back to article BT banks on ex-HSBC man to take charge of Openreach biz

BT's outgoing Openreach boss Liv Garfield is to be replaced by a money man poached from Britain's struggling banking sector. The telecoms giant said it had hired Joe Garner, 44, who was previously HSBC's UK boss where he helped steer the bank through the financial crisis, BT noted. Garner will join BT in mid-February when he is …

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HSBC?

HSBC the bank that doesn't let poor people, sorry, non premier customers into many of its branches?

I guess that makes sense. Both have a commitment to ignore the rest of us.

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Re: HSBC?

Another 'Boss' doing the rounds of a couple of years here a couple of years there, fail and leave with share options, health care, golden handshake.

Then using the old boys network to get back on the merry-go-round of in and out CEO's.

Expect redundancies to fund their bonus.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HSBC?

I guess that makes sense. Both have a commitment to ignore the rest of us.

I suspect the first thing that will happen is that he'll propose a telco ombudsman so they have the same delay mechanism as the banks to hide behind.

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Bronze badge

Re: HSBC?

Could you give an example of a high street branch of HSBC that does this?

I've been with them for 10+ years with no complaints and never encountered this (I'm not a premier customer) at 10+ branches that I've visited. The only thing close I know of is one branch that doesn't have counter services, everything is done via a wall of ATMs, and you can't always sit down with someone without an appointment but as far as I know they'll make an appointment for anyone.

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Re: HSBC?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/6545153.stm

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Anonymous Coward

Money men in charge of a near monopoly, what can possibly go wrong?

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Anonymous Coward

Jobs for the boys?

Another ex-P&G alumnus, à la CEO Gavin Patterson. Wonder if they were mates as grads, back in the day? The appointment has more than a whiff about Friends Reunited about it...

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Anonymous Coward

Step 1.

Enable fttp on demand.

I've got it to the cabinet but there's absolutely no way to order it.

Ludicrous.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Step 1.

Openreach which this guy is taking over already offer FTTPoD. You need to vent at BT retail ceo and the ceos of all the other isps which have failed to offer a service via FTTPoD although when you see the install cost you might not be so interested. I saw someone quote 1k per mile from the street cabinet.

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MrT
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If only...

... they'd re-employ some of the very experienced engineers, the ones they let go a few years ago to save a few quid who actually knew what they were doing, instead of the barely-bothered bumblers they ship around the country to do installs that look worse than bad DIY.

Like the guy who fitted the broadband modem in my house move halfway along a wall where we wanted to site furniture simply because that was where the cable reached, instead of where we asked, then used old powerline adapters between that and the Homehub, creating reflection errors at both sides. Then left the house with the system half installed, and with everyone I've spoken to in BT agreeing that he did it badly.

Shame that Openreach haven't been back to me about it though... maybe their phones are wired back to front?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If only...

Is the Openreach engineer even allowed to touch the ISP's router? Surely the Openreach part ends at the NTE5 master socket (ADSL) or at the white Openreach branded router (FTTC). It is down to you the consumer to plug your filter and router in (ADSL) or connect your ISP router to the white openreach router with the supplied network cable (FTTC).

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MrT
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Re: If only...

I think it used to be more like that - BT used to send two blokes to a new install, one to sort the line and the other to sort the broadband. Now they send a "multiskilled" person who is supposed to be able to install it all.

In my experience, it's always involved a bit of both sides - last time I had an upgrade, from regular ADSL to FTTC, the engineer arrived, sorted out the line (which involved popping back to the exchange and the cabinet), then installed the kit to the computer to make sure we had a service. We then added Vision using the kit.

This time, they were supposed to install a master socket extension and then cable from there to the TV, as per the new "no powerline stuff" requirements for the HD sports stuff. None of that happened, and all of the blather on BTs site about the engineer "neatly fixing cables" was just forgotten. It was the Openreach modem that he decided to fix on on entirely different wall, rather than use a power cable extension, that took the biscuit. That and setting up the old powerline adapters instead of a cable connection from modem to router - BT see the error reflected from the first one without reaching the Hub to gather diagnostic data, and if the BT Wholesale speedtester manages to run, it bounces off the second to report 0.00kbps down, 0.02kbps up and a ping of zero.

One BT chap (who have been helpful, on the whole) said I should just go ahead and sort it myself, leaving the issue of the skills of the Openreach engineer unchallenged and unaddressed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If only...

When I ordered BT FTTC they provided the white router and a BT home hub.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If only...

BT have "invested" all their money in the venture that is BT Sports, the cupboard's bare so don't expect any improvement in customer experience anytime soon - but hey ho you can watch Championship tiddly winks from Algeria on their Sports Channel.

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An accountant - the best way to wreck a business

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Not always sometimes a business needs someone who is focussed on costs. Plenty of businesses go bust when they mature and change from a low volume, high margin product to a high volume, low margin business. I worked for a company that specialised in pay as you go mobile phones back in the 1990s for a few months they basically went down the pan as margins on handsets went from approaching 50% back to 1 or 2% in less than a year.

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Anonymous Coward

failing to adequately fix faults in a timely manner

^ This.

Failing on all counts.

Can't park = "Green door, nobody at home, please rebook" + charge

Too many jobs for the morning = "Black door, nobody at home, please rebook" + charge

Fault logged for the Natural History Museum: "No number on door, please rebook" + charge

Can't be arsed to go out to remote site = "RA nobody answered, please rebook" + charge

Advise access 9 to 5 + unmanned site, please RA one hour to gain access. Call 2 hours *before* access saying "Outside now, no access, not going to wait 3 hours, please rebook" + charge

Job "stuck" in the system for a week, "it's now unstuck, 2 day SLA starts in 5 minutes" + charge for being "stuck"

Request <anything>: PQT = passed: Right when tested. + charge

You need 3 appointments before anything is fixed & the fuckers charge you each time.

Fuck me, I could go on.

Fuckers, fecking swan-sucking, arse-badgering, squirrel shagging, absolute fucking fuckers.

Anon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: failing to adequately fix faults in a timely manner

Consider yourself lucky if it only takes 3 visits to get a fault fixed :-(

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Anonymous Coward

forget rural areas....

How about new build estates...

No Infinity. No VM. < 1.5 Mbps...

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MrT
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If the developer pays them enough...

... they'll pull all the fastest connections in the exchange from the people who already have them and give them to the new build. This happened many times in the villages around where I used to live. Suddenly started getting slow connection as soon as the 'regeneration' projects got to the point where second fix started in the first units.

One engineer back before I went FTTC basically told me this, then went back to the exchange to swap my line onto the "fast stack", which got me another 1Mbps and better stability. That was in a village in rural Co Durham, where there was no alternative to Openreach - VM cable not available out there, but it was back when they still had experienced engineers, rather than ex-shop owners and anyone keen'n'green at the more profitable end of the pay scale.

It's a PITA trying to get anyone to shift, and with this accountant taking over it's likely to get worse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If the developer pays them enough...

In my village it's the early adoptors (back from the slow modem days) who got all the good lines then, and all the newer (last 15 years) adoptors who have the crap that is left! The difference is 7Mbps for 10% of the lines, to around 1.5 Mbps for most and >0.5Mbps for 10%.

All with no plans for any upgrade of the service in the next 3 years!

We would do it ourselves with a microwave link to anywhere that had decent service, except there are no exchanges with decent service around us!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: forget rural areas....

Aw...I have BT FTTC 76/MB and Virgin Media 120MB for redundancy...of course I checked before I moved here!

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Oh, really?

"...he helped steer the bank through the financial crisis..."

Would that be the same financial crisis he helped the bank create?

And then "steered it through" by getting bailed out by the rest of us non-bankers?

Without us having any say in the matter.

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Re: Oh, really?

Afraid not old bean. HSBC never received any bailout capital from the government, in HSBC's case it was in fact steered through succesfully. One of the few that was.

Apologies for using Wikipedia as a reference but : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_United_Kingdom_bank_rescue_package

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Thumb Down

Re: Oh, really? @Phil W

I'll take your point - but I won't give HSBC any right to any moral high ground for at least the US authorities had a go at them for laundering drug/terrorist money, and they offered Swiss accounts to UK residents deliberately trying to hide money from HMRC: oh, the list is endless...

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Eh?

They're getting a lot of complaints...so the answer is to hire someone who's good at handling complaints? What about someone who understands the needs of the customer before it gets to the complaint stage?

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