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Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

How about PN offering an option to pay an extra 25p per month to insure against the BT call out charge? Conditions could include that it has a minimum contract period of a year and must have been in place for at least 3 months before making a claim to stop people trying to put it on to avoid a specific charge. The 3 months lead in could be covered by it still being active up to 3 months after you stop paying. A condition would also be that you would have had to perform the steps PN advise to check it isn't an internal or equipment problem, but maybe PN could then be a little more releaxed with people who find doing all this difficult.
Would sufficient non-technical users who worry about this sign up to make in a viable scheme?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
19 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,096
Thanks: 156
Fixes: 55
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Good suggestion Jelv.
Without meaning any offence to anyone I think a lot of customers wouldn't go for it if we offered that as an option as I think it could be difficult to understand why they would benefit from paying the extra 25 per month.
We don't actually want anyone to have to pay the £60 charge and will help where we can to rule out the chances of that being levied, I can appreciate that some people to view the potential charge negatively or perhaps as a threat though.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

I totally understand where you're coming from John, however, what it would cost to build, deliver, maintain and administer the product and services, I'd suggest, would totally outweigh the customer and commercial benefit.
Ultimately, the onus is on us to ensure that our processes, diagnostics and communication levels are sufficiently robust to ensure customer own domain checks are carried out fully and thoroughly.
As Adam has said, we don't want any customer incurring this charge and if investment is needed that's where it should focus.
M
keith4x4
Grafter
Posts: 78
Registered: 07-07-2011

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

I would be interested to know if anybody has ever actually been charged?
I have never been charged in 6 BT visits, maybe the screening process works?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Unfortunately yes. Occasionally we'll have a situation where a customer will claim to have carried out the checks, when in fact they havent. Engineers turns up, proves conclusively to us that the problem was in the customer domain, charge is raised.
I say proves conclusively, as we have a mechanism to dispute such charges and use it effectively.
M
keith4x4
Grafter
Posts: 78
Registered: 07-07-2011

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Then surely that’s the user / customers fault
I class that as self inflicted, just like parking on a double yellow line
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Hi,
We actually considered this when we revamped the engineer charging process recently, but dismissed it for various reasons,
1) It would actually be counter-productive in a lot of ways
- having 'insurance' would mean customers would be less inclined to do checks required to raise a fault, meaning more engineers sent out unnecessarily
- much higher costs to us (engineer visits cost us much more than the £60) 
- fault resolution times would be increased meaning more dissatisfied customers.
2) There are a number of rules around insurance/credit schemes which make the process much more complicated
3) Most customers will never need a BT engineer - I've had broadband for over 10 years and I've never had an engineer visit - I wouldn't want to pay either a nominal fee each month unnecessarily and I'm sure many other customers would feel the same
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Sad to say, I heard this £60 figure quoted locally as being the standard 'call out fee' charged by washing machine repairers etc regardless of whether the job is fixable or whether it's a total scrap 'un (this is central southern UK)
So while I would totally agree that many will feel it is a lot of money, it is not out of line with that charged by other similar serving organisations.
Again, other areas of the country may be cheaper in this respect
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

The issue here is that many people are very upset at being asked to confirm that they will accept the £60 charge should the fault prove to be the user's side of the test socket (wiring or equipment) when they've checked everything internally. A large part of the unhappiness about this is the common knowledge that a lot of BT engineers are cr very poor and they don't trust them to blame the user, a charge being levied and the fault being fixed. It's all well and good PN saying they will fight the charge - if they know they can't afford it why should they agree to it?
It's rather different a washing machine repair when people will accept that if it is out of warranty and it's broken they will have to pay.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

If the customer has done the checks we've requested then the charge wouldn't usually be applicable (as our checks are designed to eliminate these issues).
The only routine exception to this is where the customer says they can't/won't try another phone/router and it turns out to be the handset/router that is the problem.
The best case scenario for us is that we don't get charged for any engineers, which in turn means no customers get charged.
We've created a process where we look at every charge and only pass this on where the engineer notes are sufficient for us to be confident, and as Mark said, we use the dispute mechanism effectively to increase quality Wink
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,096
Thanks: 156
Fixes: 55
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Quote
The issue here is that many people are very upset at being asked to confirm that they will accept the £60 charge should the fault prove to be the user's side of the test socke

I'd agree that we can and indeed are beginning to use the ability to dispute as leverage for better quality service. I think the one thing we do need to keep on top of is how we sell the message as I can easily imagine that a poorly worded or phrased explanation of the potential charges could put customers off wanting to raise a fault.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

This made me think that a simple change of wording in PlusNet's fault checker might eliminate many of the moans.
On the forums people complain about being 'threatened' with a call-out charge for an engineer when they're convinced that the fault is external or complain that they have to 'go through the rigmarole of checking this and that, plugging into the test socket etc....
If the wording eas along the lines of 'We advise customers, on each occasion a fault is reported, to follow the simple step by step instructions given. This should ensure that internal wiring and equipment is eliminated as a source of faults otherwise our suppliers charge us for a call-out where your wiring or equipment is found to be at fault and we must regrettably pass on this cost.'
Sorry, I have not read through the current wording so I may be a bit off the mark here but customers need to percieve the tests as simple and as a means of avoiding the possible charges rather than a threat of being charged.
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.
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

One of the things I don't like about this charge is the way it is presented by some companies.  My phone supplier (not PN) told me categorically that I would have to pay if the fault was in my equipment or if they couldn't find any fault.  The latter clause is not
mentioned in any of the written terms and conditions and I am convinced that it is wrong.  I'm sure they do it to try to reduce their workload, especially for intermittent faults.  The engineer that visited last said that he had found a problem and implied that I
would have been charged if he had not found and fixed it.  This is all despite the fact that the fault was obvious when I phoned
to report it.  Hope this makes sense.  Wink
FWIW I've had broadband for nearly 10 years and I've needed several engineer visits (some were arranged for voice faults
though).
SidSnot66
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 07-10-2011

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

I dont see why customers should be liable for any call out charge, WE dont own any of the infrastructure its all BTs and they should be responsible for every piece of wire in it, and that includes everything in our homes, afterall I didnt ask for any of it to be installed and the services havent been upgraded as i have an old socket box without the test plug inside. So in my opinion , if you have a problem with your broadband or phone, then its should be up to BT to remedy that
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Suggestion: £60 call out insurance

Hi,
I understand where you are coming from.
BTs responsibility to us (and therefore you) to to supply service to your NTE (master socket).  Is the problem is being caused by something past this point and it hasn't been checked by you (after we have asked you to), then we are charged £144+VAT.  The engineer charge that we apply of £60 inc VAT is considerably less than this.  Also, if you have done the checks that we ask you to, then this will not be charged.
I understand that it can at times feel like we are threatening charges, however, all we're really doing is to ensure that you do not get charged and that the fault can be rectified without an engineer needing to be sent and thus delaying the resolution of the fault.
I personally don't buy the idea of the "call out insurance". I would not want our userbase (or everyone that signs up for it) to suffer because of a potential charge which would be applied because someone hasn't managed to go through the checks which our staff carefully detail on all faults.
Noone likes having to pay additional fees, but I think in this case it is as fair as it can be.