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Digital network fault handling - bizarre!

198kHz
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Posts: 3,314
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Registered: 30-07-2008

Digital network fault handling - bizarre!

Having taken voluntary redundancy from BT engineering (networks) in '99, I was of course aware that the telecoms industry is very different now. Even so, while following this thread, I was shocked to discover how Plusnet – and presumably other ISPs – now handle exchange switching/transmission faults.

The problem had been manifest "for a few weeks" when the OP opened the thread on 24 April, so, say around the beginning of that month. Following an update from the customer with additional information on the symptoms, Plusnet knew on 22 May that the fault lay in the digital network, and not on the customer's line or equipment.

Nevertheless, they insisted that their only option was to book an engineer (BTOR) appointment, and even then only after the customer had experienced the (random, unpredictable) problem when using a corded phone in the test socket. This was eventually accomplished on 4 June, and an engineer appointment has been booked for 8 June.

In summary, then, a BT digital network fault has existed for the last 9 weeks, which is no doubt affecting a number of phone users, and Plusnet are bound by regulation to keep it a secret. How bizarre is that?

There's obviously no customer line fault. Once it is known that a network fault exists, is it really breaking any rules to just drop an email or phone the appropriate BT division to advise them of a problem on their patch?

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1 REPLY
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 6,850
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Registered: 21-04-2017

Re: Digital network fault handling - bizarre!

Sorry if the faults process causes any inconvenience.

 


The problem had been manifest "for a few weeks" when the OP opened the thread on 24 April, so, say around the beginning of that month. Following an update from the customer with additional information on the symptoms, Plusnet knew on 22 May that the fault lay in the digital network, and not on the customer's line or equipment.

Reading back on the thread you've linked, I believe my colleague Matt offered to send an engineer on the second contact (message #4) after we advised of the internal checks first. We advise of these checks first to try and resolve the problem without calling out an engineer, to help prevent potential charges from being applied.

 

Nevertheless, they insisted that their only option was to book an engineer (BTOR) appointment, and even then only after the customer had experienced the (random, unpredictable) problem when using a corded phone in the test socket. This was eventually accomplished on 4 June, and an engineer appointment has been booked for 8 June.

In summary, then, a BT digital network fault has existed for the last 9 weeks, which is no doubt affecting a number of phone users, and Plusnet are bound by regulation to keep it a secret. How bizarre is that?

If the a line test detects an external fault, we report the fault to Openreach and an engineer should be assigned to investigate externally. If however the test detects no fault, then the only option we have is to arrange an engineer visit.

Whilst I sincerely apologise for the problems they're having, (as above) we advised of internal checks on the first contact, and on the second contact we offered to send an engineer.

 


There's obviously no customer line fault. Once it is known that a network fault exists, is it really breaking any rules to just drop an email or phone the appropriate BT division to advise them of a problem on their patch?

Appreciate the frustration behind this process, however we report a fault through our suppliers application. We would only be able to report a fault over the phone if the systems we use, for lack of a better word, break.

In that example, the agent we speak to at Openreach CMC would raise a manual fault. This wasn't the case in the instance of the thread linked above.

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team