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Picture the scene:
One very internet-hungry student eagerly attempting to dial up to the Internet to 'research' online whilst the other half (ie me) slaves away at work all day.
11am. Text message: "theres no dialtne on ur fone. Net nor fone wrk. All dead".
Eek. The usual images run through my head - the plug's come out of the socket, Sky Digital's gone ballistic and clamped on the line, the modem's knackered, the phone's knackered.
Worse still, the line may just be kaput.
Swift phonecall back to student (only just out of bed, but that's another story): Me: "check the phone socket on the wall. Disconnect everything. Reconnect things one at a time and try them all. Let me ring you on the house phone".
11:10am: Response: "Still nothing. Totally dead".
"So what to do?" worries little me. We can't have no phoneline in the house - it's criminal for my internet addiction (occasionally worse than that of the student's!).
All this time I'm stuck at work. So, I log onto the BT homepage (I'm not allowed by Ciao! to post that link here) - thank heavens for net access at work; not expecting to find what I want.
Then I spy it - in the top right-hand corner, there's a link: "Problems with the line?". So I click it, and it gives me the chance to report my fault on-line. Not wanting to leave this to chance; after all I want my fault reported asap, not left to the chance that someone *might* read an email today - I choose not to report online. To the left of the screen is a 'contact us' link, so I go for that option.
This presents me with a list of phone numbers. Apparently if I'm on a BT line I should dial 150 to report my problem (useful if you want to pop to your neighbours to report the problem or down to the local phonebox). There's also numbers for non-BT lines and mobiles to call too. As I'm within an extension-based building, I opt for the non-BT line (incidently a free number).
As soon as I ring the number, I'm greeted with a recorded message that my call is cost-free; and advised that if I am calling from a mobile it may cost depending on the mobile provider's charges (fair 'nuff). Then I'm presented with a series of menu options - "if you want this press 1" etc etc.
All of the menu options are very clear and straightforward, and I select the one to report the fault on my phoneline. I'm then asked if I want to use the automated service or to speak to a human being. Being an advocate of such technology (and anything to get this problem sorted quicker!); I opt for the automated response one.
I'm asked to dial in my home phone number. It doesn't ask me to put the dialling code in, but I did anyway (I would guess that it would prompt you for it if you didn't enter it). A computerised voice then tells me that it will check my line. A brief silence ensues, then I'm told that testing is complete and there has been a fault found on my line (yes! Not my fault.. hurrah!). I'm then offered the option to divert my calls to another phone whilst my line is out of action, so I entered my mobile number. This must've been recognised by the system (or it's a standard practice) because I was then asked if I wanted text message updates sent to my mobile to report the progress of my fault. Fantastic stuff, I decided that this would be a useful addition, and opted for it (plus if it didn't work I could complain to BT!).
I'm then told that work would not begin until tomorrow. This narked me a little, but I had the chance to specify if I wasn't happy about this (and I assume pick another date/time). Still, I figured that I could live without my phone for that amount of time (and all my calls were being diverted to my mobile, after all), so I agreed that this was OK. Then I was told about BT's policy that if they don't fix the fault in the time specified, they'll refund my line rental and credit me £1 for every day that I am without my phone.
11:16am and the phonecall was over; fault reported, and at 11:19 I received a text message stating that I would be kept up-to-date with the progress of my fault.
Not satisfied with this (I was an inquisitive child), I decided to log back onto the web to see if their updates were as quick as BT thought they were. I went back to the "Problems with the line?" section and there was an option there to track progress. Entering my home number, I was presented with a very easy-to-read page with a nice diagram detailing the position of the fault and I was able to add notes to the page should I have any further requests. Very impressive!
I then decided to check my divert to my mobile, and rang home from my work phone. Sure enough, my mobile (a Nokia) told me that there was a Diverted Call incoming - great stuff!
I then left the problem whilst work issues arose (a little more pressing, work - I'm sure you'll agree!) then went off to lunch.
On my return from lunch (2.5hrs since I'd logged the fault), I got back to my phone to a few missed calls and a text message. My text message told me that my fault was fixed and my line was back in order! I also had a missed call from a mobile I didn't recognise but what I suspect may be a BT Engineer's mobile as it was on an older BT Cellnet mobile prefix. I haven't listened to the voicemail from that but I'll update if it was relative to my phone's restoration!
I called my home phone number but was still diverted to my mobile - I suspect that as this was only 30mins after the line had been fixed, the divert hadn't yet been taken off. I'll check this again later and if it's not been taken off this evening I may have to call BT to get them to remove it.
All in all I've had a fantastic service from the engineers at BT today, and I just had to write and comment on their service, because I couldn't fault (ho ho, sorry, bad pun) it in the slightest!
My voicemail did indeed contain a message from the BT Engineer. He explained that he'd been working on the problem, and as far as he could tell, my line should be fixed. The nice gentleman left me his mobile number and asked me to contact him ASAP if I still had problems with the line. Great customer service.
The only problem I had was that the divert wasn't taken off to my mobile, so I had to call BT back (via the freephone 150) and ask them to remove it, which they did and apologised for omitting the removal in the first place!
I work for another service provider and as much as I would like to give BT hell, I cant as when my line went down and I lost my BB connection I ended up calling BT to get it fixed. They explained to me that because of regulations (which I knew) they couldn't see my line. But to my supprise the guy on the phone took me through loads of simple checks which determined that my splitter was Kaput. I changed it over and violla it worked. Four days later I recieved a call from my service provider asking if I was still experiencing difficulties????. If only BT could be like this all the time I would pay the extra pennies just for the service.
drewish 22.01.2007 23:01
Well done BT - you CAN do it when you try. (Completely the opposite of my experience - read my review to find out) - but nice review. I'm glad you got your phone line sorted.