ISP wants to charge for converting phone line

Found 29th Dec 2016
I'm part way thru ordering a broadband & landline package with the ISP, Origin.

Origin are stating that I do have a line at my address but it's a stopped MPF line that they need to convert to a SMPF line so it works with their network; and to do this they have to send an engineer costing me £48.

This engineer charge effectively bumps up price of the deal from 11/month to 14/month (unlimited download amount, up to 17 Mbps)..

Does anyone know if the engineer call out is really necessary? I've spent ages researching for a good broadband deal and I'm not keen on starting all over again, but maybe I need to scrap Origin if they're going to charge me £48??! Is this common for ISPs to do this?

thank you for any help with this

15 Comments

Tell them to waiver the charge or you will take your custom elsewhere? I did that with my last two contracts, both gave in, then miraculously I didn't need it anyway?

Original Poster

Even as a totally new customer? Suppose I've got nothing to lose! I'm ordering via topcashback so I do need to complete order online...will go back on their online chat now and see what they say. Thank you!

jo_bob

Even as a totally new customer? Suppose I've got nothing to lose! I'm … Even as a totally new customer? Suppose I've got nothing to lose! I'm ordering via topcashback so I do need to complete order online...will go back on their online chat now and see what they say. Thank you!



​Yup, my last one said I needed an engineer visit to switch on my fibre from my old fibre supplier, I laughed as I knew the first time my fibre was turned on it was done remotely, they just read off a screen to be fair to the call centre staff, once you start to question things they back track.

Origin is a LLU provider, this enables them to install their own equipment in (or close to) BT exchanges in order to connect your line to their own network. MPF allows them to offer both the landline and broadband, SMPF allows them to share the services with another provider, landline with one broadband with another. Strange that they are saying that it has to be SMPF?

Original Poster

I have a copy of the chat transcript and the advisor definitely said they need to convert to shared metallic path facility. existing line is a "stopped MPF" line apparently...

The engineer installation charge is normal and is for the engineer to do the work at the cabinet/exchange, it does not always mean that a home visit is required, Openreach will come to the home address if they do not detect that there has been a working line there. Providers will offer deals, sometimes with free or reduced installation charges, might be worth waiting for their New Year sales to see if any of them offer that.

Original Poster

westy125
Origin staff have just ignored my chat conversation asking politely if they'd consider waiving the engineer call out.... shame there's not even an acknowledgement..

I was just on asking them a question too, they don't seem too interested in helping anyone , do you know if I can get them as a standalone broadband provider but still keep my home telephone contract with virgin?

jimmyandmel

I was just on asking them a question too, they don't seem too interested … I was just on asking them a question too, they don't seem too interested in helping anyone , do you know if I can get them as a standalone broadband provider but still keep my home telephone contract with virgin?



If they are not interested in helping anyone why would you want to choose them as your provider? Seems like you are asking for trouble! If you have Virgin via cable then no, if you have Virgin via your normal telephone line then possibly.

Interested in using them as they are possibly the only company I can use for what I need , thanks for the reply

jimmyandmel

Interested in using them as they are possibly the only company I can use … Interested in using them as they are possibly the only company I can use for what I need , thanks for the reply



What do you need?

Just a broadband account that will still allow me to have telephone line through virgin and keep telephone contract with them

jo_bob

westy125 Origin staff have just ignored my chat conversation asking … westy125 Origin staff have just ignored my chat conversation asking politely if they'd consider waiving the engineer call out.... shame there's not even an acknowledgement..



​Awful, can't you tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine and go elsewhere? To be fair it would be a lot worse with talk talk customer service in South Africa! (I'm with talk talk) simply awful CS

jimmyandmel

Just a broadband account that will still allow me to have telephone line … Just a broadband account that will still allow me to have telephone line through virgin and keep telephone contract with them



plus.net/hom…ly/
BT used to do it also but can't find it on the website. Although they all mainly charge a startup fee and mostly it is cheaper to package calls, line rental and BB in one package these days. Came across the same issue myself before Fibre came out although I had line from BT and BB from O2 then when Sky bought O2 Broadband they had zero interest in myself as I couldn't take my line to them as under contract with BT at the time and they also had zero interest in buying it out. Back then BT and Plusnet where the only two options I had found.
Edited by: "cecilmcroberts" 30th Dec 2016

Original Poster

I phoned sky in the end and they reduced the callout fee for engineer from 20 to 5 quid. didn't purchase my deal thru their call centre tho as TCB offering 77 CB. So I'm paying roughly 13/14 quid a month with sky for unltd BB and calls
Edited by: "jo_bob" 30th Dec 2016
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