Thursday, 16 February 2012

Refusing to fix an FTTC fault?

It is very frustrating when we are letting a customer down, and this is one of those occasions.

We have a customer with a Fibre To The Cabinet service (the same technology that BT Retail call "BT infinity"). His line has been broken since Sunday night - out of sync almost all of the time.

With FTTC, line faults are usually fixed very quickly and with no hassle. This is because the telco have their own kit (a VDSL modem) on the line. If that won't stay in sync then they can see it is broken, and as it is their modem it is clear that the fault is their responsibility. A fault like this normally has an engineer out right away, some times even same day, and it gets fixed. No arguments about who's fault it it or SFI charges or anything. Simples.

However, on this occasion, the telco are basically refusing to do anything. They have stated that they cannot take any further action, even though the line has been off for nearly a week and they have not taken any action so far. They have even taken to lying, stating the service has been restored which it has not been.

Clearly not acceptable. Clearly not working to their 40 hour fix targets. Yet nothing is happening. They even refused to take the case as a "High Level Escalation". They are simply not fixing the fault.

Apparently, their feeble excuse is a design flaw in their "systems" which stop them taking action when an order is open. Last week an order was put in to change the uplink speed on the line. Minor modification, not any physical change as far as we can see. But their system has the order "stuck" due to some mistake they made. It seems now that they think it acceptable to refuse to fix a fault in such cases. We have asked them where that is in the contract exactly.

In the mean time we have a customer with no Internet access for nearly a week and no way to get it fixed for him.

I am in Leeds until tomorrow, but I know my team are pursuing this as much as humanly possibly - but what does one do when a company point blank refuses to fix a fault?


  1. Hmm. That "design flaw in their system" has been there for decades - back in the days when I had a BT-provided ADSL modem (back before you were allowed to bring your own) I had to wait 3 weeks for an order to work through before they'd agree to replace it after it broke.

    You'd have thought they could have fixed that flaw by now...

  2. Yeh, I have asked if they have a date for fixing that design flaw. No reply.

  3. Have they categorically stated that they are refusing to fix the fault? If so, surely that's your contract with them broken? If your contract's broken, then aren't there all sorts of options open to you? Mind you, I suppose that they could claim that if the contract's already broken, they may as well stop providing you with any service at all - in for a penny and all that.

  4. Certainly sounds like Breach of Contract to me!

    At the very least you should threaten to take them to court, with escalating damages for every day it goes on.

    (To sum up, they could send an engineer to fix the fault, but "their system" won't let them. Anyone thought to phone an engineer instead of relying on the broken system? No, thought not :-)

  5. After a week they finally send an engineer who swaps the faulty modem and all is well.