Last weekend, as I said here, my internet connection started to go really bad (again). I know what causes it, it’s just one of those things that’s a pain in the bum when it happens.
As usual, I got in touch with BT – this time through the online fault-reporting process. Despite knowing what the problem is, there’s nothing in the process that lets you bypass it – and trying to get through it by using the phone and talking to badly-trained customer service lifeforms is even worse.
So we go through the usual farce of (in no particular order)
- Have you checked all the extensions? Yes. (I don’t have any, but sure, I’ve checked them if it makes you happy)
- Have you tried the connection with another phone? Yes. (I don’t have a spare phone just for this, and I know what the problem is)
- Have you disconnected everything else? Does the problem still exist? Yes, of course it bloody does. The problem’s in your master socket.
- Do you realise that if we find the problem is on your side (don’t worry, we won’t) then you’ll be charged £130 on your next bill? Yes, I do realise it. (You’ve been here seven times all told in five years, all for the same problem, and I’ve never been charged, so it’s a fair bet that it won’t happen this time.)
And once we were through that, the engineer was booked for Wednesday morning, between 8am and 1pm.
He turned up, 8.10 – a good sign. Agreed with my diagnosis, and had a better look at the hole in the wall where the cable comes in. (Which the other engineers should have done, but well, we’ll gloss over that) The silicone sealant was perished, and there was no drip-drop (as he called it) outside – basically, a small curve in the cable before it goes into the house, so that the lowest point for water is below the hole. Between those two things, he could easily see why water would be coming in – particularly in strong storms, which is what’s always been the precursor to the problem. So, replaced silicone sealant, and he pulled enough cable through to enable a small drip-drop.
As well as that, he agreed to move the master socket further up the wall – basically, if this new one gets water damage, it’s likely that my concerns are going to be about far more than just my internet going down!
All told, it took about an hour to do the work – and of course I didn’t get charged, because the problem was with the master socket. As expected.
Only time will tell if it’s completely fixed (hence why I’m writing about it here, as a reference point in case of future problems) but as we’ve now gone for belt, braces, and piece-of-string methods in one visit, I’m hoping there won’t be any further recurrence of the problem…