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Telegraph pole challenge

Be3G
Grafter
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Telegraph pole challenge

Hi all,
Long time no post. Wondering if anyone can help with this please…
All the way back in April my aunt decided to order a phone line and broadband service for her house; she'd never had a landline before, opting instead to only use a mobile phone. She chose TalkTalk as her service provider as they had a good deal going at the time. (I know this is a PN forum, bear with me!) A couple of weeks later Openreach turned up and said words to the effect of “your telegraph pole needs to be replaced before we can install a new line; we already knew about this but hadn't bothered to do the work and I can't do it either, sorry, bye”. A few days later TalkTalk contacted my aunt to arrange another OR appointment for a couple of weeks' time and you can probably guess what happened next: OR turned up and said pretty much exactly the same thing as the time before. A few days after that, TalkTalk then helpfully decided to cancel her account!
So, over a month later, my aunt still has no phone line. Knowing that TalkTalk's customer service isn't exactly known for its high quality, I'm strongly considering suggesting to my aunt that she forgets about TalkTalk and tries Plusnet instead for her line and broadband, as the company seems to be pretty on the ball these days. However, I know that Openreach are a law unto themselves, so my main question is: if she signs up with PN, will PN's hands be completely tied in that all they can do is wait for updates from OR until the pole gets fixed in OR's own time, or will PN have the facility to exert any kind of force to get OR to sort it out expeditiously? One of the reasons my aunt chose TalkTalk was because they were offering a phone line installation for free, whereas PN charge £50 – however, seeing as that free installation has amounted to precisely nothing, I might be able to persuade her if PN are up to the challenge of getting her telegraph pole fixed!
12 REPLIES 12
adamwalker
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 16,066
Thanks: 654
Fixes: 185
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

Hi there Be3G,
I think the best thing to do would be for someone on this side to take ownership of managing the order process end-to-end to ensure a good level of consistency. We'll definitely push back and chase this as much as we can for you.
Feel free to PM me if you decide to do this and I'll be happy to do that myself, failing that I can make sure it's handed to someone else here.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Be3G
Grafter
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

Perfect, that's exactly what I was hoping you'd say Adam, thanks. I have faith in Digicare. Smiley A couple of other subsidiary questions I'd appreciate an answer to please:

  • I don't see an option in the sign-up process to add evening & weekend calls for £1.50 if also getting Line Rental Saver – is it possible to add this after signing up, before going live?

  • If she chooses to sign up with monthly line rental initially instead, can LRS be purchased during her minimum contract term?


No decisions have been made yet, but my aunt is interested!
Oldjim
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,034
Fixes: 63
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

The second one is easy - yes
I may be wrong but in relation to the first one I don't think that the telephone control panel is available until it goes live so it can't be done unless it can be done manually
Be3G
Grafter
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

Thanks Jim. Common sense said that signing up to LRS mid-term should be OK, but it did occur to me that technically it could mean Plusnet receive less money overall than they were originally contracted to receive so I thought it best to check!
Be3G
Grafter
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

Well, I'm pleased to say we've jumped ship this evening, cancelling my aunt's TalkTalk account and signing up with PN. (No referral discount, alas, so she can get cashback. Cry ) Adam: you've got mail a PM. Fingers crossed Plusnet make a better job of this than TalkTalk!
avatastic
Grafter
Posts: 1,136
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

If you get nowhere with PN, I point you in the direction of A&A who will fight tooth and nail to get faults resolved, and I can only assume that the same goes for provisioning issues.
F9 member since 4 Sep 1999
F9 ADSL customer since 27 Aug 2004
DLM manages your line the same way DRM manages your rights.
Look at all the pretty graphs! (now with uptime logging!)
LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

Hi Be3G,
Thanks for letting us know! I've flagged this with Adam and he'll pick your PM up as soon as possible.
Be3G
Grafter
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

Thanks Linn.
Andrew: A&A are of course brilliant (I chose them for a line at work a couple of years ago) but the prices aren't really comparable with the likes of TalkTalk and Plusnet, unfortunately! I'm sure Digicare will do a good job; if not, any Comms old-timers will probably remind them how tenacious I can be at getting PN to fix problems. Wink
Be3G
Grafter
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

I've just remembered that I never actually updated this forum on what happened, in case anyone was interested.
After I helped my aunt place the order with Plusnet Adam got pretty much straight to work badgering Openreach in to accepting the pole had a fault. From what I gather, they were being their usual unhelpful selves, but they ultimately insisted that the pole didn't need replacing for the new line to be installed. So, all the parties agreed that another appointment should be booked, Openreach turned up, and…
…they installed the phone line!
I still don't understand why the first two OR engineers said the pole needed to be replaced before they could do anything, yet the third one arrived and had no qualms with the D-plated wonky telegraph pole. But, once it was installed, neither I nor my aunt cared really. Plusnet did drop the ball momentarily in that for some reason the automated system that sends out the ADSL router failed, so I had to poke Adam to get it sent, but other than that, we were both very pleased with how Plusnet got my aunt up and running. And of course, many thanks to Adam for spending more time on the phone to Openreach than any sane person should have to spend. Smiley
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 881
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Registered: ‎14-08-2009

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

It is possible the following happened.
The pole is out of it inspection routine so cannot be climbed as its safety cannot be guaranteed.
The pole is hence declared 'unsafe' to climb
BTOR loosely use the words "needs to be replaced" to the customer which is not quite true - but trying to explain to the average customer about inspection routines is pretty pointless.....
So BTOR have to use a cherry picker van if one is available nearby
The BTOR people report the defective pole on their systems.
The surveyor comes round and carries out the inspection etc and declares the pole inspected and passed.
He would have declared it not fit for purpose it it had failed and required it to be replaced - but in this instance it passed.
The label on the pole is re-stamped and updated.
For any subsequent visits by BTOR - now they are permitted to climb the pole......until the validity on the label is passed  in X years time whereupon again the pole will be declared unsafe until re-inspected.
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 20,144
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

x47c,
A most logical explanation other than if the pole was past its climb validation date, why did they not schedule a cherry picker in the first place?  I prefer the more straightforward explanation - the first two engineers just could not be bothered.
I saw this first hand at my business premises, where I saw around 20 engineers over a 4 year period.  Those who could not be bothered / not overly interested in fixing the issue refused to climb the pole because of "health and safety" and bounced the job until a cherry picker was available.  Those who wanted to see the problem resolved put up a ladder and more than happily climbed the pole.  The best one of all was a spunky young lady who not only was very keen to see the job done properly but was the one who spent an hour up the pole in hissing rain looking for a good pair, whilst her male college sat on his bum in the manhole.  Hmmm me thinks I've just explained that logic - it was a manhole!  Cheesy
Kevin

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Be3G
Grafter
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Telegraph pole challenge

Quote from: Townman
A most logical explanation other than if the pole was past its climb validation date, why did they not schedule a cherry picker in the first place?

Funny you should say that, but the second engineer (for the original TalkTalk order) did initially say he could install the line but only with the aid of a cherry picker – so he phoned for one, and then came back to us to say that after discussion, he and his fruit-picking colleague had decided it was too unsafe to even be attempted with the aid of the raised platform. Yet, confusingly, the final installation was achieved with the aid of the cherry picker after all. I think Adam said that OR told him some ‘work’ had been done to the pole in the meantime, though what work that was I do not know, considering the pole looked no less precarious than before.