Thousands of Cumbrian BT customers have been having major broadband problems - just five weeks after the last major outage that disrupted the service.
The problem first materialised on Friday night when around one million homes lost their internet connection across Scotland and northern England.
Engineers worked through the night to fix the fault at BT’s Edinburgh exchange to have the system back up and running by early Saturday.
BT declared the problem resolved and apologised for the fault.
However, it soon became apparent that a significant number of people still had problems getting a BT broadband connection.
I finally got my broadband back today and have spent a frustrating week grappling with the BT helpine:
On Sunday...returning from holiday and accessing the internet via my phone I am nearly tricked by a website which appears at the top of google searches for BT helpline, but is in fact an “09..” number that costs “£1.50.
Initially, I think the problem is with BT Vision service and am told rather unconvincingly by the Indian-based BT helpline that the problem is due to a digital switchover taking place and the problem will correct itself in the morning.
Monday...still no BT Vision services and no broadband. A long wait for the helpline and after various switch-on and switch-off suggestions am asked if I live near “Ed-in-burg”, eventually read a statement that there is a broadband problem. I am told it will be fixed in two hours when I will be called. Seven hours later no call and still no broadband.
Tuesday...18 minutes before my call to the helpline is answered, various tests and another statement to say there are continuing problems with broadband which will be fixed within 24 hours.
Wednesday...BT ring to ask if I have broadband back. I respond that I will need to check and BT say "we'll ring you back in 5 minutes". Hey guess what? They didn't.
Two hours later I give up waiting and ring back. 20 minutes waiting for an answer and 30 minutes going through variations of reset this and that. I am told that there is no longer a problem with broadband in this area and it must be my computer. I point out it is the same for my laptop and BT Vision which can't record, pause or download films without broadband.
I am then asked to check BT Vision and reset it. It doesn't reboot atall. "That's because it can't connect to broadband" I'm told. What! That's what I said! So now we have no TV at all. That means on Apprentice - our favourite programme.
I am told that it will take up to 48 hours for an engineer to resolve the issue. My protests are met with: "I hope you will be happy in 48 hours."
Thursday...still no broadband and no TV so I can't watch the football. Nevermind, I think to myself Liverpool will probably lose. Gerrard scores a hat-trick.
BT call to say yes there was a problem at the exchange and engineer will call tomorrow.
Friday...an engineer calls and all is well in the world. We have our broadband back and our TV.
Now, what shall I google first? Gerrard's goals or how to make a complaint to BT?
Published: November 5, 2010
Have your say
It's about time we brought the help desk jobs back to th UK. The people in India try their best but struggle with the language barrier.
They are too heavily scripted to the point they don't listen to what you say. You must follow the script even when you know what is causing the problem.
Unfortunately this isn't just a BT problem, its the joys of privatisation and profit margins!
This is of course why it is so important that Cumbria is not misled into believing that we cannot do a better job ourselves of building the next generation network.We have all the expertise and the will necessary (plus Â£10million from BDUK) to get the network we require to do all that will be needed on tomorrow's internet without a large corporate with foreign call centre operators and no real interest in Cumbria's well-being.The fact that a problem in Ed-in-burg affects a county which is extremely well served by backhaul from multiple providers shows the need for a redundant network which we own ourselves!