BT charging me for engineer visit that wasn't needed.

in Phones & TV
14 replies 1.8K views
Hello,

My partner and i have just moved into our first flat together.

Among all of the other things we needed to get set up, we went to BT for our phone and broadband. My dad is with them and he highly rates them so I saw it as the obvious choice.

After I signed up they said they would need to send an engineer out to activate the line, and I get to pay the reduced rate of £50whatever it is for being a new customer - ok, fine, fair enough.

Fast forward a few days and they then send me a text saying they now do not need to send an engineer out as the line is already active and good to go. Oh great I thought! Easier for everyone.

Now I've just received my first bill yesterday, I had a look at it and they STILL want the £50 odd quid for an engineer visit that never happened in the end! Am I able to contest this at all and maybe get it waived? If a man(or woman) actually physically came to my flat and tinkered with some wires I would have been more than happy to pay this but when no one came and they actually advised me of that in advance, well, I would have thought they would know to waive the charges for something that didn't happen but then I guess they are probably trying to get all the money they can :(
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  • lee111slee111s Forumite
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    The fee is likely an activaion charge. Even if they engineer didn’t come to your home, there will have been worked carried out elsewhere in the network. Possibly at the green street cabinet, but definitely work required at the exchange to connect your pair of wires to the relevant phone and broadband equipment.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Hello,

    My partner and i have just moved into our first flat together.

    Among all of the other things we needed to get set up, we went to BT for our phone and broadband. My dad is with them and he highly rates them so I saw it as the obvious choice.

    After I signed up they said they would need to send an engineer out to activate the line, and I get to pay the reduced rate of £50whatever it is for being a new customer - ok, fine, fair enough.

    Fast forward a few days and they then send me a text saying they now do not need to send an engineer out as the line is already active and good to go. Oh great I thought! Easier for everyone.

    Now I've just received my first bill yesterday, I had a look at it and they STILL want the £50 odd quid for an engineer visit that never happened in the end! Am I able to contest this at all and maybe get it waived? If a man(or woman) actually physically came to my flat and tinkered with some wires I would have been more than happy to pay this but when no one came and they actually advised me of that in advance, well, I would have thought they would know to waive the charges for something that didn't happen but then I guess they are probably trying to get all the money they can :(
    Probably as said above, however you don't need to come on here really, just phone them up and ask.

    As an aside (no offence to your father) but you're best off doing your own research on any utilities and such rather than using BT because your father has had them forever (most probably). BT don't tend to be the cheapest out there. You may be able to steer your father to a better deal for himself.
  • gemmajenkins0208gemmajenkins0208 Forumite
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    Ohhh yeah that makes sense.

    Thank you for your reply.
  • smallblueplanetsmallblueplanet Forumite
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    Now I've just received my first bill yesterday, I had a look at it and they STILL want the £50 odd quid for an engineer visit that never happened in the end! ...:(


    Ring their customers services up, there should be some way to get through to the billing 'section'. Check your bill for the number to call. When you're through to the right people ask what you have been charged for as you had no visit and they texted you to confirm this. Do not be fobbed off. Unless they can prove that you authorised the payment ie it's for something other than an engineers visit to your flat, tell them that you want the charge refunded. (Indeed unless it's for a charge you agreed why should you pay it?). Take note of the agents names and perhaps even a reference number to ensure you can get back to them if they promise a refund and it doesn't happen.
  • lee111slee111s Forumite
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    Ring their customers services up, there should be some way to get through to the billing 'section'. Check your bill for the number to call. When you're through to the right people ask what you have been charged for as you had no visit and they texted you to confirm this. Do not be fobbed off. Unless they can prove that you authorised the payment ie it's for something other than an engineers visit to your flat, tell them that you want the charge refunded. (Indeed unless it's for a charge you agreed why should you pay it?). Take note of the agents names and perhaps even a reference number to ensure you can get back to them if they promise a refund and it doesn't happen.

    Read my post above.

    The charge is for line activation.
  • edited 21 September 2017 at 12:05PM
    smallblueplanetsmallblueplanet Forumite
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    edited 21 September 2017 at 12:05PM
    lee111s wrote: »
    Read my post above.

    The charge is for line activation.



    Is it? In which case if the OP rings them they will confirm that. The OP seems unsure of exactly what the charge is for, no reason not to double check, it's not like BT don't make mistakes.


    http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8311/~/how-much-does-it-cost-to-install-a-new-bt-phone-line-or-reconnect-an-old-one%3F


    How much does it cost to install a new BT phone line or reconnect an old one?
    If your home has had a telephone service from BT in the recent past, and the wiring and socket is undamaged and the line still has a dial tone, it's likely you won't need to pay any connection or reconnection charges. You'll just have to pay for your chosen calling plan, the cost of any extra calls not included in the plan and for any additional services you require from BT.
    Where there's no suitable BT line available in your property, no dial tone on the line, or if you have been disconnected for non-payment in the past, then you might need to pay a connection charge. If you only have a calling plan with BT, the standard connection charge is normally £130.
    Please note that some properties (for example, new property developments) may have a white BT socket installed which has not yet been connected. In this case the current standard connection charge will also apply.

    The fee covers engineering work in your exchange or your property in order to connect the line.
    If you order online, then we'll let you know whether you need to pay a connection charge during your order.
    Any connection charges will be added to your first BT bill.

    If you're a BT Basic customer we can discuss the option of spreading the connection charge over 12 months.

    All reconnections are subject to a credit check, as a result of which we might ask you to pay a deposit. A minimum term will apply.
  • lee111slee111s Forumite
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    BT also do offers for reduced connection charges, which wouldn’t show in the standard terms and conditons.
  • smallblueplanetsmallblueplanet Forumite
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    lee111s wrote: »
    BT also do offers for reduced connection charges, which wouldn’t show in the standard terms and conditons.


    Perhaps the OP could ring and ask them.
  • edited 21 September 2017 at 2:51PM
    iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    edited 21 September 2017 at 2:51PM
    I think the explanation already given for the 'installation' charge is correct, but probably badly explained by the service provider or slightly misunderstood by the OP,
    There may well have been 'engineering work' done to get the line into service, but not necessarily requiring the engineer to visit the property...if the OP had confirmed a dialtone at the socket before moving in, and the service provider ordered a working line takeover then the installation charge wouldn't be raised, but presumably the OP didn't know if there was a dialtone or not, and the service provider couldn't locate evidence of a (WLR) working line at the address, so the appropriate 'order' would be for a 'new' line even if the socket existed from a previous installation.
    Obviously it does no harm to call the provider and ask what each item on the initial bill is for, but the the chances are the charge is valid and has already been explained on this post, and probably in an easier to understand way than the service provider staff will manage
  • edited 21 September 2017 at 7:02PM
    IAmWalesIAmWales Forumite
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    edited 21 September 2017 at 7:02PM
    Best to read before posting sbp, your quote states there will be a charge in the circumstances OP described.
    Where there's no suitable BT line available in your property, no dial tone on the line, or if you have been disconnected for non-payment in the past, then you might need to pay a connection charge. If you only have a calling plan with BT, the standard connection charge is normally £130.

    ...

    The fee covers engineering work in your exchange or your property in order to connect the line.

    No dial tone ... connection charge which may be reduced ... fee covers engineering work in order to connect the line.
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