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BT Leaves Surrey UK Village for 10 Weeks Without Broadband and Phone

Monday, April 6th, 2015 (12:43 am) - Score 1,959

It’s well known that significant cable damage in rural areas can sometimes take significantly longer for BTOpenreach’s engineers to fix than in busy urban locations, where more people will feel the pain. Sadly this appears to be the case for 40 homes in the village of Wonersh, but the bigger issue is now one of compensation.

Apparently residents of the village have been left without broadband and phone services for a shade over 10 weeks because of a damaged local cable.

The good news is that the problem has finally been resolved, although locals are furious that their ISPs have decided to bill them for the period of outage (most are with BT’s own consumer division).

Vanessa Boultwood of New Road said (Get Surrey):

We were very, very, annoyed when we saw the bill. It seems the joke is there is no communication within a communication company. Because it is in advance, we have already paid for the months where we haven’t had phone lines or broadband; now, they are charging us for the next three months. The longer it goes on, the more inconvenient it gets.”

Technically speaking most home broadband connections aren’t covered by a proper business style Service Level Agreement (SLA) and so compensation is a matter for each individual ISP to decide, often on a case by case basis.

However ISPs will usually recognise when such serious problems have occurred and agree to some form of discount or refund, even though strictly speaking the problem was caused by Openreach’s failure to fix the cable in a timely fashion and not the end-users ISP.

Never the less ISPs do have a contracted duty to provide the service you’re paying for and if they haven’t been able to deliver a working connection then there’s really no excuse for charging.

Thankfully some locals have received a hold on their bills and others, after extensive complaining to a higher level of BT’s complaints department, are being promised a refund. But the response by BT’s consumer division has been varied when it should have been the same for all those affected. Indeed others are still trying to get a refund.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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