It seems BT are officially charging money for fixing a fault in the BT network.
If there is a fault, and an engineer goes out, fails to find or fix the fault so that another engineer is needed - even if that second engineer does find and fix the fault and confirms it is a fault in the BT network, BT will still charge for the first (arguably incompetent) engineer visit. The charge is a lot of money - more than most ISPs will make on the broadband line in a year, possibly several years.
[update] I should point out that the charge for one such engineer visit is actually more than it would cost us to get a brand new phone line installed with broadband.
This is, of course, in my opinion, totally unreasonable and unfair in every respect. We could not pass on this in our customer contracts (not that we would want to) as it would fall foul of unfair contract terms legislation. Sadly, in a commercial contract with BT, it is tough!
At the end of the day this means we ultimately have to absorb the extra cost and ultimately pass this on to customers in our pricing.
[update] one may argue that if not us doing that, BT would have to absorb the cost and increase overall prices - but in that case BT have a commercial incentive to fix faults first time. Currently they have a commercial incentive to deploy incompetent engineers.
This is not the first case of apparently unethical charging by BT, at least in my opinion.
We currently have an ongoing battle where BT will charge two ISPs for the same service for the same time. An FTTC line has a 12 month term, arguably because BT plc t/a Openreach charge BT plc t/a BT Wholesale a 12 month minimum term. But if migrating an FTTC from one BT Wholesale ISP to another during that 12 months, which is purely a billing exercise by BT Wholesale and does not involve Openreach they will charge the old ISP for the remainder of the 12 month period and charge the new ISP for the same period, as well as restarting the 12 month term. This is clearly just charging money because they can, and not based on charges they have to pay suppliers or costs in any way. This is also clearly anticompetitive in that when it is BT plc t/a BT Retail that is the ISP that is stitched up by paying this arbitrary extra charge to BT plc t/a BT Wholesale, it has no impact on my BT Group plc shares.
Sadly, telcos like BT don't have to be ethical or fair, do they? If you are a BT Group plc shareholder and don't agree, please tell the board.
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