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Line marker nightmare

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Line marker nightmare

I am trying to help a friend sign up to Plusnet. After completing the ADSL application Plusnet told her she has a marker on the line from another ISP and so they cannot provision the service. The ISP in question is Homecall, she had previously signed up to Homecall but cancelled before the ADSL went live. However they placed a marker on the line and it is still there, months after cancelling.

She contacted Homecall to ask them to remove the marker and they said they would, within 7 days. 7 days elapsed and the marker was still there. She has contacted them on several occasions and each time they give her a new date when the line marker will be removed. After a couple of weeks of frustration she contacted OFCOM and BT Wholesale. Neither of them are able to remove the marker, or force Homecall to do so.

So now she is held to ransom, probably out of spite on Homecall's part, for cancelling her ADSL service before it went live. She is racking up bills on 0845, almost two months after submitting her application to Plusnet.

What can she do? Why is such a ludicrous system allowed to exist where a company can hold the consumer to ransom, months after the contract is terminated?
17 REPLIES
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Line marker nightmare

WooHoo HOMECALL,

I see another one falls prey to this bunch of err idiots?

I used homecall for the phone side only. Everything was fine until I had to close one of my bank accounts down and was left only with a savings account.

They refuse to take payment via any other means apart from what I dont have, so we are left in a stale mate situation. Only they have now got the solicitors involved, with whom I am talking explaining the situatin.

Anyway back on topic, your best bet is to contact then day in day out endlessly until they remove it. Homecall is one of these companies that say they will but have no intention or will never get round to it.

I wouldnt touch them again. Ever...

Your friends other option is to have the line disconnected ( FULLY ) and then have it reconnected. When disconnected BT will remove any ADSL accounts etc from the line ( or should in my knowledge ). Once reconnected again the line should be clear of anything and things should be good to roll.

Phone BT up and see if this a viable option ( just speak in general and dont refer to any specific line or number lol as they will put notes on accounts ).

Regards,
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Line marker nightmare

Hi,

The reason that this can happen is that only one broadband ISP is allowed to place an order for broadband on a line at any one time. This stops duplicate orders going into the system.

The problem is cases like this where an ISP either doesn't cancel an order or place a cease for that order.

First thing to check is what does http://www.bt.com/broadband/ say for your friend's number?

If broadband is enabled there should be a note along the lines of

Quote
Note: If you have an ISDN or Home Highway service connected to this number and you wish to purchase Broadband ADSL, this can be arranged through your Service Provider. You will only be able to keep one of your ISDN / Home Highway telephone numbers - generally you can choose any of your numbers but there are some rare exceptions. If you have an existing Broadband ADSL service and wish to change service providers then please contact both your new and existing service provider to have this service transferred.


In which case the only thing your friend can do is keep speaking to Homecall until they cancel the broadband service they have on the line. If they don't do this then it's best to see what kind of arbitration they have in place.
ceridwen
Grafter
Posts: 937
Registered: 14-10-2007

Line marker nightmare

Another approach might be to send them a letter (recorded delivery) outlining the situation, and that if they do not remove the marker within 7 days of receipt that you will make claim through the small claims court (that will cost you at most £25) to recover the 0845 costs incurred - that might scare them into action.

On the other hand, if the phone bill is high you might want to do claim the cost back through the small claims court anyway...

Matthew
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

Line marker nightmare

Just a thought-- Can the Office of Fair Trading help? Possibly the one local to their head office
N/A

Line marker nightmare

She certainly is unhappy about having to stay on 0845 because Homecall are unwilling to remove the marker. I think she wants to seek compensation for costs incurrent above the £15 she would be paying per month on Plusnet.

Dave, that is the message she gets. Plusnet are checking the line every 7 days for her, and each time they check the marker is still there.

Funny thing is, I thought OFCOM were the regulatory body here, they should have the clout to sort this out? They said they rang Homecall 3 weeks ago and still we've got nowhere.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Line marker nightmare

What do Homecall say about the status of the ADSL order with BT Wholesale. We use a system called eCo for placing orders with BT, if you can, ask them to find the "asset" in eCo and see whether it is ceased or current. If current then they either need to generate a Mac to migrate your friend or a cease so we can place a provide order. If it's ceased ask them to check the order section of eCo to see when the cease was issued and when it was completed.
___oDiN__
Grafter
Posts: 454
Registered: 17-08-2007

Line marker nightmare

a more drastic but effective way it to tellbt you will cease the landland if they dont help resolve it for you, as they are the telephone provider after all and ive found if you give them enuf grief they usually can be helpful (shock horror !).

once the line is deactivated get it turned back on and the marker should be cleared, of course you will be without phone for a short while and prob have to pay the reconnection fee but its a course of action to consider.

the other possibilty it to ring homecall and kick up a stink

demand to speak to someone high up
get full names times depts ect and make sure they agree to a date
N/A

Line marker nightmare

odinsrealm,

I have already mentioned that above :p lol

Its the easiest way of doing it ( by this I mean causes the least amount of stress ).

I had to do this with AOL as AOL were insistent that they do not support migrations out or in and they claimed they removed the marker on the line. So I disconnected my line 2 days later had it reconnected and bang, everything was normal again ( minus a £10 fee to BT for reconnaection lol ).

Since then I used Plusnet as my provider.

Regards,
___oDiN__
Grafter
Posts: 454
Registered: 17-08-2007

Line marker nightmare

oops sorry missed that bit
teach me to skip read posts
Shockedops:
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Line marker nightmare

I don't really think she wants to cancel the line, she can't afford to miss any calls, even just for a couple of days!

Dave, I don't know. She cancelled the order before ADSL went live as far as she knows. I assume that means the line is in "cease" status.

To be honest this is all getting a bit technical. All she wants is ADSL, not an "asset" in eCo :? I'm sure Homecall are just being awkward because she decided to cancel her order for ADSL with them.

As far as I can gather, Plusnet are being as helpful as they can with her. But there's not a lot they can do.
___oDiN__
Grafter
Posts: 454
Registered: 17-08-2007

Line marker nightmare

last client i had that homecall were going to provide broadband on was still waiting for activation after 3 months !

needless to say a verbally abusive phone call canceled any attempts and i brought the lady to plusnet without a hitch
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Line marker nightmare

It looks like her line is already enabled however, as it would appear broadband is on the line.

When signing up to homecall did she put herself into a 12 month agreement, and could this be why homecall are refusing to cease the line?
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Line marker nightmare

Liam, she's got a letter confirming that the order was cancelled, dated months ago. They're certainly not billing her or demanding any money.
___oDiN__
Grafter
Posts: 454
Registered: 17-08-2007

Line marker nightmare

ring bt
fax a copy of the letter to the people you speak to
insist they address it

it may get you somewhere