Thursday, 28 January 2016

Infinity, unless it is for a competitor

We have a new service, our Terabyte VDSL products that we are launching this weekend...

The way it works is using VDSL from the local street cabinet. The cabinet has (usually) fibre back the the exchange, and that provide a means to allow high speed internet (capped at 80Mb/s down and 20Mb/s up) using a VDSL modem.

The real trick is that we are using a different back-haul provider. It is still BT plc owning the copper, and the cabinet and the fibre back to the exchange, but from there it is someone else. In this case TT Business.

This has allowed us to tackle one of the most expensive bits - the cost of the back-haul. In BT it is ludicrously expensive compared to transit (which is getting data all over the world). It is not like TT are free but their pricing allows us to offer these terabyte services at fixed cost.

We really hope this is a way forward and BT will offer the same some time, and we have a more even choice, but for now, this is a new product.

So, we have some early adopters, thank you all. Most are going swimmingly, and we expect to open up ordering to all this weekend.

But I have one early adopter, an friend of mind, who is also doing decorating in the house. A local tradesman with a family, and ideal for this new service.

All I can say is that I am hugely embarrassed by the whole fiasco.

I am so thankful this is done as a new line and he is not without Internet for his family, but it is a mess.

Our friends, BT plc trading as Openreach, are making a total balls up of the whole thing!

Their one job, last Friday, was a simple new phone line with FTTC (the VDSL service to the cabinet). They turned up and fitted a socket and left a modem, but did not finish the job as such, hmmm. No clear idea why.

They turned up unannounced 9am on Sunday to finish, but even though the BT VDSL modem did not show as working, they left.

Then we have Tuesday - appointment - not bothered!

Then we have Thursday - appointment - cock up - not bothered!

No sense of urgency whatsoever - this a cocked up install from a week ago, and they do not make first job of the day, or have any priority, just a "maybe" they will turn up and make it work. Next attempt is tomorrow.

BT need a kick up the arse, sorry. The definitely need a "BT screwed up" flag on jobs (would be set lots of times) to make jobs priority.

At present, once they screw up, that is it - no incentive to ever actually fix the problem - compensation (if any) fixed as "a screw up" so no reason to fix it ahead of other jobs. Tough!

Maybe the title here is not fair - maybe they would screw up if the end user contracted with BT plc instead of a competitor - who knows. Suffice to say I do not think I have ever seen this level of cock up on a BT FTTC rather than a TT FTTC? Perhaps that is just me. Seems odd to me. But at the end of the day, what do the people on the ground has as any incentive to actually fix this?

Update: Appointed for Friday - but then appointment moved to Monday. Guys at TT were on the ball and chased Openreach and managed to get the job done Friday afternoon, though the engineer did not read the notes still. Well done TT.

6 comments:

  1. I have, but only when BT Retail are not the ISP. I have never seen this where BT Retail is the ISP. Which you'd think you would given the sheer volume of customers that are with BT Retail (where Retail obviously means the "BT Consumer" bit of BT plc or "BT Business" bit of BT plc, the same BT plc that owns Openreach, and BT Wholesale, both parts of BT plc.

    Of course I have sod all way to demonstrate that there is a strange correlation between issues that arise for non-BT own ISPs, but in my experience, it does seem to have a strange coincidence factor.

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    1. Nope, BT's retail operation, including business, are also hopeless.

      The start-up I worked for had DSL from them, until one day it cut out altogether with no warning. We reported a fault and were informed sternly that No, we'd "stopped paying" and been cut off after receiving "numerous warnings".

      What warnings? "Oh, we sent them to your new address, with your new business name, in a different city". What new name? What new address? "Oh, sorry, I see, there was a mistake by a customer services agent and they've overwritten all your details". So, you screwed up, you sent stuff to the wrong people and were surprised that we didn't pay bills we'd never seen, so you'll have us reconnected within the hour, right? "I'm afraid I can't do that"

      And inside BT that will be labelled as a completely mysterious loss of a customer. No idea why they don't buy services from us any more, nothing we could have done.

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  2. Slight aside: is there any chance of the 80/20 caps being lifted? I've just got FTTC with A&A (bliss compared to ADSL on my long line) and being 110m from the cabinet I get the 80/20 caps. It would go quite a bit faster but for the caps, why are they even there? ADSL2+ didn't have any equivalent of these caps.

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  3. This is very reminiscent of our (ultimately aborted) EoFTTC install. In that case, whilst BT were clearly screwing up, TT seemed to be incapable of escalating or managing the exception in anything like a meaningful manner.

    Maybe the blame lies in both courts?

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