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BT Wholesale UK Still Trying to Resolve Engineer SFI2 Billing Errors

Posted: 03rd May, 2011 By: MarkJ
bt openreach uk broadband telecom vanbt wholesale logoDissatisfaction with visits from BT engineers and their related costs is nothing new but the problem is recently understood to have been exasperated. An error has meant that Special Faults Investigation 2 (SFI2) charges were sometimes levied when not appropriate and others not billed when it should have been.

BT usually picks up the tab for any problems which occur on your phone line and that exist within their realm (i.e. usually everything up to where the line enters a buildings phone socket). Anything outside of that (i.e. within the end-users realm) is usually on you. In practice this can still cause confusion and disputes.
Chargeable SFI examples include:

- Faults found on non-BT wiring at the end user premises
- Faults found on customer CPE which is not maintained by BT
- Line tested OK by the engineer and fault due to unplugged wires etc.
- Fault proved to broadband modem or router
However, this particular problem is understood to have impacted certain SFI2 charges covering BT's IPstream, Datastream, IPstream Connect, WBMC, WBC ADSL and ADSL2+ broadband ISP products. Initially it was only supposed to have impacted bills issued in March 2011 but, as investigations of the core issue remain on-going, "a fix has still not yet been fully implemented" and the problems have thus spilled over into April's CP bills.

BTWholesale Statement

Findings suggest that this could impact as much as 25% of the bill. Because of this, it has been decided to remove charges again where an SFI2 Base Module ONLY has been billed. This will have the effect of removing around 50% of customers SFI2 charges and will more than cover any discrepancies that may appear on the April bill. The adjustment will be applied automatically to all bills.

It should be noted that this adjustment stops the need for customers to dispute their bills as the amount being removed from the bill is likely to be greater than any dispute. If customers are unhappy with this approach then they can still dispute up to 28 days from receiving the bill, but doing so will cancel this adjustment and make them liable for all applicable SFI2 charges. This may include any SFI2 charges that would have previously been omitted from their bill.

BT Wholesale would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and would like to reassure customers that BT Wholesale are still working hard on a resolution to this issue. BT Wholesale's priority is to ensure customers are provided with accurate information at all times.

We requested further clarification on this issue from BT last month but received no reply. Meanwhile we suspect that rival broadband ISPs will continue to argue for an alternative to BT as the only source for telephone line fault fixing, with many others claiming that they could do a better and faster job for less.. if only BT would allow it.
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