Openreach – the unaccountable monopoly


Well if you read the earlier posts in this sorry saga (first then second)  you will know that I’m no fan of Virgin Media and was looking forward to getting a BT Infinity connection.

Here is the Openreach engineer up that invisible-to-Openreach phone pole connecting up my telephone line on 25th June as arranged 3 weeks earlier as part of my Infinity install…

Openreach engineer up a pole

I was a little surprised that the install was split between two engineers and so was this guy who said he too was qualified to do Infinity installs. He completed the job and left a message for the follow up engineer about the connections he had used then left. I waited but nobody turned up to complete the job. I phoned BT about 6:30pm to ask what had gone wrong. I eventually spoke to a friendly CS rep who promised a callback and indeed made one. I told him that I had cancelled my VM connection and needed the Infinity install to be completed by 28th or I would have to cancel. In truth I had a week in hand but I don’t believe in giving the true deadline for anything immediately. He assured me there would be no problem and that Openreach would call me back the next day with an early fresh appointment. They did. On the new BT line which by pure chance still had the phone in it I’d used to make sure it was working OK rather than my normal home number or mobile. The new “early” appointment was for 10th July. As that would be after my VM had ceased and from stories I’d read about other Openreach no-shows on the BT community forum there was no guarantee that anybody would bother to turn up then either I decided to cancel.

So Adios Infinity and hello to Virgin Media – I decided on a VM upgrade which will annoyingly tie me into a fresh 12 month contract and even more annoyingly saddle me with a (not-so-)Superhub – at least they didn’t want paying for it this time around and the monthly charge is actually a few quid less than the new customer price.

So there we are – let down by abysmal Openreach service yet again – I went to cable because of their ineptitude in the first place. Quite why the regulator thought a monopoly provider with no direct customer contact was a good idea I really can’t figure out. The result is an organisation that is pretty much completely unaccountable who think they can do just what they like and frequently do.

Should I have just waited – well no matter how good Infinity may be there is no way that I will deal with a company who so offhandedly assume I will put up with any old shit service they feel like offering. I’ve seen a post on the community forum where some poor sod says he’s taken 4 days off work staying in for their no-shows and is several hundred pounds out of pocket.

As a parting shot I’ll just mention that the BT CEO office rep who handled my initial complaint about not being able to order concluded her last email to me with …

“As you know, the order has now been placed for your BT line and BT infinity. The order reference is VOLnnn-nnnnnnnnnnn and the appointment is for the 25 June. As we discussed on the phone, if there’s any issues at all with this, please contact me direct and I’ll look into it for you.”

I did email her about the no-show and another one about the long delay before they would come again. Result – no reply at all. Thanks for your concern Christine.


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