Monday, 7 April 2014

BT 7 hour fix, a con?

BT offer various service level guarantees for their services, and one of the ones we do as standard on our Office::1 business service is a "7 hour fix" package (maintenance category 14).

This is not just a response in 7 hours, but a guarantee from BT to fix in 7 hours, 24 hours a day, including holidays and weekends.

So when we have a customer ordering service a month early to ensure all will be well for the day they need it, and putting the lines on 7 hour fix to ensure any problems are sorted promptly, it is somewhat of a surprise to find BT have no apparent intention of fixing in 7 hours, even now, after TWO WEEKS that this fault has been open and with BT.

They are plainly not working on it 24 hours a day and taking the night and weekends off from even responding to our requests for an update.

It really does seem to me that the 7 hour fix is just a con. It seems that they know they will often fail to meet it and count on the fact that it cost so much ,and the compensation for failure is so low, that it just does not matter to them.

I am unsure what to do next for my customer.

I am unsure what to do next with BT.

It is the most appalling service, and would be bad even if it was on the standard "40 hour" SLA, but paying extra for a 7 hour fix and they just don't seem to care - that is almost fraud, surely?


  1. It seems fairly common practice to promise some kind of SLA, knowing you'll likely not meet it in some cases, because the compensation is insignificant.

    For example, you could provide a 99.99% uptime SLA, or 99.99% packet loss SLA, knowing that because of the BT bit (and anything else) you'll never meet it in all cases but that in, say 90% of cases you will. Then so long as the payments customers who actually bother to claim the compensation are within the marketing budget then all is well..

    Engineers would never tout such crazy SLAs, it's marketing who do it all. We know such SLAs are not reasonably possible within the budget available, but marketing don't care about such inconvenient truth.

  2. Order a brand new service on a new line on expedite and claim the costs back from BT.

  3. I don't think the extra care services make any odds. I tried having them on one line and not on another, the ones without get fixed just as quickly (a relative term) as those with. It makes BT plc money but makes zero odds to service.

    You could just get your circuits from someone else.... oh yeah...

  4. Small claims court, perhaps, for the cost of the service?

  5. Is this Openreach, i.e. the wet string, or the backhaul? If the latter, might be time to start pimping TT wholesale's backhaul...

  6. Surely if you have evidence that the 7 hour fix results in *exactly* the same service as a standard contract, then the SLA doesn't matter - it's out and out fraud. Of course, the police wouldn't care less, so you'd have to put your money where your mouth is and do whatever it is you can to fix the problem at whatever cost and then sue BT for it.

  7. It is fraud. And don't call me "Shirley"! :-)

  8. Seems like you should be able to do a statistical analysis of fix times for all your "standard" faults against all your "7 hour fix" faults over the years. If the graphs more or less match then take 'em to court for fraud since clearly the bulk of the "7 hour fix" faults should have been fixed within 7 hours (we'll accept that there will always be a few outliers that can't be fixed that quickly)