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Engineer charge due to faulty main socket

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Trevsmith28
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Registered: ‎29-04-2020

Engineer charge due to faulty main socket

So I had an engineer come around because my phone was not working at all (broadband was but speeds were very variable). Turns out, the problem was the main socket (old style requiring a filter), which was completely replaced as the phone would not work even in the test socket behind the face panel. Having looked into this a lot, it appears that OpenReach should be responsible for everything up to and including the master socket, excluding the face plate, yet I have been charged £65 for the engineer visit, without the engineer informing me I have been charged. Please can someone clarify if I should have been charged for this, or at least informed by the engineer that I would be charged. Agreeing to a charge before you know if it applies is really quite sneaky and having had this exact problem at a previous property and not being charged, this has angered me somewhat. If someone could clarify whether I should have been charged I would appreciate it, although if the charge is valid, this is still extremely frustrating as it was a problem with the phone system, through no fault of mine or anyone else's, because a piece of kit installed by BT/Openreach had developed a fault. This really seems very unreasonable that I can be charged for a piece of kit that I had literally nothing to do with.

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Trevsmith28
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Re: Engineer charge due to faulty main socket

More research, direct from source (i.e. BT/openreach) confirms openreach are responsible for this fault, unless the damage was caused by me, which it wasn't, it was just a very old piece of kit which had issues from the time I moved in. Please can someone get in touch with me regarding this charge which the more I look into appears to be not valid.

Trevsmith28
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Re: Engineer charge due to faulty main socket

Fix

Discussed with customer services (for a second time after the first time the operator was very unhelpful and annoyed with my "swearing", which in itself is conceptually flawed but that is a bigger discussion) and got a refund as the master socket is openreach's responsibility and openreach are notorious for charging for exactly this issue when they shouldn't. So good resolution but doesn't help the problem of Openreach's monopoly allowing them to get away with stuff like this. Hope this helps anyone else who is charged for this in future and I hope PlusNet complain to the Ombudsman/Ofcom about this as openreach really need their monopoly removing or at the very least need some sort of retribution that will actually prevent them from doing this in future.

198kHz
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Re: Engineer charge due to faulty main socket

I doubt that it's deliberate policy, or we'd hear about it a lot more.

All it takes is a tick in the wrong box when signing off the job.

Murphy was an optimist
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Trevsmith28
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Re: Engineer charge due to faulty main socket

Fair enough, maybe you're right. However, I researched this, to make sure I shouldn't be charged and it seems to happen a lot and result in an awful lot of complaints to the ombudsman, which is almost certainly a huge underestimation of the problem. Spend 5 minutes on google and you will find so many complaints across providers and articles in newspapers about exactly this issue, dating back years. Also, incompetence isn't really a great excuse. I am lucky that I actually felt I shouldn't be charged as a gut reaction and then researched to confirm. Many wouldn't have either the inclination or the capacity to realise this is wrong and then research to confirm. 

198kHz
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Re: Engineer charge due to faulty main socket


@Trevsmith28 wrote:

Also, incompetence isn't really a great excuse.


Absolutely not an excuse, but it's a sad reality.

Witness the number of posts on this forum from customers billed for phantom calls to 123 (speaking clock), caused by feckless 'engineers' not using official procedures when testing for spare pairs.

I can't speak for other ISPs, but from what I've seen on the forum over the years, Plusnet do seem pretty robust in taking the customer's side in disputes with Openreach.

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Tridens
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Re: Engineer charge due to faulty main socket

Hi i can confirm anyting outside from pole to property including Master socket is Open Reach BT responsibility

Going back some 15 years had problem with line Plusnet got BT out to check line fault was found at Master socket it was replaced Free of charge

But plusnet and BT were diffrent companies 15- 20 years ago these days they will charge you for the air you breathe

 

198kHz
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Re: Engineer charge due to faulty main socket


@Tridens wrote:

But plusnet and BT were diffrent companies 15- 20 years ago these days they will charge you for the air you breathe


When Openreach decide whether to charge or not, they can only go by what kind of clear code the engineer submits. If it's wrong, he's not gaining anything, so it's incompetence or laziness on his part rather than a conspiracy.

If Openreach do raise a charge, the ISP is not obliged to charge the customer if they think it's unfair. I can't speak for other ISPs, but Plusnet seem pretty good in this respect.

Murphy was an optimist
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