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Openreach Trial May Reduce Missed UK Engineer Appointments

Sunday, May 23rd, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 11,856
openreach 2017 engineer and van

Openreach (BT) has moved into the trial phase for a change that, when adopted by UK broadband ISPs, could potentially help reduce the number of missed engineering appointments by improving the level of contact made between the network operator and end-users (consumers etc.) on certain provision and repair journeys.

The public briefing doesn’t tell us anything useful, although feedback from ISPs indicates that the new trial is an extension to their existing Direct End Customer Contact system, which aims to reduce missed engineer appointments by sending an SMS (text) and / or landline voice message with a reminder of the upcoming appointment. Additional advice on what to expect on the day may also be included.

Openreach will also conduct tests to identify where the customer could benefit from troubleshooting advice being sent. The trial itself is due to begin on 10th June 2021 and will take place nationally (inclusion is based on the end customer’s journey – i.e. If the customer has an appointed provision order and if the ISP has opted-in to the trial).

We are working to enhance all the journeys that are currently live using Openreach insight and testing and are working with Industry to implement additional requirements and create new journeys,” said Openreach to ISPreview.co.uk.

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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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38 Responses
  1. Spiderads says:

    This can only be a good thing, though the number of times I get told of “missed appointments” when every appointment is attended on previous days makes me worry that there may be more fundamental issues.

    1. ChrisC says:

      I remember back in my ADSL days when I had faults galore I had a lot of missed afternoon appointments.

      Now I have my first fault for years, was given a PM slot, and guess what, appointment missed.

      Openreach when they called me made no real apology, just book a new one and hope for the best they refused to give me a 100% that this one will be attended, basically they do appointments on a best efforts basis which just isnt good enough.

      I did pick an AM slot which should raise my chances however, but you know how things bad are when reading stories of AM appointments been attended after 4pm.

  2. Kevin Reid says:

    If openreach themselvez would stop turning up for appointments that have been cancelled or changed that would be half the battle.

    1. Rachel says:

      This would depend when you cancelled the appointment, alot of customers cancel the day before which doesn’t give time to pass through the systems to us. We as engineers don’t know the appointment is cancelled until we call ahead or arrive at your property.

    2. Clive says:

      In this modern day of real time communications – cancelling the day before should be enough time to reschedule.

    3. David says:

      It’s actually a contractual issue. If the customer cancels after a certain point (the point of no return) Openreach will still charge for that visit and are therefore contractually obliged to attend the appointment. Cancel before the PONR and no engineer will show.

  3. John says:

    I’m still adsl wish I had broadband and can never contact anyone to see if I ever will now waiting 6 years.

    1. dee.jay says:

      ADSL is broadband, albeit very slow of course.

    2. Andrea Brooks says:

      I’ve had so much hassle with them that never tell u the truth don’t turn up when they are surpose to one guy was so rude to me on the phone I’ve made a complaint

  4. Mark says:

    So far in my ‘journey’ I have had 1 wrong engineer and 2 no shows, expecting them again tomorrow so we shall see if it’s 4th time lucky. On the plus side I’ve had £50 sky and getting £5 a day .

  5. Tony says:

    The problem is OpenReach communication. Often engineers are give part addresses, not both contact numbers, or poles they are not allowed to climb.
    Blocked underground ducts and misinformation on location of connections. All adding to fails or time finding customer an/or connection points.
    Also the auto messages are sent out when the engineer given does not have the job allocated.
    I know i work for a contractor for OpenReach

    1. David Dryssale says:

      If you work for Openreach you should be able to spell the name properly. The only organisation that knows how a line is provided (duct or overhead pole etc) and where it is terminated is Openreach themselves.
      I seem to remember Openreach engineer call ahead to end customers was being piloted in 2018.

  6. Rachel says:

    Im an engineer for openreach and this would be a good idea if we had all contact numbers for whoever will be at the property. Alot of the battle is we ring ahead on details provided which is the account holder and 9 times out of 10 they are at work or incorrect details due to changing numbers and not updating with there service providers.

    1. Clive says:

      The service providers the end customer works with should validate they have up to date contact details when booking an appointment. In an ideal world yes the end user would remember all of the origanisations that have their contact details and update them. But in the real world that won’t happen. If the service provider did a quick check that would address that problem.

    2. A_Builder says:

      That may well be true.

      But from my experience I get the confirmation SMS – so OR must have the right number other I would not get the SMS – then I get a no show.

      I’m not blaming the tech guys and girls on the ground but the OR appointments system is awful, everyone knows that. If as someone at the top said it cannot update cancellations and rebooking real time that is really really bad: I would expect a maximum of one hour refresh on even a big system like this and realistically more like 5-10mins by the time various API’s are updated.

  7. Sam says:

    What would be nice is an openreach guy telling me im right when clearly theres an issue… honestly they turn up run a few checks then bugger off or refuse to listen.. I work in IT too you know…

    1. GNewton says:

      “BT isn’t fit for any level of government support or funding”

      BT is a commercial shareholding company, it never had any needs for government funds. The whole BDUK was a farce. If it can’t compete, then let it go under, others will pick up the pieces.

      “Even what they are rolling out now in city’s is just a rubbish.”

      I wouldn’t call its current fibre rollout rubbish. However, it’s quite late in the game.
      The lack of symmetric fibre from BT/Openreach makes its products less attractive, unlike some other altnets.

    2. New_Londoner says:

      Quote “The whole BDUK was a farce. If it can’t compete, then let it go under, others will pick up the pieces.”

      This betrays a complete lack of understanding of the whole BDUK contract process. Remember that it was the government that initiated the programme in order to accelerate the deployment of faster broadband by the industry, with the funding allocated through a tender process and framework contracts.

      Any commercial organisation was able to bid, with IIRC, 9 taking part at the start of the formal tender process. If the government wishes to influence decisions being made by the private sector in this manner then it is reasonable that it pays for the privilege.

      But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a post on a website!

    3. Werty says:

      Just because you work in IT does NOT mean you are capable of troubleshooting a broadband fault. If you were then go and fix it yourself. That’s probably why you get ignored. Do you tell a mechanic how to fix your car? The gas man how to fix your boiler?

  8. Simon Ackerman says:

    The real problem is BT/Openreach. They are the provider we have not the provider we need. I am hoping they fail to gain any real funding. This would mean a failure to roll out fibre in rural areas and could lead to government funding collapses. Only then might we see real telecoms professionals within the UK. We need forward looking smaller ISPs who will start building for the next generation. BT isn’t fit for any level of government support or funding they had their chances and failed every single time before. Even what they are rolling out now in city’s is just a rubbish.

    1. Ste says:

      What like virgin you muppet, your the type of person who wants the world but wants to pay for nothing and still complain say in your idealistic ivory tower…..bell end!!!

    2. Bob Wishart says:

      I agree they are a bunch of rubbish

  9. Jon Rixon says:

    I feel like Openreach have the same problems as a lot of big organisations;
    1. There are good apples and bad, the bad ones sour the batch for everyone. We’ve had some brilliant engineers where nothing is too much trouble, and some where even turning up was too much effort.
    2. Communication – as has been said everyone else in the world has multiple ways to contact each other, Openreach seem happiest when they are working on their network and not telling anyone what they are doing (public fttp rollout plans?), less so when they are using their network to communicate with each other, suppliers and customers. The old saying goes – big wheels turn slowly. I think some of OR’s might be rusted stuck.

  10. William Grimsley says:

    They need to become less “faceless”, by allowing customers to contact them directly and for them to provide more information to the public.

    1. Damien says:

      The last engineer who came to me gave me his number and offered to re locate a socket for nothing. I did and he did to his credit.

      He’s clearly a dying bread

    2. Aarob says:

      I sure hope he doesn’t go mouldy 🙁

    3. Alex says:

      Tell that to the service providers, who want Openreach to remain faceless unless they need someone to blame.

  11. adslmax says:

    Openreach did phone up my parents few weeks ago when their line was fault. They asking my parents for account holder name and who their ISP and they on their way to them within 2-30 minutes and they did turn up and replaced new MK4 master sockets and resetted DLM and their line reduced 6dB to 3dB in three steps by DLM to recover their line back to 40/10.

    1. adslmax says:

      mistyped 2-30 mins should be 20-30 mins

  12. Damien says:

    I’ve had 3 engineers come out for various things since Feb – all turned up, all been nice. Nothing to complain about here

  13. Bob Wishart says:

    Openreach / BT is the worst company I have ever dealt with. I have had no network for 8 weeks because of them. Got a letter from Openreach saying that fibre was at my house. BT engineer came to install but when he came, he said that fifer was not at my house. Yet you go to there website put in my address and it says great you have fibre. Wrote to Northern Ireland director who said she would sort it out. But to date no joy.

    1. MR Paul McHugo says:

      I recently moved into a large new build property and experienced no broadband till recently because open reach wouldNT publish its connection lists .At last we can have SUPER DUPER FIBRE y BUT ONLY AT THEIR TOP TARRIF AND OVER 2 YEARS SUBJECT TO FREQUENT RISES.A MONOPOLY?

  14. Caroline says:

    I would have been happy if they turned up to the right house. When they arrived they installed fibre broadband into my neighbours house and cut our existing broadband off at the same time. Try working from home with no broadband for a month.

  15. Greg says:

    Well, might be nice if open reach attended the booked appointments and didn’t lie about the consumer being out! Works both ways openreach!

    Told to rebook as I was “out” nope I was in I argued!! Well you will need to rebook it as it was logged as a missed …

    After waiting nearly a month to get my booking to then be told I’d have to wait another month for my next I requested BT cancelled my order.

    Oh… and quite frankly got sick to death of multiple pester texts and emails requesting i “confirm” (which I did) my appointment. A failing company that needs a big shake up

    1. adslmax says:

      CCTV will proof it, if Openreach never turn up! Send copy of CCTV to ISP to send it off to Openreach – no show!

    2. Bob says:

      Openreach do have a “dispute no access” procedure – it isn’t applicable in all situations but can lead to your next appointment being expedited.

  16. Mr Kevin Tierney says:

    I honestly think open reach tell lies when they say fibre optic is coming soon still 10 till 12 years later still no fibre optic had to go to virgin media in eh1 3al postcode of Edinburgh nobody else can supply

  17. Owen reach says:

    You lot on here are all clueless numptys….jumping on the bandwagon to destination doom!!

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