BT Line Fault Charges

Firstly please forgive cross posting - am unsure which group would be best placed to help....
During the heavy thunderstorms in August, a friend of mine lost the use of her telephone and modem. Computer repairer says modem was knocked out my lightening and replaced it. Now she has received her telephone bill showing a £50 charge which BT say is because the damage caused to her telephone line was due to her having a computer using the same line.
This sounds like complete rubbish to me and she has asked me to pen her a letter refuting this, but I would of course prefer to know that I'm not talking utter rubbish before I do so...any help/advice would be welcome.
L
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With the information you have given, I would say that BT are trying it on.
Assuming that your friend has bought a properly approved modem of reputable brand, then there are required standards of design and construction for modems, mainly to protect the phone line from faults that might develop in the modem.
It is difficult in any case for a fault in a PC if it's an internal modem or a power supply fault if it's an external one to put any voltage on the phone line likely to damage line equipment.
There may be some weasel words in their user contract that allows them to make a standard charge. However, that doesn't mean that it can't be refuted.
How did they know that there was a modem on the line anyway? Did she have it set to answer the phone, and they called it?
One option could be to talk to Oftel, but they do have the reputation of being a toothless tiger.
.andy
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<snip>

Last number called before the outage, the owner is hardly going to try phoning an ISP's 'dial-up' number with their normal phone...
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wrote:

True, but do you think that they are that bright?
.andy
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I don't see why not, it could well have been included when the engineer accessed the line details.
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wrote:

I suspect it is the originator who is trying it on, this message has been multiposted (not cross posted) in uk.legal and uk.telecom. What has probably happened is that something has taken out the modem preventing the subscriber from calling out.
The subscriber has reported a fault to BT apparently without doing any checks themselves and BT have attended finding no fault on their equipment but faulty subscriber equipment. They have therefore, quite rightly, charged the fee the subscriber would have been told beforehand that they could be charged if it was not a BT equipment fault.
--
Peter Parry.
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wrote:

Could be, which is why I said "with the information you have given".
.andy
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I would try uk.telecom
Martin Warby
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Did BT visit the house and test the modem? Otherwise how could they possibly know it was the cause of the problem? Plenty other devices are plugged into the mains and a telephone line these days...
--
*If only you'd use your powers for good instead of evil.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Sound like rubbish to me too!
I think it is much more likely the surge was the opposite direction to what BT claim Usually modems get killed by getting zapped by a strike down the phone line! If it were me, I would try to charge them the £50 for the damage to the modem from their line!
Sparks...
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On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 07:09:07 GMT, L wrote:

Did she report a fault to BT when she lost the phone and modem? Did a BT engineer come round? If so did the engineer find a fault with *BT equipment*? ie not her own (not BT rented) phone or modem. If he did not find any BT fault then that is what the charge is for.
Failing that I'd ask for a written description of exactly what the charge is for. BT hate writing so she'll really have to push for that.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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Yes it does sound like a 'no fault found' charge. If the BT technician turns out & the fault is fixed by disconnecting the fried modem/computer then there is no fault with the BT apparatus and a no fault fee gets charged.
The way round this for others is to disconnect all your own stuff from the line before testing with a known good phone. Better still test from the internal socket of the master socket which you get to by unscrewing the sub-panel on the front. Only if then faulty then report to BT.
--
fred

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On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 13:25:27 GMT, fred wrote:

Which is where the BT man will test. If the line works there "no fault found" that'll be £xxx please.

The last times I've reported a residentail fault I've had to convince them I have tried a known good phone ("borrowed from neighbour") and I've disconnected all extension wiring or equipment and I still got warnings of the fee for NFF.
--
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Dave Liquorice wrote:

The last time I reported a fault ditto.
Despite the fault being that regularly the phone would ring, nobody there, Hang up. Phone rings again, everything okay. Caller says I tried once and the ringing tone stops so I had to try again. Only happend with other exchange calls. I suspected a dodgy trunk and told BT so but they still insisted on the questions.
Mike
Telecomms engineer! (Not working for BT)
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Did she report the faulty modem to BT as a line fault? If so, BT will charge for investigating it.
If she has done something which destroyed a BT line card like sticking mains back down the line, the charge would be a lot more than £50 (and I suspect the line would remain cut off until BT had satisfied themselves she wasn't able to do it again).
--
Andrew Gabriel

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I think you need to find out exactly what was said by the engineer who visited the house - if one did infact visit?
If he came and unplugged the modem and then the phone line worked immediately then your friend does indeed have to pay for the visit.
It's always a good idea when you have a phone line fault to do most of the fault finding yourself, i.e. unplug EVERYTHING from EVERY socket and try one thing at a time checking the line each time
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<snip>
To take this at a right-angle. Does the green sticker mean that BT warrant that the modem design is OK, and safe to connect to their lines, or just that it has passed the tests?
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wrote:

I would *expect* it means the latter, the *design* has been checked, approved and a sample have been tested. How would BT know if there is a fault in the manufacture or one has developed since ?
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wrote:

BT don't warrant anything.
After privatisation, and the opening of the market, an organisation called BABT took over the role of certifying equipment for connection to telecom networks.
Nowadays there are many such organisations all over the world that can do it.
Certification, since April 2000, is now via the EU R&TTE Directive.
With this, the manufacturer or importer self certifies that the equipment conforms with the necessary and applicable standards for the Directive and applies a CE mark to confirm that. Reputable manufacturers will have test reports from independent laboratories or an equivalent method to back that up.
As far as I am aware, the green dot scheme no longer applies because it would imply that the UK could have different regulations to other member states.
.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

The green sticker (Or rather the CE mark, as it noe is) Warrants that the manufacturer thinks the device conforms to the EU standards for telephones.
If you prove it doesnt they have to take it off the market.
In other words it means almost nothing.
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