ISP troubles

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  • TL;DR: ISP charged me £150 for an engineer who "didn't find a fault", even though the call operator agreed there was a fault and eventually fixed it. :cursing:


    I've been with my ISP (Home Telecom) for years!


    However, for the last year or so, I've had a fault where, every few months, the service becomes patchy and intermittent -- like the line would drop out every few minutes before reconnecting.

    Each time I contacted their tech guys they sorted it out for me -- typically by pressing a few buttons and performing resets, and (because I am a long term customer) I persevered with them as my ISP. Of course, I did all the recommended stuff like change the filters etc.


    However, the last time this happened (in July) they blamed my equipment. As such I replaced my router and disconnected everything except for my PC.


    This did not work, so they called out an Openreach engineer -- with a disclaimer about charging me if they didn't find a fault. Frustrated, I had no choice but to accept - it was that or no repair. :/


    Next day the operator did another extensive line test and found a problem -- and told me that an engineer would no longer be necessary and there would be no charge. Big sigh of relief -- fault got fixed, engineer didn't come or check anything; everything has worked since.


    Yesterday, four months later, they extracted £150 (inc VAT) from my account, for an engineer that never attended!


    Home Telecom have dug their heels in, claiming that the engineer fee was because they found nothing wrong.


    So, I've contacted my bank to try to invoke a "direct debit guarantee" claim -- but my bank has said that, if I get my money back, the ISP could still win any complaint.

    Umm, yeah, any other ideas how to make sure I get my money back from Home Telecom with the minimum of fuss.

  • If youve negotiated with the provider and they still wont budge id get the help of one of the media consumer editors. The Guardian seem to get pretty good results confronting techy service providers.

    Alternatively consumer services.


    I assume home telecom is BT? since they inolved openreach. Ive had the exact same priblems with them for 12 years when i had a house. It took 4 years to get them to admit there was an exchange fault which the engineer had told me existed.


    My local friend has had the same problems and has now switched to sky.

  • I think there's ofcom and the ombudsman too.


    Home Telecom are independent and lease the line from Openreach / BT -- so, the charge initially came from Openreach and was passed onto me.


    There's every chance the engineer did fail to find a fault, but only if the tech guys at the call centre fixed it before they got to look. :/

  • Why not look at the alternative providers, and then threaten to change your provider if they don't refund what they have taken?

    They might say no but offer a cheaper deal - a lot of providers do when threatened with someone leaving - so if you are going to save, say, £50 a year, you have got your money back in 3 years.

  • I ve had trouble with mine for the last two years, wi fi can just drop off for no reason, the worst case was about 5 or 6 years ago, line test etc engineer couldn't find anything, only to apologise about 2 weeks later after I phoned bt, to find out that my line had been pinched for a new customer in the village this used to happed everytime someone new moved in and got broadband into there home, about 5 ,6 years ago or the wifi slowed down to a crawl. Still never got any money off bt for having no broadband for god knows how long.


    You know theres 3 companies I now have grown to hate, my bank,(yorkshire) it got taken of by bank of australis and Clydesdale bank now its virgin money and they shut my local banks first the one nearest me then one a bit further away,


    N power, I really have grown to hate them, I tried in vain to alter the address as when I was bulding my house it was just a site add, so my sodding bill still comes with two addresses on it, the name I gave the spot plus the "meter address" of new site blah sodding blah.


    and finally bt, just cannot sort stuff out with them.

  • Well the good news is, my bank has reversed the direct debit-- I can afford to eat again! :D


    However, they could re-reverse it should my claim fail.


    Also, my ISP could cut me off as they've reversed the entire month's bill.


    So, need to cancel ongoing direct debits and get a new ISP ASAP.

  • My Mum has her land line and broadband with the Post Office and she does not have much problems.


    I have not had a land line for years. I have been using a USB dongle for 4G broadband.

  • I've signed up with a company called Direct Save Telecom -- £16.95 per month for ADSL including line rental. Unfortunately there's no fibre or cable service 'round here.


    Same as all of them, they lease a line from BT Openreach, which means my speed should match what I already have. (17mb)

    Whether they are any good or not is yet to be seen!