Friday 31 August 2012

A Return to Reality? The End of the Communication Blues

The 'Gothic' phone used to try and contact BT - see post for August 27

Driving back from yet another day spent in cafes using their 'free' wi-fi, with intermissions to contact BT from payphones to try and find out what was happening to my lightning blown phone line ("we apologise for not meeting the deadline"), I spotted a BT Open Reach van on the verge and a man standing with a bundle of cables in his hand. I swerved into a parking area and ran over. A real human being! Perhaps he could tell me when my connection might be restored. I gave my number. Working on it now, came the surprising reply. There'd been two faults on the 5 mile cable from the exchange and there was still one in my house. I'll be up there in ten or fifteen minutes, he said. And he was, to replace a blown connection box. Luckily the internet cable was detached so the router and PC were fine. Only a portable phone had been damaged. The engineer told me he was from Stornoway and had been over here for two weeks fixing faults - there were 60 or 70 in total in the area he said. That day the three affecting my phone were his work.

So now I'm back online and catching up with emails and other admin. My thanks go to all the BT engineers who are working seven day weeks mostly outdoors in often wet weather. Some people are still without phones sixteen days after the big storm. I just wish BT was better at actually communicating with customers as to what is happening. Always saying the fault will be fixed in three days time, isn't helpful, especially when two deadlines go past and it ends up as eight days.

Now that my PC and the internet have been reunited I'll replace the phone photos of the last few posts with better camera ones and add some more so if you're interested in my pictures keep an eye out for these.


  1. More people like the chap in the van, out doing the fixing would be helpful. This might mean lower executive bonuses and reduced dividend payouts but I'm guessing most BT customers (supposedly the most important people to a business) could live with that.

  2. And that one picture from a payphone, really tells a story to your whole saga Chris! ;)

    The sad state of the UK's affairs when it comes to (tele)communications in rural communities. They exist, but outdated and forgotten unfortunately.