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Opinion

pvmb
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Opinion

From another (locked) thread:
"From what I can see on the ticket, you don't want to accept an engineer charge if the fault lies internally...
I'd like to comment based on my conclusions after my own growing frustrations over an extended period of time.
IMO many problems are not solely due to Plusnet. I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to telephones and broadband in this country the whole system is, to use a terribly overused cliche, "not fit for purpose".
Why do I say this? For several reasons. It seems to me that the "system" of management and administartion of the local loop and broadband technology has been based on a false premise - that the local loop is a stable communications technology. It isn't, especially when it comes to broadband over telephone cables. If it were so the present system might work OK - "my phone line has gone (spade through cable?)", send for an engineer - sorted. DLM chooses 'optimum' speed - "everything fine now and going forward". (Oops!)
But most faults seem to be intermittent faults, particularly wrt broadband over the LU - which will lead to "no fault found" when tested and the DLM is very good at ratcheting down your speed on a noisy line, but shows little if any enthusiasm for doing the opposite if the situation changes.
Then there is that £99 + VAT charge to Openworld (I know, I know - but this goes beyond Plusnet). Believe it or not there are people who cannot afford that sort of charge. (I'm lucky, I can - but I still don't want to pay it! - especially on an uncertain outcome) Nothing to do with broadband (or Plusnet) but last few days I was dealing with somebody housebound, who has diabetes and needs to keep in contact with nurses, helpers, family. Phone not working. He didn't want to call the engineer - he can't afford to - so?
I was able to identify it as line OK (BT tests - 'no fault') so can place calls, but bell not ringing. That's as far as I could go as the ground floor flat is equipped with two extension type phone sockets, no BT NTE 5 line box. Following calls on landline to estate managers - "Need to phone BT in first instance", then calls to BT faults - "We will call you back when tests are completed" Oops! How? Twenty minute call to BT Faults on my mobile on behalf of resident at last made an appointment for engineer to call (no other choice really) and hope that, if charged, the charge can be taken through the normal phone bill at an agreed rate rather than as a lump sum.
That charge to Openworld really is a problem. What about a standard, much lower, call out charge on ALL engineer visits, regardless of where the fault is? If fault is on your premises, OK you pay for the work to fix it, Openworld or electrician.
22 REPLIES
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Re: Opinion

the current charging policy is fair IMO.
if the fault is outside your property then OpenREACH (not world as you said) are responsible.
if the fault is inside your property then it's your responsibility and if you want Openreach to repair then it'll cost you. in this instance though you can use anyone to do the work, which might be cheaper than what Openreach quote.
with regards to people not being able to afford a repair, well to be blunt that's tough luck.
i can't afford many things and i simply do without.
pvmb
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Re: Opinion

Great!
And would you "do without" a phone if you were unwell?
If you ever need help, chenks76, remind me to come round to your home to say: "Tough luck!"
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Re: Opinion

I'd agree that the current way is probably fairest.
Line rental charges contribute to upkeep of the external line back to the exchange so those faults are already being paid for, internal faults can usually be eliminated by following the customer checks requested before calling out an engineer, I'm not sure how often Plusnet pass on a BT Openreach engineer charge but I suspect that it isn't very often because they ask for checks to be done first (I know this is more difficult where there's no NTE5 but as much is eleminated as possible).
I think the issue is more about the fear of a charge rather than actual charges, this probably does vary between different phone and internet suppliers, some 'always' dispute Openreach charges and others 'always' pass them on without question, most are probably in between the extremes.
Call me 'w23'
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Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
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Re: Opinion

Quote from: pvmb
Great!
And would you "do without" a phone if you were unwell?
If you ever need help, remind me to come round to your home to say: "Tough luck!"

you did ask for opinion!, or are you only wanting opinions that agree with yours?
if i couldn't afford it then, yes, i'd have to.
a telephone line is not a right, there are many people how manage without one.
are you suggesting that everyone subsidises those that can't afford it?
pvmb
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Re: Opinion

W23 - The main overall point I was making is that most problems are intermittent and uncertain of origin. My original understanding of the Openworld policy on charging is that it is charged if no fault is found on BT equipment. How does that work with intermittent faults, which are never likely to be present when you WANT them to be?
How many £99 charges would you contemplate spending on your line for a fault that "isn't there"? It would be OK for most people to call an engineer if one knew in advance that it would result in a sound line.
On my line, repeated tests always reveal that there 'isn't a fault'. So that's OK then? Sad
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Re: Opinion

Providing you have tested via the test socket and found that the fault persists then there would be no charge
If you haven't and the engineer finds a fault in your internal wiring then you will very likely be charged
Note that the charge Plusnet levy is a lot less than the charge Openreach land on Plusnet
I speak from personal experience with a long standing intermittent fault where I wasn't charged for any engineer visits
Of course if you haven't got a test socket then it becomes a bit more debateable
pvmb
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Re: Opinion

Quote
you did ask for opinion!, or are you only wanting opinions that agree with yours?

Where did I ask for your "opinion"? I was giving MY comments and opinion! Obviously I expected comment, just hoped it might be from more constructive individuals than you.
Quote
are you suggesting that everyone subsidises those that can't afford it?

Gee! How wild an idea is that?
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Re: Opinion

Quote from: pvmb
Gee! How wild an idea is that?

feel free to pay for your housebound friends repair then (should it be a fault within the premises).
pvmb
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Re: Opinion

Quote from: Oldjim
Providing you have tested via the test socket and found that the fault persists then there would be no charge
If you haven't and the engineer finds a fault in your internal wiring then you will very likely be charged

But this is rather what I mean. Sit in a committee to decide the policy: End user tests via BT Linebox
Real World: Housebound older person with disabilities, who hasn't a clue how phones works, no Internet and hasn't even got a BT Linebox
As I said in the OP, this goes beyond just Plusnet.
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Re: Opinion

Quote from: pvmb
W23 - The main overall point I was making is that most problems are intermittent and uncertain of origin. My original understanding of the Openworld policy on charging is that it is charged if no fault is found on BT equipment.

I'd only expect a charge to be passed on to the customer (and believe this is usually the case) if a fault was identified in the customer's wiring / equipment, a customer should not be charged for 'no fault found' (unless there's evidence of a customer claiming there's a fault when there actually isn't - deliberately wasting other people's time - rare but is does sometimes happen).
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
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Re: Opinion

I reckon some Openreach engineers consider the type of fault and the type of user, and then determine what they will be able to get away with doing and not doing.
If they are called out for a broadband not working as well it ought to kind of fault, they realise that they are probably dealing with a reasonably knowledgeable user who would have done basic checks such as trying another microfilter and another modem/router. They figure that they might get called back again another day if they don't bother to do anything or don't fix the problem. So they might as well at least replace the master socket and fit a new SSFP.
On the other hand, if the fault is the phone not working, all they have to do is get the phone working again, and then they can say it's fixed. There's no need to sort it out properly if they can get the phone working again and leave the wiring and sockets in much the same mess as they were before. They know it's easier to slap the end user with a charge if they don't have a test socket, so bonus marks to them if they can fix it without installing a modern master socket. Tell the end user they'd be a charge for fitting a new master socket, don't fit one, then charge them anyway because they can blame your wiring. Charge the end user, either the end user pays, or complains about it. So they either get more money off the end user, or have to refund the charge and are no worse off than if they didn't charge them in the first place.
For the problem in the opening post of this thread, might as well try plugging in a phone via a microfilter, just in case the problem is failed bell components in the old style master socket. Microfilters contain components to create the ringing current on the bell wire of their phone socket. It's pretty unlikely to make any difference because most phones don't use the bell wire anyway.
pvmb
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Re: Opinion

The suggestion to use an ADSL filter seems to make sense (it vaguely crossed my mind in retrospect) as the filter contains the components (eg capacitor) for the bell ringing circuit.
As the location (a relatively new build) had only MK extension sockets rather than a proper BT installed NTE5 line box, I gather these may not have a capacitor in the socket, which is probably why my corded test phone would not ring! These things are installed by default by builders, apparently. Jeez! Another piece of the idiocy that constitutes the UK Communications Industry 'standards' (no wonder nothing works!). I am informed that cordless phone base units, for whatever reason DO contain their own capacitor circuit so will still ring if such a non-standard 'standard' setups has a failed or no capacitor. Hence the bell 'fault' on the working test phone. Grrrr!
The engineer came and delared the line to be OK. The socket was not replaced with a BT NTE5 one. There will be no charge. Now the end user just needs to get a new cordless phone and see.
(Mind you, I thought the bell wire circuit - via the capacitor - was irrelevent nowadays. Bell wire at my place isn't even in circuit. My corded phone rings OK.)
jjc
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Re: Opinion

The capacitor is only in the "master" socket to provide ringing to any extention sockets and "old" style phones that were internaly coded as an ext, this was put in place for the old rotary dial phones as the pulsing on the extenitons use to make the master "ding" with the change to DTMF it is not needed any more unless you use a "vintage" phone with old style internals. All modern phones only use the "A" and "B" legs on connectors 2 and 5. 3 is the ring connection to the ext sockets and old style internals.
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Re: Opinion

Sorry you are wrong jjc, there are still one or two (DTMF) phones or so (and that includes cordless) and I think some Fax machines, that need the bell wire. There are fewer and fewer of them though. But as pvmb says, in a broad band situation, each filter has it's own (filtered bell wire and capacitor) and they of course can be be used equally well in a non-broadband situation to check whether a particular phone rings.
Quote from: pvmb
As the location (a relatively new build) had only MK extension sockets rather than a proper BT installed NTE5 line box, I gather these may not have a capacitor in the socket

An MK Master socket will have a Capacitor fitted, so maybe they didn't fit a Master, did you look to see if either socket was a master?
Quote from: pvmb
The suggestion to use an ADSL filter seems to make sense (it vaguely crossed my mind in retrospect) as the filter contains the components (eg capacitor) for the bell ringing circuit.

Correct. If a particular instrument is not ringing, plug it into a filter first and the filter into the socket (even another filter if there's broadband). If the phone still doesn't ring, then the phone is faulty. If it now rings, the installation is faulty, or if plugged into another filter, that filter maybe faulty.
Quote from: pvmb
I am informed that cordless phone base units, for whatever reason DO contain their own capacitor circuit so will still ring if such a non-standard 'standard' setups has a failed or no capacitor.

As I've commented above, that's not always there case, there have been some about that need a bell-wire (or a local filter).
Quote from: pvmb
The engineer came and declared the line to be OK. The socket was not replaced with a BT NTE5 one.

Quote from: Oldjim
Providing you have tested via the test socket and found that the fault persists then there would be no charge
If you haven't and the engineer finds a fault in your internal wiring then you will very likely be charged

Now this is where some additionally clarity is needed.
If the installation was an original BT installation with BT sockets but of the old type with no NTE5a, then an engineer attending a fault should replace the Master with an NTE5a as part of standard procedure even if there is no fault internally (or externally).  With this sort of installation, Openreach are still responsible for the sockets and wiring so even if there is a fault internally, the customer would not be liable - unless there was damage to the cable caused by the customer. Once an NTE5a is fitted then the internal wiring becomes the customer responsibility.
In the case explained by pvmb, then this is more tricky, Openreach would not be under an obligation to fit an NTE5a, but a decent engineer would probably do so. However any internal wiring fault would be the responsibility of the property owner (which could be the customer).
Quote from: pvmb
..................OK you pay for the work to fix it, Openworld or electrician.

Don't employ an electrician to fix telecoms stuff, employ a telecoms engineer. Most electricians don't properly understand telephone wiring and especially in a broadband situation.
pvmb, I suggest you pop back with a filter and check whether the cordless phone will ring or not when plugged in via a filter.