UKTC Archive

Re: British Telecom Wires

Subject: Re: British Telecom Wires
From: andersonarb
Date: Dec 23 2009 18:14:13
In a message dated 23/12/2009 GMT Standard Time, writes:
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 
their inadequacies.

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 
cutting wires...... 

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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