Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Stealing back Christmas

Last Christmas my parents broadband broke and BT were a pain... I blogged :-)

Believe it or not, there is a maintenance level available on broadband lines that we get from BT which has a target fix time of 7 hours, 24/7. This is a lot better than their usual target fix of 40 hours, and not working weekends.

So, what does that mean exactly? To be honest, we don't know. We do know that the compensation for not meeting it is peanuts (just like the other SLAs). But in theory, at least, BT should jump when they get a fault report on this service level.

So, I am going to put it on my parents line over Christmas this year, just in case. Last year we had a lot of argument over terms, and whether 25th Dec was a Bank Holiday or not, and so on. With the 7 hour fix, that specifically says they should be working on this, even on weekends, bank holidays, and Christmas day!

Of course, their line will be fine, such is the nature of any sort of insurance.

I wonder whether more businesses should put lines on this over Christmas, given that we can put it on a line for just a month, even. The catch is, from our point of view, that we don't have staff on call 24/7 (well, apart from major outages). Even so, we can usually be contacted out of hours (e.g. on irc) and if someone was on 7 hour fix we can try and get BT on the case. So it may make sense.

It will be interesting to ever see one of these lines with a fault and see if BT do in fact jump!

Update: We are looking to try this on a line where the line comes in with a fault late in the day, so we order 7 hour maintenance, an order which goes on over night, and then the next morning we report the fault (on 7 hour fix). Overall this should be less than the normal 40 hour target fix time, even waiting for the 7 hour fix order to be applied to the line. Sadly this only works if the next day is a normal working day as it takes a working day to apply the change of maintenance level. We'll see if that works...


  1. Why don't you offer the service to customers of 24/7 support for line outages that includes the BT 7 hour fix?

    An add on, like premium.

    Obviously it would be made clear that this is only in the situation where the problem is specific to your line, and not related to hardware.

    You could price it so you break even after X customers take it on, and > X means you're basically pure profit until you need to pay 2 memners of staff to be on call due to the potential that two customers go out at the same time is high enough

    1. Well, it means an on-call rota really, but that is possible. Just not sure we would have enough interest.

  2. Why don't you circulate it?

    AAISP should have a newsletter, a home and a business one

    I think your customers are savvy enough to respond to potential ideas in the way they're intended

  3. I am just writing the newsletter for the back of the December invoice.

    I believe we should probably also be running (eventually instead of) home and business opt-in newsletters for those that want it. I suspect quite a few would willingly sign up.

    We do announce some quite cool stuff!

  4. Adrian: I had a conversation related to this on IRC a few weeks back - I'd *really* like to move the voice portion of my BT21CN line over to you (i.e. on WLR3) and put Maintenance Level 4 (24/7 6-hour response) on it (the highest you can get on BT Retail is level 3 and dealing with Indian call-centres is horrible and of course you can't see the Openreach info directly) - but the main thing that's holding me back is the lack of official out-of-hours on IRC to raise faults. Actually - that's not strictly true - I'd be happy with being allowed to send an MSO text (perhaps using a different abbrieviation) and also have a way (via Clueless) of opening the initial trouble ticket myself if the line shows a network fault, or essentially anything that doesn't risk a charge to A&A.

    It's weird how it's 7 hours for maximum response on broadband faults but 6 for maintenance level 4. It's almost as though they've plucked the numbers out of thin air and they don't really mean anything.

    (But anyway, if you can find a way of satisfying me for fault reporting on total care lines...)