In a message dated 23/12/2009 GMT Standard Time,
BT are responsible for repair costs unless you cause the damage e.g a tree
surgeon that cuts a BT line accidently will have to pay for the repair.
I am dead against pruning trees for telephone wires because if we did there
would be bl**din great hole through the crown of just about every tree in the
Back in the bad old days we would ring them up (The Post Office as was) and
they would say try not to damage them but if you do we'll come and put them
back up FOC. I believe the reasoning was that taking them down and putting
them back up again would cost twice as much; the cost of the wire being
negligible. We once did a street tree pruning job with so many wires that
they simply sent out a bloke to stop with us for the duration.
These days they're a little less co-operative and when we recently knocked
one down they were downright obstinate insisting that it was the owners
responsibility and that we should reimburse the owner, no they wouldn't bill
me. This cost something in the order of 350 quid so I set to arguing the toss
and eventually pursued the complaints section, who were unhelpful and
obstinate. I pointed out that 350 quid for what amounted to 20 minutes work
was completely unreasonable and in future I would be seeking an alternative
service provider. The complaints section were not keen on someone unqualified
sticking up telephone wires but I pointed out as they were no longer a
monopoly they probably didn't have a choice.... Some weeks elapsed whereupon
I complained about the lack of any further correspondence.
They decided to reimburse my client. RESULT!
By my reasoning a wire through trees is bound to get broken so it becoming
broken while we were on site is merely wear and tear. Anyway we routinely
prune trees away from wires while we're up there so all in all they ought to
be grateful for the w&t we avoid for them.
However I also have to say that we knocked down a wire a couple of years ago
that turned out to be attached to a Post Office Telecoms line. I'm not sure
how this works (the post office presumably aren't putting in their own
infrastructure) but I told my client to tell them to contact me and they
refused. They actually refused to let me report the breakage as it wasn't my
line and data protection meant they couldn't even talk to me as I wasn't a
client. For once I was speechless. So I rang back and reported it pretending
to be my client and they came and put it back up. They then refused to send
me the bill and were so down right nasty to my client that she paid and
changed suppliers. I paid her, again 300 quid or so.
I received no response to my letters of complaint and am now of the opinion
that if Post Office Telecoms go bust tomorrow it's not a moment too soon.
Come to think of it I've not seen their irritating adverts lately and the
girl in post office hasn't tried to get me to change suppliers for ages
although that could be because she doesn't want another rant from me about
However NO RESULT.
I'd just point out to worried householder that BT are so desperate for us to
keep using the phone that they'll usually be out to put the wire back up
within hours. If the household have got security issues then they ought to
have a mobile in the house as well because the criminal classes aren't beyond
I will say that when my own wire was rubbed through by a branch I had someone
from BT assuring me it was my modem causing the problem, however as I could
see the frayed wire through my binoculars they were soon round to sort it out.
Stand your ground Colin.
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