Why do Openreach "engineers" get away with lying so much?

I recently got caught out by a lying Openreach "engineer".

I was supposed to be having FTTP finally installed this week - 4 months after ordering it thanks to COVID.

As I had waited so long i made sure that I was home - my chair downstairs is next to the window so I cn see if anybody pulls up outside and comes up our drive.

When it got to 6:00pm I phoned up my ISP to find out what was happening.  Apparently the engineer had started the installation at the pole (also visible from my chair), come and knocked on the door but had received no answer so packed up and went home.

He must have been wearing an invisibility cloak as I didn't see him and neither did my CCTV camera which covers thedrive and front door.

Thankfully my ISP believed me (and actually mentioned that it was a regular occurence) so has managed to fast track a new date.

I've done a bit of searching online and have discovered that my ISP was correct - it does seem to be a fairly regular occurrence!

In this day and age it's so easy to prove where you have been and when so I'm really surprised that Openreach don't check when their engineer say that they've been somewhere but didn't get a reply.  In fact, I would have thought that Openreach would have GPS tracking on their vehicles (it's been confirmed that it wasn't a contractor assigned to the call).

The only reason I can think of as to why Openreach don't do anyting about this is that it's an attempt to get out of paying the £25 they have to give to customers for a missed appointment.
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Comments

  • ciderboy2009
    ciderboy2009 Posts: 1,151 Forumite
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    :D

    Trust me - I really wish it wasn't!

    Thankfully I've only got another week to put up with 4mb download speeds (assuming that the same doesn't happen again!)
  • Chino
    Chino Posts: 2,029 Forumite
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    The only reason I can think of as to why Openreach don't do anyting about this is that it's an attempt to get out of paying the £25 they have to give to customers for a missed appointment.
    I suspect it's more that Openreach can't be bothered to do anything about it. After all, it knows that ISPs can't pick another supplier that does honour appointments.
  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281 Forumite
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    A bit pointless doing work on the pole then going away ,usually booked for half a days work .
    OP what ISP have you got for FTTP .
  • ciderboy2009
    ciderboy2009 Posts: 1,151 Forumite
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    JJ_Egan said:
    A bit pointless doing work on the pole then going away ,usually booked for half a days work .
    OP what ISP have you got for FTTP .

    I've had to go with BT (it was the only way that Plusnet would release me from my remaining contract term without charge).
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,505 Forumite
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    Even if they have trackers in the van ,it doesn't tell them where the "engineers" are - went past an Openreach transit yesterday -two guys just sitting reading newspapers/drinking coffee?. An hour later went back past - and they were still in the same positions !!!
  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281 Forumite
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    Usually with FTTP they knock the door before starting work to inform you they will be coming into the house and may need to drill an entry point etc .
  • iniltous
    iniltous Posts: 3,067 Forumite
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    edited 10 April 2021 at 1:19PM
    A lot to unpick, Openreach do have van trackers ,and  they do keep tabs on this, and if a particular engineer had more than average ‘no access’ failed appointments then management would be all over it , that would be investigated, if an ISP , after being moaned at by an end user, complained  they could ask OR to explain why they said no access when the end user is insistent they were home and the tracker info used to see where the engineer was, again only someone who is fed up with being employed would take such a chance, in the recent past ( although I don’t know if still used ) the engineer was encouraged to take a photo of the front door or car on the drive or some other ‘proof’ of attendance for occasions such as this , for their own protection more than anything.
    Any  OR engineer just deciding they can’t be bothered ( the OP’s obvious implication) is taking a chance with their continued employment, I’m not sure there will be many that would take such a laidback approach, however some sitting /hovering by the window , no doubt binoculars in hand , CCTV ready ,waiting to pounce,  may not be the most inviting address to visit.

    I doubt the ISP knows if OR have allocated the job to a contractor or direct labour , it’s nothing at all to do with the ISP , so how they can be certain ?

    The claim about OR trying to get out of the failed appointment penalty makes no sense, if OR were appointed , and don’t turn up, the ISP is compensated automatically, the end user has to take it up with the ISP for compensation, that’s why an engineer is encouraged to ‘prove it’ that they were there, that way OR may be able to claw back some of the missed appointment payouts.
    Many people on being told to be available 8-1 or 1-5 simply decide what’s the harm if they are going to ‘pop out’ for a few minutes which in many cases ( the law of sod ) turns out to be more than a few minutes and they are the cause of the missed appointment.
    The OP claims to have had the area under surveillance for the entire time, never taking a break for the toilet or anything....the claim the engineer climbed the pole then left the area is dubious , I doubt anyone has ever climbed a pole before confirming it’s not going to be a waste of time first, because no one is home , in other words they will knock on the door and make sure the ‘customer’ is in before climbing.
    I am not claiming that it’s never been done, it’s quite possible the engineer ‘ knocked on the door with a feather’ , wanting to be away as quickly as possible, but the OP’s claim of it being widespread is baseless....
    As far as the the comments ‘I saw engineers reading papers , and an hour later they were still there ‘ , how do you know it wasn’t something like , they need ( for example ) a hoist, the hoist is busy somewhere else and will take some time to attend, the ‘idle’ engineers don’t have much else they can do but wait.


  • Rodders53
    Rodders53 Posts: 2,146 Forumite
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    edited 10 April 2021 at 6:02PM
    Equally possible is the guy did turn up and knock the door at a similar - but wrong - address?

    We've had stuff for us delivered to other places, and even the Postie has tried delivering stuff for other addresses to us!

    One parcel for us was just left on a doorstep, and the picture uploaded to their website and I just walked down to retrieve it.

    Had similar issues in a previous home hundreds of miles away Dale End vs Dale Close street names confused them...
  • ciderboy2009
    ciderboy2009 Posts: 1,151 Forumite
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    edited 11 April 2021 at 11:47AM
    Rodders53 said:
    Equally possible is the guy did turn up and knock the door at a similar - but wrong - address?

    Highly unlikely in this case.  We are two miles from the centre of a large city but unable to get FTTC as we are right on the border of three telephone exchanges.

    FTTP was installed on our pole only to cover the 10 houses who had no other option for anything other than ADSL.

    @iniltous I wasn't insinuating that the engineer "couldn't be bothered" I actually assume that he ran out of time.

    I'm not sure where you get "sitting /hovering by the window , no doubt binoculars in hand , CCTV ready ,waiting to pounce" from.  I like to sit by the window for the natural light.  The fact that I can see the drive/road when sat down there is something I think you would get in a number of houses.  The CCTV is running 24/7 (as is most CCTV) covering the whole of the drive and the door to the house - I scanned the footage from it after I had spoken to BT to confirm that I hadn't gone totally mad.

    I didn't include all of the facts in the initial post as nobody would have read it.  However, I can assure you that there is no way that he came to this house (or, indeed, our cul-de-sac) - my wife was here as well so toilet breaks etc were covered.

    The starting the work on the pole bit is what BT read me from the notes he had made (it was also BT who told me that it was an Openreach engineer rather than a contractor).  Also from his notes he apparently phoned me and left a message on my mobile number - I had no calls in or out on that phone that afternoon.

    My claim for it being "widespread" is based on numerous other reports on other forums.


  • littleboo
    littleboo Posts: 1,495 Forumite
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    Numerous other reports - there are thousands of OR people making many thousands of appointments per day. No doubt it happens, but I suspect that the incidence is actually very small. People don't rush to social media when someone turns up as expected.
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