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Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Fault reporting and customers responsibility

This probably isn't in the correct place but I think it needs a formal response as AFAIK the fault reporting process doesn't cover it
When reporting a fault there are a number of tests which need to be carried out to avoid a BT charge if they consider that it is down to the customers equipment or internal wiring.
Try the test or engineers socket
Try another router
Try another filter/cable etc.
However there is now a tendency for BT to install an External NTE http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/btsockets.htm
Quote
With effect from Dec 2008, BT have started installing External NTEs on new build properties. These new NTE housing boxes can terminate up to 2 x copper pairs.
The box will be located on the exterior of the premises allowing BT Openreach Engineers easy access for testing etc and are clearly marked "Wiring and equipment from this point belongs to the property owner. Where Openreach attend for a reported fault and determine that the fault is beyond this point the visit and any work will be chargeable."
Inside the grey NTE is a red tamper proof unit where the copper pair terminates and are connected to the box by an IDC labeled A and B.
The box is also said to contain a filter to help prevent electrical interference.
Entry point to the customer premises is via a cable that passes through the rear of the box which connects to IDC terminals labeled 2, 3 & 5. The orange ringwire is not connected in order to reduce interference on adsl enabled lines.

The External NTE unit contains a yellow plug which can be removed to disconnect the customer owned wiring, when testing by an Openreach Engineer.
BT appear to be connecting these new units internally to LJU's (non NTE5 sockets) which unfortunately means that there is no internal test socket for the customer.
So when this is the case and there isn't an internal NTE what happens if BT find a fault in the customers wiring
20 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Fault responsibility is deemed as being that of BT from the exchange to the demarcation point which is specified as the NTE, whether this is internal or external should not make a difference.
Thanks for the feedback here Jim, especially re external NTEs, I don't think these are as common as what you think but we do need to make provisions for customer using these. For the moment we do have manual processes in place to override things like this if need be.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
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Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Thanks Adam but it doesn't address the concerns of the users - what happens if the fault is found on the customer's side of the external NTE and BT slap a charge on.
Will Plusnet have to absorb it or will the customer be charged
pilchardfish
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎23-11-2010

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Hello
Just to add to this, our house was built May 2007 and internally we have a non-BT socket (I can liken it only to if you fitted your own socket lol) and outside we have a grey BT Openreach box with their logo on it ...
When I had issues with TalkTalk they were telling me in their call guide to try the engineer socket to resolve a problem ... I don't have one.
So I can concurr that this isn't just a small amount of customers. Anyone in a new build from the past few years will have the same non-standard internal box. BT don't set foot in your house now ... for us, the builder did the internal socket before we moved in, and a month after we moved in, BT did the outside when they hooked up the estate.
Smiley Pilchardfish
TicnTac
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Posts: 426
Registered: ‎03-08-2010

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Just to, again add something onto this as I'm sure it affects quite a few users out there, and I'm sure there will be a few nodding heads.
There was at the start of our almost 9 month saga a reluctance to report a fault and to test  internally as much as possible knowing that this "BT Charge" could loom over and cost quite  a lot of money for folks.  Shocked
This not only puts people off making a call (unless the fault is obvious), but puts non experienced users at risk of a charge, despite following basic advice. Also, when we first started calling in and emailing into Plusnet, there was the usual ‘warning, you may be charged by BT if the fault is not found with them” – good that the warning is there, but does throw up some paranoia for the customer in question.  Undecided
It would be nice to see Plusnet not only clarify what Oldjim has posted, but also to reassure customers that when reporting a fault, everything will be done by Plusnet first to make sure that something very basic hasn’t been missed.

To note, our 15 year old house was fitted with internal brass sockets, no junction box at all, so wiring was from outside underground junction to inside sockets, installed by BT too!  Roll eyes

Maybe it's time to see some little Ford Transit Vans with the Plusnet logo on ? Wink - oh and with an experienced engineer in, not one with a days training on ADSL!  Roll eyes
I’m going to guess we all need to pop out and get some spare filters, RJ11 cables, and routers then – although I guess we’re safe on that one having  several routers, cables, NTE5 sockets, faceplate filters and standard filters that have all been fitted, re-fitted, and removed by BT only for BT to re-fit them.
Some clarity would be nice, as currently for a lot of users it is about as clear as mud! Also to note, those on the phone should also be trained up on this, as one false statement from them could result into a large bill for a customer!
........ wonder how many lines are out there with faults through fear of a BT charge?  Undecided
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Hi Jim, good discussion.
You probably know this but for anyone else reading;
External NTE's are connected to internal LJU's (line jack units) using only cables 2 & 5. External NTE's are deployed, generally in new build scenarios, where all internal wiring has been delivered by a third party. This wiring is tested by Openreach prior to the Ex NTE being fitted. The external NTE is pre filtered to prevent EI or RF and generally reduces the impact of dodgy or internal wiring situations. Premise owners / occupiers, where External NTE's are deployed, should have a handbook or guide explaining how to disconnect / eliminate their internal wiring from the Ex NTE. Not actually seen one of those yet!
That said, I havent seen a briefing clearly indicating EU responsibility / test requirements or how Service providers or Openreach deal with internal wiring issues in cases such as this. (Phil if your reading Wink ) My reading of the situation would mean that the only test socket in ex NTE scenarios is outside. Not ideal on a wet and windy day if customers where expected to cart a router outside and perhaps leave it on for testing purposes Smiley
It's certainly a good question and I'm keen to find out the answer, unless the all knowing, all seeing Mr Richardson pops in and educates us all. I'll pop back if Phil doesnt pick this up. One solution could be to deploy an NTE -5A internally with the circuit board removed and wire as a master. Not exactly handy for most of us though. Smiley
Mark
davidj66
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Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

You actually have at least two opposite scenarios to deal with - the one mentioned above, where the test socket is in an external NTE box and all the wiring beyond it is deemed to be internal wiring ...and a second scenario (as I have in my 25 year old house) where BT have wired all three of my extensions back to an external junction box- none are true master sockets - one is apparently a mini master,the other two run off from a splitter box,also external in the porch.
I haven't been able to ever ascertain where my responsibility lies - when I last had a phone fault ~ 10 years ago, BT tried to charge me but since the fault was a waterlogged primary junction box Smiley I managed to get the charge removed......however I pray that I don't get either phone or BB faults in the near future!!
carrot63
Grafter
Posts: 599
Registered: ‎12-07-2007

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

It's a neat little trick that makes a bit more of the setup the customers problem, and hence more likely to attract a "your problem guv'nor" charge. I've been told recently that BT engineers now have a quota of chargeable faults to reach, so this will no doubt help them hit those targets as well as presumably reducing visit times.
Also, I'm not impressed with the idea of fitting RF3s as a pre-emptive fix. While it may forestall problems for some (problems that would seem less likely in a new build), it does take a chunk out of your speed. In my case it reduced a reliable sync of 3750 to a reliable sync of 3200 - not too big a deal if you have a really good sync, but lousy if you're on the end of a long line. Lazy thinking really.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Quote
Will Plusnet have to absorb it or will the customer be charged

To clarify, as things stand anything beyond the NTE is deemed as chargeable if identified as a cause of a fault. Howerver the issue we'll seek further clarification towards here is with regards as to what can be reasonably expected from the customer.
As Mark commented we can't and won't expect customers with external NTE to wander outside to connect a router into the test socket and neither would we expect them to pay to have an internal NTE -5A fitted. I'll take the reins on this, first stop Phil's desk....
Adam.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Hary
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Registered: ‎16-09-2009

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

A price list for working to and from NTE/NTP
It looks as though IDNet are going to select the Base module inspection, which will cost £95 ?
http://www.idnetters.co.uk/forums/index.php?PHPSESSID=dc3f9a67ccc0991ab674e00add3210ae&topic=23284.0
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Hi all,
I've just spoken with Phil re this, what both me and Mark have stated here is correct (apart from the fact that external NTEs may be more common than I personally anticipated).
We are posing your questions about this to our suppliers and will let you know what the outcome is. Although policies are defined as to engineering work for a fault beyond the NTE/demarcation point its worth mentioning that charges such as this are assessed on a case by case basis so common sense and understanding should be applied if we are aware that the NTE is external. I'm going to make recommendations that we are asking customers the appropriate questions to assess if this is the case when initially diagnosing faults.
Adam.
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
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Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

According to Kitz site the test plug isn't one the customers can use
BT yellow plug & test socket
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Understood Jim. We have'nt said that it is. Even if it where, I dont think it a good idea that a customer bring their CPE outside, potentially in the rain or snow, to test in any event Smiley
TicnTac
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Registered: ‎03-08-2010

Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

.........so what happens if it is the Plusnet standard router at fault, or filter that came with the bundle? Are customers expected to have spares at hand, or will Plusnet cover 1 years warranty on equipment which I'm going to guess will come as standard, and before someone throws up the 7 year policy, yes in an ideal world, but we don't live in one of those Wink  Roll eyes
Will these costs be passed on to the customer?
Speaking from experience, I've had BT engineers test everything from the NTE5 socket, including RJ11 cable / filter face plate, and router, to then have another BT engineer test them again and say that one or the above is faulty, to then get another engineer state something completely different?!!??  Huh Roll eyes I have come to accept this as normal acceptable behaviour with different levels of competence most BT engineers posses, or don't as the case maybe!
Thankfully as my fault has all been steered via Plusnet, no charge has been made, and various degrees of faults have been found / covered up, from line to the exchange, through banter and trial and error we’ve played with routers, some of which is to no avail – (still waiting on the trials of the dud-link) Wink
I have a full stock of spares now, routers (some to be returned) NTE5 master sockets, Filter Faceplates, both BT and ADSL Nation, two of each! In line filters, various RJ11 cables, all which have been tested fine, to have another engineer test them as faulty, to have another engineer test as fine and refitted.  Roll eyes
Just getting very worried for customers at the moment, especially elderly ones.  Undecided
We need to move away fromo grey areas, and have a good black & white write up of what will and will not be charged for etc. I'm sure everyone would appreciate that Smiley Especially those who give this information out over the phones!
Community Veteran
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Re: Fault reporting and customers responsibility

Adam implied it which was why i posted it
Quote
As Mark commented we can't and won't expect customers with external NTE to wander outside to connect a router into the test socket