BT, a company you can trust

This morning, at about 11am, someone arrived from BT to install a new ADSL line as part of the idea of sticking all our files on a server on the other side of London.

At 11:15, our BT ADSL falls over. Oh, well it does this two or three times a day, it'll be back again soon.

At 11:30, even disconnecting and reconnecting the modem hasn't worked. 'Hmm, I could always ask the BT engineer…' but he's buggered off saying the new line's working.

At 3pm, the sodding BT ADSL still isn't working, so I call the Openwoe helpline (tip: call the sales people on a free 0800 number and they'll put you through to the faults people who are normally on a chargeable 0845 number).

In a 30 minute call, the prat on the helpdesk gets me to uninstall the modem drivers and reinstall them. No joy. "It's probably the microfilter – I'll get a couple of replacements sent out to you."

I'm not convinced, so I try putting a phone in the socket (it's normally our fax line as well as the ADSL). Hmm, that's an odd dialling tone.

I report this as a fault. The automated line fault system thinks it's ok. I try talking to a human. "What number are you calling about?" "020 7244 00xx." "And what number are you calling from?" "That one." "No, you're not…"

It turns out, that as part of installing the new ADSL line, the clever engineer had swapped our old ADSL line with a neighbour's. We were now getting their calls (although as the fax is silent until it actually successfully receives a fax, we didn't realise this) and they were getting ours. And either their line wasn't ADSL-enabled or it was it was 'presenting' the wrong number for our details. Oh, and the odd dialling tone was their 1571 virtual answerphone saying they'd had a message…

A new engineer arrived about 4pm, and sorted it out. "What cowboy did this, then?" "Erm, one of yours…"

I wonder how long it would have taken BT to work out what was wrong if I hadn't tried the fax line with a handset… or if there hadn't been a 1571 message on the other person's number.

Naughty Ian was tempted to start calling some expensive numbers, but I'm really too nice…

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