Communication Problems? BT? Never!

You know, if Richard Curtis wrote a comedy script about the last five months and the debacle with BT, not even the fertile ground of Mr Curtis’ brain could dream up this trail of events and comedy of errors and deliver them with the greatest comedy thespians in a realistic and believable scenario.

It has been a few days since my last ramblings on the EIOT blog and if I had been naive enough to have believed BT/Openreach then I would have expected a fountain of activity that ultimately would have led, hopefully, to a phone line and broadband at EIOT Towers.

But alas no. I am not that naive.

If I were that naive then I would have expected a flurry of mole ploughing this week.

But no.

I have spent an unhealthy amount of time standing by the barn, (yes, that barn), desperately looking out over the beautiful Cumbrian countryside. That is no hardship, even in the rain and snow. But what has been disappointing is the lack of mole activity. Not even a pole dancing BT/Openreach engineer for entertainment.

It transpires that the expected delivery of 50 pair cable did not happen. Well, it did, just not to where it was meant to be delivered and while I have not been privy to its exact location I am led to believe that it was delivered to a completely different area of the UK.

That said, I have also had the impression that BT also have no idea where the cable is – although I have no evidence to back this up.

So, absolutely no progress on the broadband/phone line.

Well actually that is not quite true. If anything we may have taken a step backwards – if that is at all possible.

Yes, it appears that there may well be nobody at BT who is willing to speak to me.

The reasons for this may be many, I have not exactly held back on my withering criticism of all things BT/Openreach and have quite frankly not pulled any punches, (remember me being barred from Waterstones in Lancaster for socking it to BT on my mobile phone before Christmas…?), so I suspect that the number of people whose noses I have not put out of joint at the behemoth that is BT is limited – this fiasco has been going on for 6 months after all.

It now appears, possibly, that our Senior Executive Complaints Bod – Ms W, is now not talking to me. Now this could either be through sheer embarrassment at the fiasco that has unfolded and spread itself out over the last six months and exacerbated by the sheer incompetence of there 50 pair cable adversity or it could be because I let rip, via email, this week.

Yeap, BT/Openreach are used to my stroppy emails but this was something else and in it I pointed out all the untruths that have been fed to us over the last 6 months and provided evidence.

I also questioned the integrity of everybody at BT/Openreach – including Ms W.

Now it was a matter of hours after this email that the complete farce of the 50 pair cable emerged. Now it could be that Ms W had taken umbrage at my email or it could be that the prospect of contacting me with the news was too much to contemplate.

Whichever way I received the news of the 50 pair shambles came from a very unexpected source.

Quite a few months ago now, (and as I have mentioned here), out of sheer exasperation I got our MP involved in the debacle. Our MP has a dual role, not only is he our constituency MP but he is also the leader of The Liberal Democrats.

Yes, The Right Honourable Tim Farron MP has been on the case.

Now this has been a real positive as he has the ear of many senior people in organisations that quite frankly I would struggle to even know of – let alone contact.

So, we have had an inroad into various other sources of information such as progress on the new EE masts and rattling cages at the very top levels of BT/Openreach. Even if they do just bounce his communication down to Ms W.

That said, as I put in my email the other day, I am not sure how effective the new EE masts will be – EE is owned by BT and so the level of efficiency maybe more than a tad questionable.

So, The Right Honourable Tim Farron MP is on the case and quite frankly I have copied the poor chap in on every email I have sent about this fiasco for weeks and weeks.

Now, I know Mr Farron is a busy chap and has a core of ‘case handlers’ who deal with his everyday local affairs, but he has clearly been aware of what has been going on and has without doubt been very ‘hands on’ in the pursuit of basic communication facilities at EIOT Towers.

However, I was slightly taken aback when the news of the 50 pair cable contretemps came not from Ms W, but from The Right Honourable Tim Farron MP, (or one of his case handlers).

Yes, Ms W had elected not to email me or leave a voice message on my mobile, but had instead opted to pass this nugget of information onto our MP and his team and ask them to communicate it to me.

Well I never did.

So, even if this week BT/Openreach singularly fail to locate the 50 pair cable and get it to the right place, it is going to be interesting to see if there is any communication at all via whatever form Ms W.

Right, time to occupy the gruesome twosome as half-term has dawned and quite frankly, 24hrs in, there are already long faces that not even the fantastic hot chocolate at the super fast broadband equipped cafe can cure for long.


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