When Is A BT Connection Charge Not A Connection Charge?

I’m in the midst of a nightmare with BT. I keep pinching myself to see if I wake up, but sadly no, I’m locked in a battle with them of epic proportions. Here’s why.

I moved house last week and wanted to transfer the telephone number from my old house to the new one. Even though BT wanted to charge me £125 for connecting the old number up in the new house, I went ahead with them anyway.

I received a text to say that BT would visit my home to expedite the connection and duly waited in for them to call. No one turned up, so when I phoned them (half an hour call on my mobile) I was told this:

“The connection order is complete. It was expedited at the exchange and everything should work fine now. There was no need for our engineer to call”, I was confidently told. Hmmm Why was I phoning BT on my mobile? Well, the phone wasn’t working.

This is where the nightmare started.

When I said that everything was far from fine, I was then informed that if the phone doesn’t work, then it has to be logged as a fault. if an engineer has to actually visit my house, then there may be a charge if they find something wrong with internal wiring or equipment connected to the line.

There was no kit connected to my line and I could get a dialling tone, but could not actually make any calls. When I dialled 150 or another BT code, nothing happened.

My house is plainly not connected to the BT phone network, even though BT OpenReach had declared all is well and closed the order – without even phoning my number to check that it works, or visiting us, as we were lead to believe would happen (and the text had confirmed).

Here’s the rub.

As the matter is still unresolved, an engineer has been booked to actually come through our front door and see what the problem is. BUT if he finds that something is wrong I will get billed another £127.

I questioned this possible charge with their “fault support team”, who are all based in India and do not have any understanding of the issues that you are facing. I was told this, which everybody should be aware of:

The £125 connection fee that BT charges you is for connection of your number at the exchange. If BT Openreach need to visit your premises and encounter something like the fact that a previous phone company had owned the line, then you have to pay a further £127 for them to connect your wiring to their network.

So BT will happily charge you £125 for a two minute job in the comfort of their exchange, even if your phones are not actually connected to their network afterwards.

My problem is still unresolved at this point, but I want to make sure that everybody is aware of BT charges, particularly with more phone networks being available which could make connecting your phone to the BT network far more costly than you initially thought.

I’ll let you know what happens with my ongoing nightmare. In the meantime, be very careful with those BT “connection” charges.

One comment

  1. Similar issue. Prior to moving house, informed BT about new address. They stated there was no line to that house and an engineer would have be called at a charge of £127.99. I agreed based on their “assessment”. Engineer turns up, discovers there is a line – makes a 2 minute adjustment to divert it from the NTL box the former occupant was using and back onto the BT wiring and then leaves.

    So now we pay £128 for BTs poor assessment and the privilege of staying with them…

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