BT Failures

BT’s continued failure to provide a reasonable quality of service has reached a critical point this week with many residents losing service, having their numbers changed and BT not keeping to appointments to mend the issue.

Click ‘more’ below to get updates on what it happening and what actions you can take.

Unable to get a telephone line? No or unusable telephone line? No broadband? Telephone number changed without notice? BT failing to keep to appointments? It is difficult to comprehend why we continue to be dictated to by this incompetent, uncaring monolith that controls the communications system in this country.

This page contains the latest information on the situation, what has been said by local residents and organisations and any response we get back from BT (we are still waiting for any).

Have your say
BT Failures
Let the CEO of BT, Gavin Patterson, know how you feel. Email him at gavin.e.patterson@bt.com

When emailing make sure you copy our local elected representatives to make them aware and prompt them to act on our behalf: Share this page, ‘Welcombe Chatter’ posts and your own on Facebook. Also tweet linking back here using #BTFail and #BTCare.

Threaten or do switch suppliers. So far the only one that has been recommended locally is The Phone Co-Op. If you have had a good experience with an alternative supplier email me (below) and I will add them to the list.

If you have any tips on how to make some noise please email richard@beingorganic.com so they can be added here.

Emails from BT
From BT - Wednesday 18th November


Richard/Sally

Latest update is that we have one line testing faulty into a customer’s house but after visiting on 3 occasions, we have been unable to gain access so we have now left a card requesting they make an appointment . We also have one fault outstanding where the customer has service and is unaware of a fault but we need to access a box in the road out of normal hours to clear a minor fault showing on our test eqpt . We will complete this early tomorrow morning . The other reported faults in Welcombe are now completed.

Regards

Dave Thomas, Operations Manager

From BT - 6.20pm Saturday 14th November

Dear Richard,

I thought it would be prudent to provide you with a further update.

We restored a further two customers in Welcombe but on investigation we have uncovered another issue which we believe is impacting a couple of people in Welcombe and a handful of other people in the neighbouring area. We have scheduled to have engineers back on site tomorrow and they have the names / addresses of the customers who are impacted.

I will provide a further update early on Monday or prior to this depending on the progress the engineers make tomorrow.

Yours sincerely

Paul Gilhooley - (Head of Openreach Customer Resolution)

From BT - 12pm Saturday 14th November

Dear Richard,

Apologies for the delay in response. I am waiting a final position on the restoration of service and we are working through the other points but these need deeper investigation (number of spare lines and network performance).

I will provide a position on restoration of service by monday at the latest and a timeline for the other points.

Yours Sincerely

Paul Gilhooley

From BT - 12th November

Dear Richard and Sue,

Thank you for your mails to Gavin highlighting the issues in Welcombe village. Firstly I would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the loss of service to the village.

Within the e-mails that you both sent you mention the resident who has unfortunately spent time in hospital recently and my understanding is that we provided service today for this customer. I believe that we have also made progress with other customers who were impacted by the cable fault but we ran out of light and will return tomorrow to restore service for the remaining 5 customers.

We are investigating the claim that there is a shortage of lines in the village and I would be grateful Mr Bence if you could provide me with the address of the customer who was quoted a significant amount of money to have a phone line installed.

I will provide you both with a further update tomorrow evening.

Yours sincerely

Paul Gilhooley

From BT - 12th November

Dear Mr Bence,

I apologise for the lack of personal acknowledgement. I have been out of the country.

I can assure we have been looking into you points and we respond shortly.

Sincerely,

Gavin Patterson


Chief Executive Officer
BT Group Plc

Email from Chair of Welcombe Parish Council, 12th November 2015
copied to local MP and councillors

Dear Mr Patterson

Below is my email to you dated 8th November, for which I have had no response or even acknowledgement of receipt.

Since that email issues have continued and appointments made by your engineers have not been kept.

As BT appears to be disregarding the impact of continual failures the issues are now being publicised more widely and the community will continue this until they are resolved:
Yours sincerely

Richard Bence
Chair, Welcombe Parish Council

Email from Chair of Welcombe Parish Council, 8th November 2015
copied to local MP and councillors, Anna Dart replied, nothing from anyone else yet

Dear Mr Patterson

I am chair of Welcombe Parish Council and I am writing to you on behalf of the residents of the village who are completely exasperated with the service that BT is available to offer.

Today a significant number of residents are without telephone or internet without any reason being provided. A knock on effect is a resident has had to remain in hospital because the current fault mean her emergency alarm at home will not work.

This is not the only issue that residents have been presented with recently:


  • A shortage of lines has meant a number of residents have been quoted over £20,000 to have a telephone line connected. Unable to afford such figures puts residents at risk, potentially unable to access emergency services in an area with poor mobile phone coverage.
  • The shortage of lines has meant that a temporary disconnection of a house line can result in it being reassigned to another household with no way to get it reconnected. This is a particular problem with new residents moving into the village but I believe has also happened because of an error caused by BT.
  • Business that relies on customers being able to call have found their number changed without warning or reason.
  • Despite requests for further information, the intermittent development of high-speed broadband within the village has no go-live date and BT have been either unwilling or unable to provide any information.

Welcombe is a Devon village on the Cornwall border and is serviced by an exchange (01288 331 prefix) in Cornwall. A concern is that BT have not developed the infrastructure within the village as Cornwall infrastructure funding ends at the county boundary.

The inability of BT to provide a reliable service to residents within the village suggests the organisation lacks the competence to deliver. I therefore urge you to respond to this complaint detailing how and when BT is going to address the points raised.

Yours sincerely

Richard Bence
Chair, Welcombe Parish Council

Resident’s Stories
Post your latest issues on ‘Welcombe Chatter’ on Facebook. Alternatively email richard@beingorganic.com to have them included here. Information anonymised unless request made to mention a name.

November 2015
  • 11th - Another promise that an engineer will visit to fix the emergency alarm today is not kept.
  • 11th - Resident is told by BT person in Bangalore that “uncontrollable conditions” (sounds like excuse babble) have resulted in an increase in the number of fault. Will send someone out on 16th November.
  • 10th - Engineer booked to fix emergency alarm fails to turn up.
  • 9th - Resident with long standing issue expecting a BT engineer to visit to resolve the problem between 8am and 1pm. Engineer does not turn up.
  • 8th - Local resident has to remain in hospital because her phone line is down and her emergency alarm will not work. Another local resident spends hours on the phone to BT finally getting them to agree to send an engineer out to sort the problem on 10th November.
  • 8th - Many phonelines and broadband in the village are not working. Some residents have heard that fault is a ‘card’ at the Morwenstow exchange that has been reported as a problem before but BT have said it is too costly to fix/replace.
  • 6th - At least one resident reports BT have changed their phone number without informing them. Given the number is used to run a business there are significant knock on effects.
Before November 2015
  • Lack of lines in the village results in residents being expected to pay £20,000-£30,000 to have a phone line installed.
  • Homes lose phone lines. If appears that if a line is disconnected for a short while through moving house or for another reason, if another household applies for a line while the other is disconnected they get the line. The original home is then left without the ability to re-connect.
  • Resident has to wait 7 months to get a phone line despite being assured by BT that there would be no issue. Only got a resolution when a BT manager from Truro came out.
  • Regular outages of phone lines across the village.

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