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New to this forum, but pleased to see something like this exists! Looks like there are a lot of problems/issues with BT, so sorry to add to them, but any advice would be appreciated. As usual, it's a lengthy one, but to get to the point:


1) I had a perfectly working phone line, which stopped working one day.

2) BT acknowledged that this was an external problem, and after a week, they fixed the external problem. However, my phone still did not work.

3) After going through all their advice on the phone, I (stupidly) agreed that there was no alternative than to send an engineer out to investigate.

4) An engineer came, and opened the 'BT Master Socket'. he spent five minutes working on it, and said that an extension cable had been fitted, which was not allowed.

5) A bill for £211 came through the post.


My questions:


1) In this case, BT undertaking works outside of my property stopped my phone from working. I appreciate that (the previous owner) had fitted some sort of extension wiring to the BT Master socket - but it worked. That may well be disallowed, but I can't believe it was the cause of the problem. Is there anyone with technical knowledge that can explain why my phone would have stopped working BECAUSE of the extension?


2) I understand that the BT Master Socket is "BT's property" and that you can't open it up. If there was a fault caused by the previous owner messing around with it, then surely BT should be chasing the previous owner - I didn't damage their property! Anyone got any experience arguing this case?


BT are being massively unhelpful and quite threatening. A £211 charge for five minutes work is utterly ridiculous - I wouldn't mind paying a more fair amount....



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Guest Old_andrew2018

Firstly have you corresponded in writing if not i think you should, BT provided a telephone service the extension lead was already in place.

If BT won't cancel the invoice then once you have their final response, you are free to refer your complaint to the ombudsman

Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman - Contacting Otelo




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Trying to contact BT outside of Mumbai is difficult at the best of times and given their abysmal customer services I'll be off to another broadband and phone provider just as soon as my xchange is unbundled. First part of 2010...cannot come soon enough.


When you reported the fault and it was acknowledged it was an outside fault, what was the fault? did they tell you? -


I guess the problem lies in as much as when you reported the fault again and they offered for an engineer to visit you they would/should have informed you of the consequences (price to you) if the fault was to be on your property and past the master socket? You'll have a hard time proving that the extension lead was installed by the previous owner.


As for why the extension stopped working? Hard to tell but in general the BT equipment is good quality cabling, the extension cables found in most electrical shops/wilko whatever are not a patch in quality, the earth sheath is usually much poorerm the coating is inferior and the connection boxes usually have inferior connections etc....but how long is a piece of string when it comes to diagnosing a faulty extension?


I have had issues with BT many many times (usually billing) and they don't make things easy when you're trying to sort it out....I never ever have had any success when speaking to an overseas BT call centre, not because of where the call centre is based but simply because the staff for the most part haven't a clue....they're awful....


Whenever I'd had a problem with them I've redialled and redialled and redialled until I manage to get through to BT in the UK, at which point I explain the situation, usually asking that it be raised to a supervisor level and more often than not the matter is dealt with in reasonably swift manner and an amicable agreement is reached....try it, persevere and you may just get the right BT member of staff who will reduce your bill for the repair, perhaps even squash it. Good luck.

I reside in Dawlish Warren but am not a rabbit.

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The Master Socket (or Linebox, if it has a removable lower panel) remains BT's property - and only if you have a Linebox can you legally attach extension wiring to their circuit. If something goes wrong, you remove the front plate and plug your phone unto the hidden socket - if the line works, then the fault is with your wiring.


If the wires at attached illegally to the Master socket, then should a fault develop, only by removing the attached wires from your own circuit can you ascertain whether the fault is forward (to the neteork) or back (to your wiring). It is most likely that a fault in your local wiring did indeed cause your line to be 'looped' and not permit dial tone.


It wouldn;t matter that the previous owner did the work - you inherited the wiring and became BT's customer, so you get hit with the call out charge. Now, for the price paid for the call out, if the engineer did not fit a Linebox to upgrade your installation, I would be very cross - and use this as an excuse to force BT to fit one (at least getting some additional value for the money you paid. Only with a linebox can you use your internal wiring, so that should have been his next more.


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