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BT Wholesale to start charging for 'Abortive Visits'
Wednesday 28 May 2003 23:16:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The honeymoon period between BT Wholesale and service providers is drawing to a close. From 1st July 2003 a charge of £50 will be made to the ISP for any visit to a user that results in what BT call an 'abortive visit'. These charges have been on the BT price list for a long time, but BT has never enforced them. It would seem 1st July marks the date when all that is likely to change.

An abortive visit can cover many things, but some of the basic reasons for raising the charge are:

  • ISP gives BT the incorrect address and BT engineer only finds out when they arrive.
  • A BT engineer arrives to install an ADSL service but user no longer wants the activation completed.
  • If entry is refused at the agreed time and place for a activation/repair visit.
  • When a BT engineer attends a users premises, and the fault is not down to BT equipment.

There are many more, and the full list can be seen on the BT website here and here.

BT Wholesale has in the last 12 months provided much improved tools to the service providers, not all of the providers may be making full use of them. The electronic gateway (ECO) system now allows repair visits to be booked and checked and extra diagnostic tools like the 'woosh' tool are now available.

What is not clear at this time is when and if ISPs will pass on these charges to the users. If the reason a BT engineer is not allowed into the premises is because the ISP had not told the user they were coming, then that is down to the ISP. Conversely if the engineer arrives and finds the fault was because a phone with no micro-filter was stopping the ADSL from working, then the ISP would appear to be justified in passing on the charge. In this later example though, one would hope an ISPs help desk would have used structured questioning to check for this sort of fault.

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