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Annoyed with BT/Openreach

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#1 Tony.

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 21:07

We moved into a brand new house over 2 months ago and we placed an order for our phone line on the 25th October which set a date of activation for both the phone line and internet for the 14th November. Time and time again, BT keep on pushing the date back for our phone line to be switched on. The latest date was today, but they left a message to my mum saying it's been pushed back to the 29th now.

The reason for the excuse is because of ducting and laying down cables. Firstly, they said that they needed to put up telephone posts where the new houses are (the houses are at the bottom of a street where previous houses have been built and have been for 20+ years). Then they said it wasn't overline cables but they need to dig up the street where the new houses where built. Then after we spoke to the building manager who was working on the new houses for the council, he told us the lines have already been wired to the green box down the road and according to the BT contractor who set up the cabling, it should only take Openreach to enable the connection. We told BT this and they again told us that now it's the exchange that is the problem. But now they've gone back to the original problem of there needing new cables in the ducting, but at the exchange now.

We're getting sick and tired but also understand that the house is a new build, but what ****es us off is that BT continue to tell us that it'll be on at a certain date only to tell us that it's been pushed back a further week.

They've set a new date for the 29th and not sure what to do if they fail to meet this date. Virgin is out of the question as they aren't even in our town.

I just want to vent my anger about how this is being dealt with. I have a 900 minute contract on my phone and 3 months unlimited internet with Vodafone. This has helped greatly, but next month that 3 month deal comes to an end and annoyed that we could have further no phone line or even internet.

I'm curious as to anyone else who has been in this situation and how long it took for it to get resolved. There is 17 new houses, half of them full already and everyone is in the same boat. Some are with sky who are being quoted the same dates as us and that it's all down to openreach.

Sorry for the rant!


#2 Singh400

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 21:14

First of all Openreach is operated completely separate from BT (see more information @ wiki).

This would explain why BT and Sky customers have near the same date for line installations.

As for resolving your problem. I always find going to the top works well. The CEO of OpenReach is Olivia Garfield.

Shoot her a polite email at olivia[DOT]garfield[AT]openreach[DOT]co[DOT]uk

#3 johnporter29

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 21:15

BT are absolutely pathetic IMO. I know it's different to you cause, but a client at work wanted to transfer his broadband from BT to BE and it took us 3 weeks of continuous calls to BT just to get them to acknowledge they was providing Broadband to our client, even after faxing over a copy of the bill showing the payments etc they initially denied it!

Will never go with BT for broadband.

#4 OP Tony.

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 22:05

First of all Openreach is operated completely separate from BT (see more information @ wiki).

This would explain why BT and Sky customers have near the same date for line installations.

As for resolving your problem. I always find going to the top works well. The CEO of OpenReach is Olivia Garfield.

Shoot her a polite email at olivia[DOT]garfield[AT]openreach[DOT]co[DOT]uk


Hi there, thank you very much for that email address and the wiki information. I thought OpenReach was apart of BT, silly me! :p

If they fail to meet the 29th date, I will infact contact Olivia myself and see what I can get from it.

Also, I'm curious to ask someone about these green boxes or who could possibly work for OpenReach as well.

My question is this: If there is a BT infinity box at the end of the street (the area is enabled, but the 17 new houses apparently can't get it even though the other houses can). How is the line from the house connected to the box? And if a house can be linked directly to the new infinity box, why the hell can't BT/OpenReach connect us through that instead?

My understanding is that from the house, the BT line would go from the house, to either the main green box then to the Infinity box which then supplies the internet through BT Infinity/FTTC? Or, does the line go from the house directly to the BT Infinity box via rewiring?

The reason I ask this is because they are talking about laying down cable and getting access to ducts etc when they could supply an Internet/phone service directly through the BT Infinity box?

I hope people understand what I mean, haha!

#5 YouAgain87

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 22:19

Openreach is a part of the BT Group and handles the infrastructure but it operates seperately of BT Residential and Business wings which deliver the services (telephony and internet connectivity).

In answer to your question could it be that appropriate cabling was not used when the properties were originally connected to make the compatiable with the infinity service?

#6 RevolverPanther

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 22:26

mate this is just bt, they own it all, they have the last say there complete bone heads

#7 OP Tony.

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 22:26

Openreach is a part of the BT Group and handles the infrastructure but it operates seperately of BT Residential and Business wings which deliver the services (telephony and internet connectivity).

In answer to your question could it be that appropriate cabling was not used when the properties were originally connected to make the compatiable with the infinity service?


No, the BT Infinity question was completely separate to what was originally said. The reason I brought it up (we are going with BT Broadband as we cannot select BT Infinity) was because I thought the BT Infinity route could actually solve the problem, at least, on the internet side of things as the BT Infinity box connects directly with the BT Exchange via Fibre optic links. The question was aimed at someone who has an idea of how the setup is done and if it was feasible,

#8 Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 15:36

BT are clowns.

Their problem: Falling profits due to people using other companies.
Their solution: Have huge prices (£121 per new connection) that feed directors and shareholders.
By new connection, I mean the engineer having to switch the line back on in the cabinet, usually a 10 min job. £700 an hour, thank you very much! Although the last engineer I had to mess about up the pole and such.
The only reason you need a new line is if the last residents stop order was fairly close to you ordering a new line (they haven't had time to get out to the cabinet yet) or if it's a new build house. But for that price, I would expect them to be installing master sockets and such.



Their problem: Slow.
Their solution: Blame it on someone else (Openreach).
While I accept Openreach are a different company, they are still owned by the BT group. Therefore my opinion of the BT group and ALL it's companies isn't very good.



Their problem: They don't really know what they're doing.
Their solution: Give any answer you first think of.
I had many different excuses on the phone with them. Some were simply outright lies because the advisor didn't know what to say. Remember, it's not their fault, but they need to feed back to their seniors that it's just not good enough.



Their problem: An aging network no longer fit for purpose.
Their solution: Pretend it is fit for purpose.
The only thing I needed BT for was the line rental, but now many other companies do it, and usually their "new connection" fees are much less, I think Sky even waived their £40 fee for me.

Their latest advert saying "we're much quicker than Sky" makes me laugh. The line will be as quick as the distance and quality allow. I get 20 meg a second easily. I won't get much better using BT, I'm using the same line :p Although that does advertise their "Infinity" which is a nice name, I suspect Virgin would be much better quality (shame about Virgin's throttling).



If you can, deal with another company. While they are all waiting for Openreach, it's likely another company will put pressure on them and may even give you a discount for a number of months.

#9 Singh400

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 17:43

BT Broadband is a joke yes. But BT Infinity is a completely different product and it kicks some serious ass. I love BT Infinity.

#10 simsie

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 17:53

We had problems with our connection via a different ISP [Virgin ADSL] and they had trouble convincing BT anything was wrong. Virgin's cable isn't available in our area so BT **** on us. Low quality exchange in need of upgrades but they keep pushing the date back because there's no competition here. We're still waiting for ADSL2. The next village along is going to a different exchange and Virgin also cover that area. Connection there is seamless.

**** BT!

#11 MightyJordan

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 19:58

I suspect Virgin would be much better quality (shame about Virgin's throttling).

I'd just like to butt in there. My family is with Virgin Media, and their throttling isn't that bad. We're on the 50Mb package (their second-fastest one), and only our upload speed is subject to throttling, and it's a pretty generous allowance; 6,000MB between 3pm and 8pm. Outside of those times, there's no limits at all. If we go over the limit (which we never have yet), the upload speed goes from 5Mb to 1.5Mb for five hours, which is still more than enough. On the 100Mb package, there's no throttling whatsoever. See the whole chart here: http://www.virginmed...le-fu-large.jpg

#12 Detection

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 21:27

BT Infinity here too, Normal BT line out into the street, don't know how far copper line is used, but the fibre does not run up to the house, cabinet is about a mile or two away and I get almost full speeds 40/10

#13 DomZ

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 21:46

No, the BT Infinity question was completely separate to what was originally said. The reason I brought it up (we are going with BT Broadband as we cannot select BT Infinity) was because I thought the BT Infinity route could actually solve the problem, at least, on the internet side of things as the BT Infinity box connects directly with the BT Exchange via Fibre optic links. The question was aimed at someone who has an idea of how the setup is done and if it was feasible,


Infinity runs on the same copper wire, so if there's issues with that then you won't be able to get Infinity either. For instance in my house the phone lines are underground, and run to a green box at the end of the street. This green box and all the others are connected to a bigger green box which serves all of the village, and this is where Infinity fibre is wired to. So I'm approximately 800m straight line to the infinity green box but I get max infinity speeds.

Has anyone in your new houses got a working phone line yet?

#14 OP Tony.

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 22:26

Infinity runs on the same copper wire, so if there's issues with that then you won't be able to get Infinity either. For instance in my house the phone lines are underground, and run to a green box at the end of the street. This green box and all the others are connected to a bigger green box which serves all of the village, and this is where Infinity fibre is wired to. So I'm approximately 800m straight line to the infinity green box but I get max infinity speeds.

Has anyone in your new houses got a working phone line yet?


No, everyone is in the same boat. I'm aware that the BT Infinity line still goes through the copper line from the house to the actual green cabinet. The cabinet itself is like 100m away, you can literally see it at the end of the road. You can also see where the road was dug up to lay the cable into the ground because the building site manager showed us it.

When we first moved in, the cable wasn't linked to the house, but the day after we placed the order (25th October), a BT contractor came to the house (he didn't knock), and pulled on a rope which was in the ground and pulled out a copper cable. He then installed those new gray open reach boxes which has the master socket inside of it and all the cabling was linked in. He did the first 4 houses as they were now occupied. He then went on down to the cabinet down the street and did a wiring which took over an hour to do and when I asked him if it was for our house, he said it was and that OpenReach do the rest of the work.

Now, at the same time, the second cabinet next to the main one was installed over a month earlier as I seen OpenReach install them as my exchange was going live with BT Infinity this month, but they were enabling customers ahead of schedule because the area itself is quite accessible.

When I checked to see if we could get BT Infinity, it said we couldn't yet as we were not in a BT Infinity enabled area. But, the house 4 doors down can get it, but the only difference to hour house is that ours was a new build and were given a new postcode.

So I asked BT themselves and said "Why is it they can get it and we can't?", and they're reply was "Unfortunately the system they have in place which shows which areas are enabled isn't accurate and that it may be more accurate when the phone line becomes active".

So when they started missing appointments and not letting us know whats going on (we've called at least 8 times to get an update about whats going on), they're reply was vague we excuses that the because they were new houses, the cables weren't in place so OpenReach need to come out and put in overhead cables which was a load of crap. Then they changed their story in the same conversation when I said the cables did infact go underground and they yet again said someone needs to come out and setup the gray box outside of the houses (which at this stage all 17 houses were actually done).

After a few weeks, we caught the site manager as the building of the new houses were complete and he got in touch with the person who originally did all the wiring, and they said that all OpenReach need to do is enable the connections and that we should tell BT this. We phoned BT yet again and explained what was told to us and they told us they would call back and talk to OpenReach. Then they called us back saying that there needs to be more cabling to be layed at the exchange which I didn't understand since I thought all this would of been done originally when the main cabinet was installed.

So I spoke to BT again and suggested that if there is need for new cabling to be layed somewhere then why can't we just go with BT Infinity since they could just hook us up through there as the phone system is now IP based and we could maybe get at least get Internet to contact people and so on. They're reply to that was that the BT tracker can't place an order for our house because we live in a non-active BT Infinity area. So I asked them to do a check up on the house 4 doors down and they said they could get it, so I asked why we couldn't get it, they're reply was the same "We can't enter your house for BT Infinity because it's in a non-active area", even though we all share the same ****ing green cabinet in the street.

See, the point I'm trying to get across is this: If new cabling needs to be layed to the exchange, then why the **** can't we just have BT Infinity and save the fuss of laying new cabling or whatever crap they are making up. See, my idea of FTTC cabinet is that the copper cable from the house needs to somehow link up to the FTTC cabinet to translate everything from the copper line to the fibre optic line leading directly to the exchange. If this is true then I don't see the problem with BT just doing this and getting it over and done with.

#15 Robbie Ride

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 23:12

firstly OpenReach is part of the BT Group and it always have been,

Secondly although your new property has been wired for a landline, it might not be suitable or up to the standards expected by BT, which will lead them to install new wiring.

BT have always had a habit of pushing back dates this is likely to be due to poor management and poor planning, if you feel that your not getting any where within a reasonable time scale then complain to OfCom, they will look into the matter for you and if they find that BT have went over the reasonable timescale without a valid or proper explanation then they will contact BT and force them to act quicker than they have done, but again you are limited to BT as they are the only company which provide cabling, telephone poles and such.

Other than that there is nothing you can do, btw i recommend that you don't use their HomeHub its rubbish and belongs with it, buy a new one or one that you already have provided that its not BT branded