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Thread: BT phone line damaged my house; who's liable?

  1. #1

    BT phone line damaged my house; who's liable?

    I arrived home today to find my BT line on the other side of the road, with my fascia board attached!

    Second time in a year that a lorry has snagged it. Last year openreach repaired it, but the line was right at the minimum allowable height.

    They added a bracket to my eaves to raise the line on my side by a few inches. It's that bracket, screwed through my PVC fascia board that pulled things apart today. I can only assume that the line has sagged over time again, until the right lorry caught it.

    So.... I've a fault logged and will be back online soon enough. But.... who pays for the damage to the house? Truth is, the pole across the road isn't high enough. Its ancient, and not fit to reach safely over today's freight traffic.

    Its not big money to repair, but I'll be a bit miffed if it has to come out of my pocket. Are BT/openreach liable for the damage?

  2. #2
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyE View Post
    Are BT/openreach liable for the damage?
    I'd hope so in the circumstances but, as usual, it's difficult to prove cause definitively in the absence of evidence (eg of sagging). I'm sure that, at the very least, they should be re-instating/replacing the line.

    Presume no one caught the offending lorry details?

  3. #3
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post

    Presume no one caught the offending lorry details?
    Hardly their fault though is it?

    A few years ago we found BT digging a big hole right in front of our garden gate. When we asked them why, they said it was for a new pole as our line was too low for the garages next door. I looked at the garage gate and pointed out that the biggest vehicle able to pass under the barrier was a Transit van and the cable was way above this. They were going to carry on until my wife came out and started giving them grief.

    They opted to fit a bracket to the chimney and raised it that way. The irony is, we’ve never used a standard phone line, always had Virgin.

  4. #4
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Hardly their fault though is it?
    No idea, I wasn't there.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post
    No idea, I wasn't there.
    A lorry hit the cable indeed.... but the cable was too low. When they put the cable there last time it snapped, it was just at the minimum allowable clearance in the centre of the road.

    Just lucky there wasn't a biker using the road before the cable was spotted. Could have ended badly.

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyE View Post
    Just lucky there wasn't a biker using the road before the cable was spotted. Could have ended badly.
    Probably only if ridden by a giraffe.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hops View Post
    Probably only if ridden by a giraffe.
    Lol... not quite. After the cable snapped, it lay across the main road. Could've got caught up in a bkies wheels.

  8. #8
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    If you haven't already had a word with the Openreach chap involved (directly), then take a step back and ask yourself this question:

    Would I rather get up a ladder and put in a couple of screws or spend the next 12 months arguing with a BT call centre in Mumbai?

    There is clearly no harm in trying, but I know what I would do after the first 20 minutes telephone call, being on hold while waiting to speak to someone who is utterly unable to help me in any way.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    If you haven't already had a word with the Openreach chap involved (directly), then take a step back and ask yourself this question:

    Would I rather get up a ladder and put in a couple of screws or spend the next 12 months arguing with a BT call centre in Mumbai?

    There is clearly no harm in trying, but I know what I would do after the first 20 minutes telephone call, being on hold while waiting to speak to someone who is utterly unable to help me in any way.
    You must have ESP.... I'm just off a chat session to Mumbai... same old crap "we will have you connected by 5pm Thursday". I'll repair that fascia myself. Its only a PVC cover board and as you say, not worth the pain to get Openreach to front up for it.

    Meanwhile.... I have a 14 year old.... suffering withdrawal from his "social life". My lectures about how "all I had to amuse myself with was a Raleigh Grifter.." are falling on deaf ears

  10. #10
    Surely if a lorry hit it, it is down to the lorry driver, did you get his number.

  11. #11
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyE View Post
    You must have ESP.... I'm just off a chat session to Mumbai... same old crap "we will have you connected by 5pm Thursday". I'll repair that fascia myself. Its only a PVC cover board and as you say, not worth the pain to get Openreach to front up for it.

    Meanwhile.... I have a 14 year old.... suffering withdrawal from his "social life". My lectures about how "all I had to amuse myself with was a Raleigh Grifter.." are falling on deaf ears
    I feel your pain.

    Even the chaps who work for Openreach and BT are in utter despair at their own internal practices and bureaucracy. Not helped by the fact that a lot of them are contractors nowadays, so couldn't give a flying stuff.

    You are not the one at fault and should not have to fix it, but it is unfortunately the path of least resistance towards an easy life.
    'Look at the bigger picture' and all that...

    (I had a Tomahawk by the way (it was like a smaller version of a Chopper), my older brother had a Grifter, my younger brother had a Budgie).
    BT used to be a good company.
    Those were the days.

  12. #12
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    Surely if a lorry hit it, it is down to the lorry driver, did you get his number.
    My understanding is that the lorry didn’t ‘hit’it but ‘caught’ it because it was hanging too low across the road. So unless the lorry was illegally high, the responsibility lies with whoever fitted the line.


    Zergatik ez
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    My understanding is that the lorry didn’t ‘hit’it but ‘caught’ it because it was hanging too low across the road. So unless the lorry was illegally high, the responsibility lies with whoever fitted the line.


    Zergatik ez
    Exactly. My line crosses the main road to the pole on the other side. When Openreach fitted a new line last year, the line was JUST at the legal minimum at the road centre. It was under the required height on the side closest to the house.

    The actual problem is (IMO) that the pole on the other side of the road is old and probably there many decades. Lorrys have become tall compared to what was on the road back then. The pole isnt fit for purpose (although they'll probably try to fit an unslightly pole on my house front to raise it on my side).

    Great service..... day and a half later... still nobody has even called. Tracking shows "fixed by 6pm Thursday". I work from home most of my week so my 4G data usage is through the roof so far!!

    Of course... BT "Halo" upgraded customers get a complimentary 4G hotspot if your line is down *

    * yeah, free = +£9 per month on your bill. Chancers.

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