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BT engineers - missed appointments

Naadir Jeewa

I dare anyone in a major urban area to beat 126 days and counting to get a line plant conducted in London.

Moved into a new build in an existing housing estate which already has BT FTTC and Virgin Media. Virgin Media's forbidden for at least 12 months by the housing association, so we're stuck with OpenReach. I spent two weeks trying to get Sky to place an order, but unfortunately they don't understand the process, even when I send them the OpenReach manual explaining how to do it.

Next, I place an order with BT Retail and they book an engineer in for one month's time. I wait, and they don't show up for a morning appointment. BT call centre tells me the engineer is running late, and to stay in for the afternoon. Still no show, phone BT again and they say "there are no notes in the system....ooh one just came said there's no cable so couldn't do install." I ask why the previous call centre staff operator lied, which led to denials from BT, with promises of an engineer in a few days and compensation. All lies, obviously.

Nothing happens for a few days. I phone back, and they book another appointment in a months time. Engineer does show up, spends two hours, then concludes there are no cables and leaves.

I phone BT and ask why OpenReach didn't do a line plant, to which there's no proper answer. Am left hanging ever since. Repeated tweets at them were the only way to get status updates, which were usually of the sort "work to be done - update next week".

I start contacting the housing association via my local councillor - they tell me OpenReach were supposed to do a line plant as soon as residents started placing orders - instead OpenReach just happily booked engineers to go visit households where they hadn't laid copper for months. Housing Association and I both start trying to contact OpenReach to no avail for several months. I write a letter to Sir Michael Rake and get unhelpful calls from "Executive Level Complaints", or "Executive Pass the Buck" as it should be known.

Finally, the local councillor tries to contact them on a political level, at which point OpenReach start blaming the council because they couldn't get a permit because of existing gas works. Though, it should be noted that the gas works started to take place several months after OpenReach were supposed to be completing works.

In the meantime, OpenReach continue to book engineer appointments for lines which can't be connected, who then never show up. I've stopped waiting in for them as well.

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