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Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

I booked this afternoon off work.  Nobody showed up for my FTTC install.  No contact was made until 17:05, when I had a missed call from a non returnable number, while I was on another call.
Whilst I appreciate it is not the fault of Plusnet, I am somewhat irked by the fact that:
a) you can only have appointments weekdays 8-1 or 1-6: how are these convenient for most of the working population or people with kids to drop off?
b) when BT don't "have a resource" (presumably that is code for an engineer), they don't seem to bother to communicate this with their client (Plusnet), who have to chase it
c) if you are a Plusnet customer and you miss the appointment, you get slapped with a £50 fine. If BT miss the appointment, um, they remake the appointment for a more inconvenient time
d) the consumer is at the whim of the infrastructure provider
e) there is no comeback from BT Openreach to the end user, because we aren't their customer
f) if they miss an appointment on a Friday afternoon, everyone at BT goes home and you can't get it dealt with until Monday
The monopoly that Openreach have on the "last mile" mean that the only people who can possibly lose are the end users.  They are the ones who have to take time off, turn down overtime, get someone to pick the kids up from school.  The communications provider still get their customer and BT Openreach still get paid for the job.
And when you go to the Openreach website, you get told that you have to complain to your "CP", who, quite frankly, have done nothing wrong.
67 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

I'd still leave a complaint, but as I've said many times before please complain to OFCON about BTWholesale and OpenRetch as well, oh they will probably say they don't want to know and complain to the CP but tell them that isn't good enough, you want your complaint logged, and they are the regulator, why aren't they dealing with this repetitive poor performance.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Hi WhereInSussex,
Sorry to hear that the engineer has not attended the allocated appointment.
You have certainly made a fair few valid points in your post.
I will get this picked up for you in the morning as I'm not in the office right now and I'll make sure we can get an appointment that is convenient for you.
Chris
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Thanks Chris,
There is a ticket open on my account, I just feel "frustrated".  I'd like to emphasise that the staff I dealt with at Plusnet were understanding and sounded equally frustrated (although maybe not so surprised!).
I'm just looking forward to having nice, fast broadband, from an ISP who has been recommended by several people that I respect for their opinions!
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

I understand your frustration with this and I'm glad you feel that we are doing our utmost to get you connected. Like I said I'll be onto this first thing in the morning for you and we'll take it from there.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,987
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Yet anothet thread about a bt no show... This is getting silly. I for one would like an explanation from jamie ford as to what is being done about this at ceo level... Noshows are becoming the rule rather than the exception.. also, i agree with the op, there does need to be more flexabilty with the appt slots, 2hr shots would be bettet, and come on in this day and age it can be done... Asda can do it.  I have an engineer coming mon, and i have to ask my mother to wait in the house if they havnt arrived by 3 so my.wife can pick up the kids from school...
Moderator
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Talk Talk and Sky to name but two are having the same issues.
In fairness there will be many fibre installs that go like clockwork and don't appear in the forums for obvious reasons.
ISPs are not to blame but it's ISPs that can suffer the consequences.

Customer and Forum Moderator. Windows 10 Firefox 62.0.3 (64-bit)

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WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

The problem is (for the end user) the lack of accountability that the monopoly that is Openreach has to them.
We don't know, for example, how many appointments were assigned to the exchange engineers that day for our area, how big that areas is, how many were kept, how many were cancelled by OR and how many of these were notified to the end user before the appointment time.
The explanation of "there wasn't a resource available" does not tell us anything, other than they ran out of staff.  I presume this is down to BT's "resource management" - they want their engineers to be working as close to 100% productivity as possible, probably won't pay overtime and know that they will have the job rebooked and end up paid for it, regardless.
It's an abuse of position: gas, electricity and water companies are bound by law to pay compensation for missed appointments, BT aren't, and BT charge the ISP if we aren't in for an appointment, but it's a one way street with that too!
davidj66
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Registered: ‎04-09-2008

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Re BT Openreach "workloads"-
1. In my area of South Wales the engineers are no longer attached to an exchange - they can be (and are) sent to a fault/installation in an area of which they have no geographical knowledge; frequently this is a long way from the prior call and they are not supplied with SatNavs,so have to manage with printed  or downloaded maps.The engineer who attended in May told me that the previous day he had spent 2 hours just looking for the premises!!!
2. As far as I could ascertain from conversations with the two BTO men who have attended faults at my place in the last 6 months, they only have an outline of the job/problem when they arrive; so there is no way that they can predict how long that it is going to take. Once they finish they log in for another job which could be miles away. Presumably BTO administratively take a fixed number of jobs per day,so its easy to see how some will drop off.
3. I have been told previously by a BT man (over a pint!), that there have been cases of BT engineers being disciplined for consistently not completing expected number of tasks - so ,to avoid this, some BT engineers will do a "drive by" so that it shows on the vehicle tracker ,then use "the householder not in attendance" line.
The only cure is to increase their workforce - but that ain't going to happen anytime soon - in fact I can see an increasing drive to outsource work to contractors to reduce headcounts still further - further reduces accountability but pleases the bean counters!!!
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

I've had a look into this and as you're aware it was due to a lack of resource. A tentative date has been booked in but I will get this brought forward on Monday for you. I'll let you know the dates available and see what suits you best.
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Thanks Chris, I look forward to sorting it out Smiley
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

A couple of points to highlight.
Openreach are in a mess. No doubt of that.
Its been caused by a number of factors, this years weather being one and poor resource planning being another.
The weather created a huge amount of problems at the network level and drove an increase of about 45% to the national repair workstack.
Since April its been all hands on deck, with contractual overtime implemented, leave reduced and back office staff returned to the field.
Additionally recruitment has been increased, contractors extended and further resource pulled from other areas of the business.
Even with that, the weather continues to conspire against them causing resource to be redeployed to the most affected areas and repair being prioritised over provision.
There is a hell of a lot of work going on at a senior level within Openreach to turn this around, from a resourcing, systems and process perspective. The industry is, rightly, kicking the life out of them and the OR director team are hosting regular conference calls with the industry to keep them appraised of progress.
Right now its the customer and the ISP suffering and there wont be a quick fix. Its a mammoth organisation and the strategy will take time to implement.
Its far from ideal right now and their performance in many areas falls way short of acceptable but there are some very focussed and driven people at director level in OR working on and delivering change. I'm certain they'll get there.
For now, its up to ISP's, like Plusnet, to continue to escalate failings and fight the customers corner. I know Plusnet do that every single day.
Mark
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

I understand the issues that they have, the weather being one.  I'm sure they are working on it etc etc,
But, as you say since April it's been all hands on deck, but I only booked my appointment a couple of weeks back.  At which point before 6pm yesterday did it become obvious to BT that they wouldn't have a member of staff to come round?  Let's face it, if you book less appointments for provision each day, then, if they have so much "weather" related work to do, then any slack in the system can be diverted to emergencies.
Would it be acceptable at director level in Openreach if they didn't get paid on time and nobody bothered to tell them in advance, because payroll were too busy?  (that's purely rhetorical by the way!)
Yes, the weather hasn't been great this year, but this is the British Isles, and if it has surprised BTOR, then you've got to wonder who is running the company!
Why open orders on an exchange on 29th September, if you will be unable to fulfil them?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

They dont know they cant fulfill them.
The order is placed, accepted and comitted. It then moves to the engineering resource control system. This is fully automated and clearly not working effectively.
Using some, I'm sure clever, algorithim, it predicts the number of jobs vs resource availability based on expected / projected job completion timings.
What it cant cope with is the law of sod, emergency cases, an engineer taking sick, breaking down or having an accident. Similarly, resource being pulled away at short notice to deal with an MBORC situation also screws it.
Noone deliberately takes an order knowing it cant be delivered. The failing isnt spotted until well after the event.
As I said earlier. This forms part of the ongoing project piece to deliver improvements within OR. What should be remembered is that the vast majority of daily appointments are met. The forums highlight those which fail. Bottom line is that all appointments should be met and thats what they are working towards.
Mark
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Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Thanks for your detailed responses Mark, glad to hear that all that is happening. But I still feel that a significant part of the problem is/was poor regulation by OFCOM which had allowed OR to carry on in a disorganised and inefficient way and get complacent. They've now had a wake-up call, but that doesn't excuse poor regulation. I also have to say that my comments equally, or possibly more so, apply to BT Wholesale.