Is it me or is Utility Warehouse taking the proverbial?

Found 14th Feb
My ma is having problems with her phone line, it's dead, no dial tone just some crackling and what sounds like static. Her equipment has been checked and all working fine. What annoyed me was Utility Warehouse has said they won't investigate further until she's got herself a screwdriver and investigated the BT socket wiring albeit with an assistant talking her through the procedure. I wouldn't be a problem for someone young but we're talking about a woman in her 70's getting on the floor to investigate something she knows nothing about.

What are your thought on this HUKD'ers?

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BT told us to bypass before and now sky told us we shouldn't of done that at all and we need to get 1 of there engineers out to replace it

No way don't mess with it. Ring em back up and record them saying that. That is unbelievable that they would say that! Discusting in fact. I was told by my phone company never to mess with the bt phone socket box or if there is an issue, they can charge me for interfering with it and causing more damage. Go to citizens advice and see what they say (if you have the patience). If I were you though I'd ring them back up and tell them again the issue.. if they tell you the same thing, ask to speak to their manager, demand in fact as you don't want to get blown up by the faulty box then have to sue them for possible life changing damages. That should get them to send an engineer out. Good luck with it

Edited by: "LeahsMintytoutou" 14th Feb

Pretty standard to ask customer to take off face plate and attach to test socket.

Pretty standard to ask customer to take off face plate and attach to test … Pretty standard to ask customer to take off face plate and attach to test socket.

Agree with this, 2 screws and socket pulls away to reveal another socket. Problem is a lot of houses don't have one and people end up thinking they should be removing the main socket. Call centre people don't help either as they don't explain it.
Edited by: "d13373d" 14th Feb

I think it's £240 if the fault is internal... In the house phone wiring.... so really worth undoing the 2 screws and plugging a phone in socket to test, although if it's the current phone then that will prove nothing, so you need to get a phone that you know is good. I'm with you though as you can't expect people to do that, especially a 70 year old but that's what you need to do. I recently had to go banging on neighbours doors to borrow a good phone to test our landline. I got one. Provider done a line test that came back good,but it wasn't. Ended up a connection problem down the road.

We are assuming she has an NTE plate and not the older style IJU5
She is not allowed to touch the wires in the socket. They belong to OpenReach.The master socket is property of Openreach for the whole duration of its life (unless you are in a new build and have an external nte in which case you will not have any BT master sockets). Altering it in anyway other than installing telephone extensions / replacing the face plate (the bit after the test socket) is illegal. If you do not have the NTE you can pay for one to be fitted by BT / openreach.

Mistakes in there would then be blamed on her. Tell Utility Warehouse to jog on and get an engineer out.
Edited by: "getmeone" 14th Feb

I work in the telecoms industry and whilst it is absolutely correct that you should test from the test socket if you have one, (see link above). If your mother is physically unable and you are too far away to assist a fault can be raised and an engineer dispatched but she might be liable for charges.
Common reasons faulty handset, faulty internal wiring which is the homeowners responsibility and damage to the socket.
hope this helps.

I had the static line and no dial tone and had huge problem trying to talk to anyone from BT so in the end I called the number for business owners and admitted I am not a business owner but the BT guy arranged for engineer to come out and fix a new socket as I had a old style socket. Engineer guy then checked the telephone wire going outside into a little box and the wire was corroded so that wire was replaced as well. No charge at all

Original Poster

Thanks for the comments people. I'll be taking a trip up to ma's tomorrow to sort this test out. Had a quick phone about and the cheapest quote for this faceplate off job was a local ex BT engineer @ £175+ VAT. Nearly choked on many swear words!…tml

Doesn't mention about paying but doesn't mention it's free. I had mine done free last year but not the new box that's pictured here.
I really didn't pay for mine so try call BT and explain situation. I was just going in circles with doing that line test call so in the end called the Business fault line number.

Standard procedure for any CP to offer the advice in the OP.
£175+VAT for a one man band to come out and look at it is extortionate, closer to £40-50 I'd say.

Just some tips if for when you do check the face plate. Check your at the master socket it will usually look like this:
In some instances it may look like this and network separation is not possible and as such openreach/CP should not charge you for any fault to do with the socket or your internal wiring network. A new NTE5 should be fitted and any faulty wiring disconnected (with the option for it be repaired at a charge).

If you're mother is fed from a pole/overhead you can confirm this by following the dropwire (cable from the pole) into the premises and looking where it ends up. Noise/crackle, NDT (no dial tone) faults are usually caused by a full or high resistance disconnection in the network. At a guess and without seeing the feed to your mothers house, I would suspect that she is fed by old DW6 (grey) and it's become brittle and disconnected at the pole or customer fixing due to the elements.
If you need any help give me a shout.
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