connection completely. Fault was reported to PlusNet and we had an OR engineer visit within 3 days. However, he could not fix it as he needed to go down a manhole and wasn't trained to do so! So we were left with no phone and broadband just hanging on - in an area where we have no mobile signal. All then went quiet from OR whilst I kept nagging at PlusNet for updates. Eventually PlusNet found out that the engineer had recommended replacement of a section of aerial cable so the delay was while this was organised.

On 4th April we had a visit from another OR engineer who was able to go down manholes. He did mention something about having expected other work to be done but.... This engineer managed to find a spare pair (in short supply on our cable apparently) and finally we had a working phone again. As he then reported service provided to us, OR cleared the fault.

However, I could still hear some noise on the line and agreed with PlusNet that we would leave the ticket open and monitor the line. On April 11 I updated the call reporting that the noise was getting significantly worse again and was advised by Plusnet that the fault would be investigated with a target clearance date of 18 April - nearly a month after the saga started.

Come 18th April, the fault was still present and no sign of OR in the area. On 19th April, without any appointment, an OR engineer appeared at the door - good job I was in! At that time, the weather had been dry and calm for a few days, so there was (for the first time in weeks) no noise on the line!!!! Anyway, to be fair, this guy knew the local area, he carried out full tests on the line, which suggested that it was fine, but I was able to play him a recording I'd made of the noise and he agreed to look at a section of the overhead cable that he knew was faulty. During this conversation, he did mention that he had asked for this section of cable to be replaced 8 years ago!! He called me back later to say that he had been able to see a hole in the cable and was not going to clear the fault in his notes, even though he'd not found anything at the time, so that OR would have to replace the cable. Latest notes on my Plusnet ticket show that this is now planned - perhaps it will be done this time as this was what the earlier engineer had noted!!

Apparently, once service has been restored to the customer, the first line engineers report 'temporary service restored'. This then gives their 'control' the ability to report the fault cleared, so it's off the books and they don't do anything else - even if they know that there is an underlying problem! If this cable had been replaced when first requested, we and many others in the village, would not have had the problems that we have had in recent years.

Plusnet and the first line engineers have been as efficient as their systems allow in this case, but it has still meant that we have not had a really usable phone or broadband for a month in an area where there is no mobile signal. The fault lies squarely with management further up the line in Openreach, who will not spend money to maintain the network and act to prevent a known minor issue becoming a major one.

Sorry for the length of this post and kudos to anyone who has read it to its end Wink

2 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,735
Thanks: 104
Fixes: 32
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Openreach Management

Cheers for taking the time to post about that and for the feedback.

 

I'm sorry to see this took so long to resolve and that a number of faults could have been prevented potentially.

 

let me know if there's anything I can do to help follow-up on things for you.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Caerefail
Rising Star
Posts: 75
Thanks: 6
Fixes: 2
Registered: 07-09-2015

Re: Openreach Management

@adamwalker To be fair, as I said, I don't think either PlusNet or the first line engineers could have done much more than they did. The problem lies in OR's reluctance to spend money properly maintaining the network - something I'm sure many other customers can sympathise with Wink

I just hope that they carry out the needed work this time rather than fudge the issue yet again. I know that many of my neighbours have also been having problems but, in some cases, thought that they just 'had to put up with it' Shocked

I don't know who their phone line providers are but I have suggested that they complain!