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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I had rather different experiences with BT. After moving to my new flat, I had the phone line activated by calling them. This was a matter of minutes and it should have worked.

    At home it turned out that the line was dead so I also used their webside to check the line. The response was instantaneous: Problem with BT's network. That was August 4.

    Then it took an ugly turn. They announced that they'd begin with the repair on August 10! So it would have taken them six days to even start fixing it.

    I was understandably a trifle upset and followed up on this through a form on their webside. There was no reaction. Then I did it again, this time marking my follow-up as a complaint, with a significantly snider tone. And indeed, this worked. They said they had contacted the engineer squad for my area to mark my outage as high-priority.

    The next day a BT chap came around, did some line-tests but couldn't find the main wire for the phone lines on my square. The next day (Sunday) another BT repairman showed up. He wasn't a lot more clueful at first but in the end he found the main dispatcher box on the back of my block. He said that my line was probably never connected and it shouldn't have been activated in the first place. Fortunately, he found an unused wire and switched my phone onto this.

    I asked why no one of my neighbors seems to have problems with their phone. He said that when somebody new moved in, he's probably given one of the excess working lines, which of course only works when a certain amount of flats are vacant on my square. In essence: BT is playing musical chairs and he freely admitted that for the person moving in, fixing his line might be more difficult if there is no other unused wire left.

    Not that I care about this now. Still, it stroke me as odd that I had to yell at them for them to start working on my problem.