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Payment for phoneline and broadband

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I live in a rural area and am a long way from the tel exchange.


I contaced an ISP who do a line rental and BB all on one monthly bill and it's only a one month contract and not long contracts like BT.


They told me they would arrange for Openreach to do a site survey to see if I could get BB, in other words was there enough signal at my tel pole outside my house.


They came back and said the Openreach report was positive so I agreed to pay £110 for a new line from the tel pole to my house and an activation fee of £47 for BB and £27.99 a month which is £10 for the line only ( no inclusive calls ) and £17.99 for the broadband.

I told them I make all voicecalls using my mobiles, a phoneline would only be for BB.

If you just want a line and no broadband it's £10.99 and if you make any voicecalls they are charged per min.

If you also take broadband the line rental is only £10 per month.


The line was activated and I used the internet for three days and it worked pretty good but not that fast 350kbps/340kbps.

This was OK and better than no internet as I am on a longline so can't expect too much.


After three days I had to disconnect the router for an hour as I was moving some furniture out of the house and the router was on a table in the lobby.

When I plugged the router back in it would not sync with the exchange.I did also try another router and cables.

I contacted the ISP who arranged for an Openreach engineer to call and he plugged in his laptop and did some diagnostic tests and left after 45 mins.

A few days later the ISP contacted me and said that they had received the Openreach report and they said I could not receive BB at my address.


The ISP said they were sorry and they would scrap all charges.

I said fine, and as I was due to pay next month for everything by a new setup DD I would cancel the DD and the ISP said OK and if I moved house and got closer to an exchange to come back to them for service.

This is a good ISP and they do try to be helpful and phone you and tell you what is happening.

They asked if I wanted to keep the phoneline and I said no and as said before I make all my calls using my mobiles so a phoneline isn't much use unless I can use it for BB.

Unfortunately this hasn't happened and it looks like I'm going to keep paying £10.99 a month for the phoneline.


Anyway I went today into my online account with the ISP and they have scrapped the activation fee and broadband charges but they are still going to bill me for the line installation of £110 and also line rental and as it's a phoneline only it's £10.99 per month and not £10 which it would be if I had phoneline and BB.


Of course as I've cancelled the DD I'm not sure what will happen.


Everything, new phoneline and BB was done because Openreach said I could get BB at my address otherwise I'd have said to the ISP forget it.


So am I still liable for the new line installation and the £10.99 phoneline monthly rental that I won't use ?



If Openreach would make an effort they could probably get me going again but it's time and money for them and obviously not worth it.


Five years ago I had a phoneline at this address and BB and it worked pretty good and on ADSL Max I was getting DL speeds of 970kbps.

Unfortunately after about nine months the line deteriorated and the speed went right down to about 230 kbps and neither the ISP at the time or Openreach could find out why.

The last two miles to the exchange has both a copper and an aluminium line to the exchange and I've often wondered if I was switched to the aluminium line and that's why the line went downhill but of course I have no way of finding out.

I haven't had a phoneline for 2 1/2 years and the oldline from the house to the tel pole blew down last winter.

So now I'm stuck with no BB and a new tel line and monthly fee of £10.99 although I can give 30 days notice to end the tel line rental.

I could also I suppose try another ISP for phoneline and BB but they still have to go thru Openreach and I don't think they want to spend any time on my line finding out if there are any faults on the line,they just say long line no BB too bad.


I'll pay if I have to but I do wish Openreach had decided I couldn't get BB before I set the rest in motion.



Any advice appreciated.

Edited by EleanorRigby

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Broadband is subject to survey.


However if you ordered the phone line and the broadband together from the same company (good plan here!) and made it clear that broadband is essential, then I'd say you have a very good case for witholding payment for the landline too, since the supplier is in breach of your verbal contract.


The contract was for phone and broadband. The supplier is in breach of that contract.

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Thanks for your reply.



The thing is I make all voicecalls on my mobile so the phoneline is redundant unless I can use it for broadband.

I said when ordering that the phoneline was only for an internet connection.


When they rang me last week to say I couldn't get BB I asked if there were any charges to pay and they said no.


I told them I was therefore cancelling my DD and then went after the call finished and cancelled my DD as all charges were going to be paid from the first DD which was to begin on the 2nd of July.


I wonder if the ISP can go back to Openreach and dispute the charge for phoneline installation as it was done after Openreach did the site survey and said I could get BB at my address ?

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In reality, probably not. The ISP has used the speed/line tester/estimator to determine that you *should* be able to get broadband and taken your order. They ordered a simultaneous provide (line + BB) from Openreach who supplied same.


When you notified the ISP of the dropped sync, they raised this with Openreach, who then concluded the line wasn't up to it/it was borderline and therefore revoked the broadband. They could for instance have tried a pair swap with another spare line pair assuming there was one. They could have laid a brand new all copper line. But it's cheaper to simply shrug and say "not serviceable".


Basically, I'd surmise that Openreach have "had over" your ISP.


But that's not your problem.

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Yes I can understand that Openreach don't want to spend time going over the whole length of the line as I am on a long line to the exchange or do anything in the exchange or try filters etc as this costs them money.


The Openreach guy came out and did a site survey, in other words he attached a meter to the line on the pole outside my house and checked how much signal there was and then gave a positive report to the ISP who then went ahead with the new line installation and the activation of BB.

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In terms of you actually getting broadband, have you checked mobile broadband coverage?


We live in a rural area, although that isn't the reason we can't get ADSL at decent speeds (it runs at 1.7Mbps) - that's down to either aliminium external wiring or the mess of GPO boxes we have here.


We migrated to Three 3G and that runs at 2.7Mbps - we're 2.6km from the mobile mast.


Might be worth trying the coverage checkers on the mobile sites e.g. we can get Three and O2 but not Vodafone here.

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I'm using a mobile dongle right now but as I'm in a rural area it's 2G so I get poor download speeds as it's like the old dialup service.

I might get 40kbps/20kbps.


I'm not near a mast that gives 3G so the landline or satellite BB are my only options.

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