About 2 weeks ago we discovered that our land-line wasnt working. As far as we knew, it could have already been faulty for a few days at that point. We dont get a lot of calls on the land-line, usually it either Paul’s Mum or Nan and the occasional sales call.
I think it was Paul’s Mum that phoned on the Mobile and said our line was engaged. Sure enough, when I checked it the line was dead at our end, no dial tone.
Obviously at this point, the broadband was still working so I wasn’t too concerned 😉
On the Monday, I called 151 to raise the fault with BT. The automated service did a test and confirmed there may be a fault close to, or inside the property. I spoke to a nice lady who advised to check the test socket inside the master phone socket in the house. This involves unscrewing the front plate of the master socket and removing it, to reveal the test socket where the BT wires enter the house. After checking this and still getting no dial tone, I resolved to call back the next day.
On the Tuesday I was connected with a less helpful Operator then the previous day. I explained that I had checked the test socket etc and asked to have an “Engineer” sent round. What followed was a most exasperating conversation……..
BT “Are you sure you’ve checked it?
Me “Yes, I’m sure.”
BT “Did you try it with another phone?”
BT “Another phone.”
Me “I’ve already said I tried our cordless phones and plugged in an old style basic corded phone. You want me to try a third?”
BT “Yes, just to be sure.”
Me “I dont think that necessary, anyway I dont have another one to try.”
BT “You could ask a neighbour.” (Does he think I live in Ramsey Street or maybe Wisteria Lane?)
Me “You want me to go knocking on doors asking to borrow a phone?”
BT “OK, but if we send someone and the fault is inside the house we will charge you £160.”
ME “Thats fine, I’ve checked the test socket so the fault isnt in my house, so you wont be charging me anything”
BT “Unless we find its a fault in your house!”
ME “Grrrrrrr!!! Are you telling me that if I was a little old lady or even just slightly non-technical and I didnt test it properly and I made an honest mistake in calling you out, you would still charge me £160?” (gets breath back)
Me “Thats the most heartless thing I’ve heard in quite a while.”
Me “So anyway, can you send someone on Saturday?”
BT “No, I can only book you in for Monday to Friday, between 9 and 5.”
Me “But I’m working all week, what about the Evening?”
BT “Sorry, Evening appointments are only for customer paying for our [insert name of expensive care plan here*]”
Me “What about normal people who work office hours?”
BT “We sometimes have a limited number of Saturday appointments, you’ll have to ring on Friday** to get one of those.”
Me “Well, I’ll have to ring later then, thanks for all your help.”
BT “Thanks for calling”
So, later that day I go to the online fault tracker to make a note of the fault number, only to find that he has closed the call as fault rectified! Cheeky bastard! I was so mad.
However, at this point, the broadband was still working so I wasn’t too concerned 😉
Fast forward to Tuesday night and things start to get serious. The broadband starts playing up, connection dropping after a few minutes, that sort of thing. I picked up the phone to hear not silence but loads of noise on the line. Not a good sign!
I decided to log the fault online this time and again the test confirmed there may be a fault close to, or inside the property. After several attempts and Internet re-connects I managed to arrange an Engineers visit for Saturday morning. The broadband promptly gave up entirely and my world went dark 😡
On Wednesday Evening, I tried to fill the time but I started to get itchy feet. We had eaten, I’d washed the dishes, I’d finished off the new Harry Potter, but enough was enough! I fetched my screwdrivers and went outside to where the line enters the house and I uncrewed the cover plate. Technically this isn’t allowed as this bit is BT only territory, but what would it hurt to look? Yuck, the cover was full of spider webs, woodlouse husks and of course a bunch of wires. As I lifted the buch of wires to see them better, one of them split apart in front of my very eyes.
Yes! I was right! In your face BT! The fault is on your side!
Still it was a shame to wait until Saturday for the Engineer to come and splice it back together, wasn’t it? I did the job and yippee, we have a phone line and internet again. 🙂
My theory is that the break was caused by some corrosion or weakness that was steadily getting worse. When it got a point that it wouldn’t support the low frequencies*** of voice calls we lost the phone line. Then later, when it was failing on broadband it was the high frequencies that were dropping out, until it seperated enough to kill everything.
So, thats that, I cancelled the Engineer visit on the automated service just in time to settle down to Wire In The Blood. By which I mean surfing the ‘Net with one eye and watching telly with the other 🙂
Happy days 🙂
*I think he made this up, I cant find it on the website!!!
** Lying shit, when I reported the fault online the following week, Saturday appointments were available to book.
*** I think its that way around with the high and low being kept apart by the bradband filter thingy.