BT/AOL problems

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Broadband & Internet Access
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little_miss_messiahlittle_miss_messiah Forumite
409 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Broadband & Internet Access
Hope somebody can help with this, after 10 days of constant phone calls, I'm tearing my hair out (and possibly £200 lighter) - apologies for the length.

I've got AOL Broadband, phone line and calls are with BT. Before Christmas I signed up for wireless, with a free PS3 and AOL talk.

Only just got round to installing the wireless week before last which was fine - I have the desktop hardwired to the Netgear router supplied. Then I tried to get my laptop to go wireless and had all sorts of problems. This meant 4 or 5 calls to AOL, still I'm not connected on it.

Anyhoo, just before I contacted them last week I was online on the desktop (hardwired) with no probs at all, they talked me through all sorts of areas on the laptop and desktop and then I was unable to go online on the desktop even. I even tried the old BT voyage modem I still have and was getting all sorts of error messages, so again I called.

They had me unplugging all phone stuff and filters (the PC is connected to the master, there is only 1 phone and sky on an extencion downstairs) and tested the line, confirming there was a fault with the line and I had to call back the following day. When I called back they said they wre going to raise a fault with BT and to call bcak again the following day. When I spoke with them they said it was a confirmed line fault and I needd to speak with BT.

So I rang BT on 150 who conducted several linechecks over 2 days and again confirmed there was a fault on the line 'near or inside the house'. They were very clear to me that should an engineer be required if the fault was inside the house I would be liable for call out of nearly £200 and a further £99 per hour or part hour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:mad:

So just to make doubly sure I AGAIN rang AOL who advised to remove the front of the master socket and plug the filter + router directly into a socket behind it, if the light on my router was then steady ot would show the fault was inside the house, if it was intermittent it was outside. I did this and it was still intermittent.

Confident ther was actually a line problem I rang BT again, again they tested the line and confirmed a fault, and sent an engioneer to check the exchange. The engineer arrived at my house saying the line had no fault at all, he even plugged his own BT voyager modem in into my socket and went online no problems. His parint words were 'Of course as it's not a line problem, you will be billed for this visit, I suggest you speak with AOL, it could be your router'

So again back to AOL who have said 'If the phoneline was picked up while a test was being conducted, it would register as a fault'.

AOL are sending me a new router as it seems this is the issue.

However I am now facing a £300 bill for absolutely nothing simply because I picked the phone up while they were testing at their end - BT NEVER informed me not to pick the phone up, or suggested this could be the root of the percieved fault.

Anyone had any similar, or can advise where I go next? I can Ill afford £300 for nothing (I only got the PS3 to sell on) and am really worried


  • I think you've been badly advised. Firstly as it was a problem with your broadband, AOL shouldn't have told you to contact BT. You pay them for ADSL. They pay BT for providing some of that service. Therefore, AOL is the BT (Wholesale) customer, not you. The should only be referring you to BT if you have a problem with the thing for which you pay BT, ie making phone calls!

    Although the advice to try the equipment in the test socket is right (it disconnects the extensions) you also need to eliminate the thing that you plug into the socket and the only way of doing that is to try a different router. To be fair, you said you did that.

    I don't think you'll be charged £300. The charges are set out here. As you can see, the callout charge is £116.33. Bad enough but not as much as you think, even if you also get charged for an hour's labour. You might get away with just the callout: note the footnote that says "If the engineer is able to repair the fault by unplugging a piece of equipment or wiring with no further investigation, then the appropriate call-out charge only will apply."
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