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Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Quote
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.

I'm not convinced further regulation is needed or indeed the cause. They (OR) are certainly very heavily policed from an EOI (Equivalence of Input) perspective by OFCOM. My belief is that the current problems are self inflicted but the internal improvements in resourcing, better integration of systems and much better management is the answer. That's achievable without intervention from the regulator and is simply good business sense.
Dissat with Openreach across the industry is at an all time high and that alone is a strong trigger for change. I get regulation but I'm not convinced all of it is as effective or efficient as it should, but that's for another day. They can and must fix themselves. what exists right now is fundamentally broken but the correct moves, measures and people are now in place to fix that. I guess time will tell.
Quote
I also have to say that my comments equally, or possibly more so, apply to BT Wholesale.

I kind of disagree on that front. BTW have their issues and challenges, however they are so reliant on OR they are left in pretty much the same position as ISP's / CP's. If OR are screwed it has a huge direct knock on effect on BTW.The Wholesale systems and processes are pretty slick and have improved greatly over the years, they can fall down once interaction is needed with Openreach.
Don't get me wrong, they are not perfect, but operationally, they are in much better shape than their infield counterparts.
That said, Liv Garfield and her team are driven, enthusiastic and very customer focused. There is full understanding of the challenges and a huge desire to resolve the ongoing problems. There's a bit of legacy behaviors to change in that mix but it will and has to happen.
Mark
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Thanks for your reply, interesting. I wasn't suggesting "more" regulation was needed, basically giving them a kicking when they foul up and not allowing them to increase their prices just to fund their ongoing inefficiency.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Fair enough. I don't think raising prices will send the necessary signal to the industry. Driving efficiences and reducing unnecessary costs will deliver enough benefits in the long term.
Mark
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Well gents, things have certainly gone up a gear!
Despite being told that this would be looked into on Monday (by two members of staff) someone rather keenly picked it up this afternoon and managed to, without checking with me, make an expedited appointment for Monday afternoon!  When I messaged back saying I couldn't make it, I was told that now it was booked, and as it's Saturday, it can't be cancelled and I WILL be charged £50 - which was confirmed with a supervisor, who went home during the call and therefore I couldn't speak to personally (I'm serious.....).  I was also told that, as it had been expedited once, if I am not in on Monday 1-6pm (I'm working 1-10pm) and the misses can't be in all afternoon, that BT won't expedite it again.  So, basically, for not agreeing to an appointment time, I'm being charged £50 and will possibly have to wait three more weeks for my service.
Good, honest broadband from Yorkshire.
I've written a reply to the ticket which was opened regarding this:
Quote
I am somewhat at a loss as what to do about this.  I feel that even the suggestion I "may" have to pay a £50 fine if I don't take Monday off work is a complete disgrace.
I am therefore formally putting into writing my version of events.
When I signed up for FTTC with you, I requested three potential dates for activation.  Given the time (a weekend+three working days) it took for my old ISP to issue a MAC code, I was not overly surprised when I got a date that was one day after the latest date I had chosen.
This was not a day off for me, so I arranged with my employer that I would work an early shift (0600-1400) and arranged with a colleague to relieve me early, so I could be home for 13:00.  I then wasted an afternoon, waiting for a BT engineer to arrive.  Nobody arrived.
I then called Plusnet just before 6pm on the day of the failed installation, to report that nobody had arrived.  After being on hold for 4 mins and 20 seconds, the call was cut off.  I called again and, in a call lasting 14 mins and 46 seconds I spoke to Christopher Green, so was very helpful and said he would call me back, when he had spoken to BT.  He phoned me back shortly afterwards and explained that BT were unable to make the appointment due to "lack of resource".  He explained he would request a tentative appointment with BT and then, on Monday, when this appointment had been accepted, he would contact BT and me to arrange an expedited appointment.  Apparently the system requires the first appointment to be accepted before intervention can take place.  Although I was annoyed in the extreme that I had been messed about, I accepted it was not Plusnet's fault and was grateful for the assistance Christopher had given me.
I was frustrated that BT Openreach could treat end users with such contempt: if I had not been in and the engineer had arrived, I'd have received a fine of £50 - which I understand is the charge that BT give to Plusnet for an abortive call due to lack of access.  There is no compensation it seems to either Plusnet or me for the inconvenience of BT just not bothering to turn up.  A one way street by a monopoly.
As I was frustrated, I put my frustration in writing, explaining I understood that it was not Plusnet's fault and praising the staff, on the Plusnet forum. http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,108547.0.html
I was impressed that one of your forum staff, Chris Purvey, took personal responsibility for checking this out when he got back to the office today (Saturday). I duly received this response on the forum at 13:24 this afternoon:
"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."
So, now I have two people who have told me this will be looked into on Monday, and both have put this in writing.  My faith in telecoms providers was somewhat restored.
Later in the afternoon I received a text message at 17:00, informing me that my FTTC appointment had been booked for 22/10/2012 between 1pm and 6pm and if I wasn't there then there would be a £50 fine.  Impressed as I was, it was completely impossible for me to make this appointment, as I am rostered to work 14:00-22:00 and there is no chance of being able to change this at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon.  So I logged on and found two messages in my "message" area from [removed].  One of these, at 14:47, stated that he would be trying for an AM or PM appointment on Monday or Tuesday and the second, at 16:59, stated basically the same as the SMS message.
As I was unable to make this appointment, I replied online:
"Thank you for your assistance in rebooking this so quickly.
Unfortunately it is not possible to have someone here on Monday afternoon. I can make a Monday morning appointment before 12. Failing this, I can make a Thursday afternoon appointment this week (25th) 1-6pm."
A few minutes later I received a phone call from link:csa removed, saying, basically that a) there was nothing that could be done to change the appointment now, b) if I wasn't in, there would be a fine (he discussed this with his supervisor, who confirmed it, but then had gone home when I asked to speak to them directly), c) it was inferred that I had accepted the suggested dates and d) now it had been expedited once, it could never happen again.
Whilst I admire Mr Simpson's efforts to "put his neck out" (his words) to sort out an appointment on the next working day, it simply wasn't convenient and I did not have time to respond to the first message, sent in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, before the appointment was cemented.  I was also unimpressed that, despite it being in writing (ticket *****) that I would be contacted on Monday, and again on your forum, Mr Simpson said that the tape would have to be pulled, so that it could be proved one way or the other what was said!
In this situation, it is simply unacceptable to even suggest I may have to pay £50 to BT, for an appointment I never requested.  If anyone should be getting £50 it should be me for sitting in all afternoon on Friday.
I am also unimpressed that, apparently, if I don't make the appointment on Monday, then because Plusnet have made an error in an erroneous booking, and BT have made an error in overbooking their engineers so nobody turned up, the combination of the two errors means that it is impossible for Plusnet to expedite a second appointment, on a day that IS convenient FOR ME, the end user!  Without end users there would be no ISPs, and without ISPs there would be no FTTC, and so BT Openreach and BT Wholesale would not exist in their current form.  The monopoly that is your supplier (I say monopoly, if they don't perform, there is no other option for you or me) are basically laughing all the way to the bank and do not care if I sit in every day for a week waiting for them, because they know I have no other choice.
As I explained, when I received the appointment, I am available this week on Thursday for a PM appointment.  It's not ideal, it's not convenient, but I can do it.
If the appointment HAS to be on Monday, despite my best efforts I have been unable to find anyone available to sit in my house for five hours.  This is understandable, as, Monday to Friday, between 1pm and 6pm most people have something to do, be it work, getting the children from school, or preparing dinner for the family.  My partner will be here after she finishes work, between 15:15 and 16:20, when she needs to go back to work.  If BT can possibly actually humanly intervene in the appointments system, do the external work in the exchange/cabinet and be here for 15:15, then they will have over an hour to change the faceplate and test the circuit.  I do not require an extension, and everything is ready to go.
I'm sure the above will not be possible, as BT seem to dynamically and automatically assign their engineers (aka "resources) to the next job, when one job is finished.  But maybe on this occasion both companies, at manager level, could look down and see that the only person who has done nothing wrong, is me.
Finally, you tell me in the appointment message that I must request a change at least two working days before, even though the appointment is the next working day, yet on your legal page (https://portal.plus.net/info2/legal/) under Fibre Optic Paragraph 4, it is three days.  This is a complete nonsense and makes the whole system unworkable.
I look forward to your response in this matter and that you are able to live up to your slogan of providing "Good, honest broadband"

[Moderator's note by Adie (dvorak) CSA name removed as per Forum Rules
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Well that really is just not acceptable, making appointments without checking with you first that you would be available. Well at least this particular type of foul up doesn't occur very often  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

It makes for sorry reading. You will not have to pay for a missed appointment where you've not agreed to that appointment in the first place. I'm certain someone with the best intentions has jumped the gun, but in doing so has exacerbated an already poor experience.
No doubt the Digi Care team or Mr Bailey will pick up on this in the morning and resolve.
Mark
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

I have no doubt that it will be sorted, and I have no doubt that it just needs someone sensible with authority in both Plusnet and BT to sit down and sort it out.  It's clearly a case of "best intentions" and I think they genuinely believed I'd said that it was ok.
Today is Sunday and, in a way, I'm quite glad that I know nothing can be done today...... it will allow my blood pressure to subside and I can sit down to some roast pork, knowing that the phone won't ring with more bad news!  Grin
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,761
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Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

I'm really sorry to read about the initial missed visit and the appointment we seem to have made for today without consulting you.
I'm going to take ownership of this issue from here and will firstly aim to rearrange the appointment for a time slot that's both more convenient and has been agreed with you first.
Leave this with me for now and I'll be in touch with you directly after I've broached this with our suppliers for you.
Apologies again for the issues so far and I look forward to speaking to you soon.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Just had a nice, friendly, informed member of Plusnet staff call me; big apologies (which I accepted, being a reasonable person and all that) for the problems on Saturday, admitted they had made mistakes and had listened to the call I received.
Three days I could be in were taken down, the appointment I won't be in for today will go down as a missed call, but I won't be charged: it's too late to cancel it.  Once it has been missed then he has a list of three dates and times I am in and it will be rebooked tomorrow, hopefully for one of these days.
Other than the stress caused on Saturday, this hasn't really actually delayed anything any more than it would have if I hadn't been called with the new times until today - I'm not happy with Openreach operating the "airline seats" policy of overbooking and hoping people aren't in, but I guess that is for the ISPs and Ofcom to deal with.
Hopefully my Monday morning smile will remain! Smiley
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Thanks Adam,
I believe [mremoved]  is now dealing with this.
[Moderator's note by Dick(Strat): CSA name removed as per the forum rules.]
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,761
Thanks: 268
Fixes: 78
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Yep, he picked this up around the same time, he's one of the most appropriate people here to deal with that so I'm leaving it with him now. However I'll be keeping an eye on things  from this side and I'll make sure you're kept up to date along the way.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
WhereInSussex
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎19-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Grin
Well, what an interesting 24 hours.....  after the very apologetic call yesterday morning, I was told that it was too late to cancel but never mind, we'll sort out a date I can do today, once that appointment has failed.  OK.
Then... yesterday afternoon BT ring to apologise, but they won't be able to make it... well, I wouldn't be able to make it, because of an error by Plusnet, but.... hang on a minute, this is now TWO failed appointments in TWO working days.  Completely unacceptable.  But, things were about to fall into my lap!
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"Sorry sir, the engineer probably won't make it today due to an 'emergency' call to a 'hazardous' situation, I can however promise you an 8-8:30am visit tomorrow, if you would prefer?

Well, as it was 8-8:30, the misses would be in, I'd be at work and she'd have to be out by 9:45 - it was a gamble, I took it and it worked!  I had FTTC installed by 9:30 today.  Hooray!
So, all's well that ends well.... big let down by BT, the error by Plusnet booking an appointment when I couldn't make it played into my hands in the end - if the appointment had been made for Thursday when I wanted it, then it would have been inconvenient to make it and I wouldn't have FTTC now.  (but if BT had turned up yesterday, I also wouldn't have it now!).
I must say that the service in the last day has been superb.  Two calls to my voicemail today, following me messaging Plusnet about the 8-8:30 job, plus each followed up with an e-mail, so I could have a sneaky read at work, and also, when I got back and plugged the router in, 25 mins later the superb manager at Plusnet who has been watching my account rang me up as he'd seen I had connected.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of my story!  Thanks to the Plusnet staff on the forum for their help too.  I just hope BT stop letting people down soon.
mushy
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎16-10-2012

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Glad it all worked out well in the end but it just doesn't inspire confidence in booking the upgrade to fibre knowing all the missed appointments that seem to be happening with OR at the moment. Something really needs to be sorted out with them but don't know what influence can be put on them by PN or any other suppliers for that matter.
Serious thinking time i think, do i upgrade or stick with what i have.
If it ain't broke dont fix it.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,761
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Fixes: 78
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

@mushy,
I'd say do bear in mind that lots of fibre installs are going through just fine without any issues at the moment too. It's very unfortunate that we are seeing a trend of similar issues being reported here but we have to remember that customers with no issues simply don't go online and post about it.
If you're feeling unsure but would like to proceed for extra piece of mind make me aware so I can monitor the order for any issues such as delays and confirm the appointment for you, I'd not like to go as far as saying that you should make provision for there potentially being an issue which could lead to it being missed but on the other hand I believe you'd be very unlucky to fall victim to a missed engineer visit.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎08-01-2008

Re: Fibre Install - Engineer Didn't Turn Up

Quote from: WhereInSussex
...it was a gamble, I took it and it worked!  I had FTTC installed by 9:30 today.  Hooray!

Phew! Glad it worked out in the end and that luck was finally on your side.  Smiley
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