Monday, 5 September 2011

Dear BT

I live in a house in the sticks. I know the phone lines round here are poor. There are phone lines in this area made of aluminium. But when I sign up to a broadband package I expect that the company which runs both my ISP and my phoneline to be able to cope with this fact. If you cant cope with this dont sell broadband to people who live in the sticks.

There is noise on the line here. A lot of it. It's hard to hear what people are saying sometimes. As a result of this we regularly drop down to a lower speed connection. I'm ok with this. Slow broadband is as annoying as anything, but I can cope with it. What I cannot cope with is that after a while it switches off entirely. If you cannot offer me a broadband connection that is on always then dont sell me broadband. I'm not complaining that the connection is offline for a couple of minutes every few weeks. I'm complaining that we cannot get onto the service we have paid for for hours and even days at a time. I'm complaining that we cannot get on for a third of the time some weeks.

It's reasonable to check the problem is not internal wiring. It's not reasonable that determining that took not less than 3 engineers and several months straddling our last ISP and BT.

It's reasonable that working out what has gone wrong could take a while. What is not reasonable is the way engineer visits have been handled. The last 5+ callouts have all followed the same pattern.

  • An engineer comes round.
  • He does some tests
  • He insists there is no problem
  • I insist there is a problem in that we keep loosing connection
  • He changes something either in our house or at the exchange in the hope of speeding up our connection
  • He re-sets the system telling us to monitor things
  • He goes away
  • We have decent internet for a week
  • The internet goes back to how it was and starts dropping out again
I'm not being funny but I can spot the pattern here, why cant you? Something other than this has to happen. None of the fixes that have been tried so far have done anything at all. If anything the connection is slightly worse now that with our last ISP. I'd be prepared to bet a large sum of money that none of the fixes that we are now working through are going to work. There is something fundamentally wrong with our phoneline that 5 separate visits haven't located.

There is an obvious and straightforward way to fix and unknown problem with a phoneline. Go back to the last point where everything is known to work well and replace everything from there to my computer. If you can come up with a better solution that this, great, please follow it. But when in a weeks time this last engineer's patch doesn't work please dont just send another one round to do the same damned thing. 

I'm getting very very tired with the same damned problem and the same false assurances that it's now fixed and everything is fine. I'm getting very very tired of having to set aside days waiting for yet another engineer. I'm getting very very tired of having to send yet another message to BT for them to reassure me once again that everything will work now. I'm getting very very tired of an internet connection that doesn't bloody work. 


Adam Casey

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