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Openreach launches Disputed No Access process
Thursday 18 October 2012 10:43:18 by Andrew Ferguson

With Openreach able to raise a charge to the communications provider who actually retails the service to the consumer for those times when an engineer arrives at a property to find no-one home even though an appointment had been booked, it seems only fair that those people who have sat at home all day and this charge is raised have a formal method for disputing this and can get a new appointment booked for as soon as possible.

The no-show or just being carded is an increasing problem with goods delivery, but thankfully is relatively rare with telephone and broadband appointments. The volume of problems led Openreach to run a trial for a Disputed No Access process, which as of Monday 15th October is a live process.

"A dispute whereby Openreach considers a booked appointment has resulted in a No Access, however the customer believes that the engineer did not visit the site within the appointment slot and has evidence from the end user to justify it.

In cases where the "Disputed No Access" definition is met, for provision or repair appointments, customers should send an email to the dedicated inbox, containing a minimum set of information, as set out below, in order to be accepted."

Openreach definition of a Disputed No Access scenario

The aim of disputing this missed appointment is to avoid being charged, as it is not uncommon for the no-access to property charge to be raised, and also attempt to re-arrange a new appointment within 5 workings days (Monday to Friday, Saturday can be requested but is not guaranteed).

If ever experience this problem, or a simple missed appointment when you were actually in the property, the first port of call should be your provider, if it was a broadband visit then the broadband provider, and for a phone line issue the people you pay your voice line rental to. The communications providers should all have been informed of the new process, but as always these changes can take weeks to trickle down into call centres, and sometimes the problem is actually a mis-communication between Openreach and the communications provider.

The next step we would like to see is a formalised system of financial penalty on Openreach for the times when provision or fault appointments are not met. For many millions of people annual leave is a precious resource and there are others who actually lose money sitting at home waiting for an engineer.


Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
There is a financial penalty for OR of £40 per missed appointment, and rightly OR will charge the service provider for a no access/refused access - after which its down the the service provider to work out why there was no one at the property to allow the engineer in.

Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
Although there were times when some rouge engineers would not turn up to a job and simply no access it, but I'd say these cases were mostly in the past when BT didn't bill for no-access and with trackers being standard issue in the vans it would be very unwise for an engineer to engage in miss conduct such as this today - but you can't rule anything out, good to see a proper process on the issue.
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
Whilst it may be nice to have 100mbps+ at your disposal, Latency Jitter the Netcode built into the game,and the ISP's routing And peering policy, in particular if you want or need to connect to an overseas server,

Whilst (with fast path) the over all latency may be sort of ok, if there is any frequent spiking of latency along the route used, your gonna notice it,or those in your server( If you host) certainly will,
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
The above will cause the "rubber banding" effect, Caused by the use of Bad Peering links or overloaded links
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
@tommy45, wrong article mate.
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
@Spectre_01 . It is,lol
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
I do have one question though this £40.00 penalty charge ,who receives this ?
Posted by _sjr_ over 5 years ago
This happened to me on Monday, appointment for BT Infinity installation booked for 1pm-6pm slot and nobody showed up or contacted me. I called BT Retail and they said that Openreach claimed that the engineer couldn't find the property (in the middle of Hastings!) and could not get an answer on my contact number. This is nonsense as I was in all afternoon and did not get a call. Half day's lost pay and an insulting £10 credit to my account for missed appointment.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
Posted by tommy45 about 1 hour ago
I do have one question though this £40.00 penalty charge ,who receives this ?

The Communications Provider, since Openreach is not a customer facing organisation and has no contract with the consumer the refund is made to the CP and it is for them to compensate their customer - I know the best answer would be for OR to directly compensate the EU but I suspect there would be some kind of equivilance ofcom issue there.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
@ sjr_13. yeah that sounds like a pain. There have been times when I couldn't find an address - house name (not number) not displayed properly on a long road no less but thats only an example. If the engineer could not find the address I'd have to take their word for it, there certainly is no incentive not to turn up, its only a negative on the engineers stat having lost time to an in-completed job, an FTTC job is hardly something an engineer would want to avoid (tend to be pretty easy generally).
Posted by warweezil over 5 years ago
Vehicle tracking only proves they were in the road.. not that they actually tried to gain access.

Id also like to see a penalty applied to wrongly raised SFI charges.

Its a form of speculative invoicing that needs to be sorted out.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
True, no vehicle tracking can prove that someone actually went up to the front door, but thats something the engineers personal stats - high amount of no-accessed jobs and lost travel time keeps in check - that and if someones home security camera seems the van parked outside but no one exits and comes to the front door = gross missconduct and dismissal.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
As for wrongly raised SFI charges, its the communication providers responsibility to challenge anything they think is out of place before deciding to pass any costs along to the consumer.

All completed SFI modules have to be accompanied with a supporting report explaining why the module was completed - its alot more then just ticking boxes and the credit to the engineer on one of those jobs is the same regardless of how much work is completed on the job except the more modules that are claimed the longer the report that has to be written.
Posted by NetGuy over 5 years ago
SFI ? Sorry, not all shorthand is widely known!

"customer believes that the engineer did not visit the site within the appointment slot and has evidence from the end user to justify it."

Hmmm, what's their expectation of 'evidence' please ? Saw the end of the next sentence said "a minimum set of information, as set out below" but TBB not quoting that piece (and even a link to item may not work if one needs user/pass to access parts of OR website...

Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
Well for evidence it'd have to outweigh any evidence from the engineer, the engineer has to provide in his job notes something notable about the property such as the colour of the front door or some motif the customer had on his paddling pool + the van tracking can be used to corroborate that.

However if the customer was to provide time/date stamped CCTV footage of no-one approaching the property that could (assuming its not faked) trump the engineers evidence.

SFI = Special Faults Investigation, its the typical product for broadband faults/repairs.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
so where is the fees to openreach when they dont show up? apparently common for new FTTC installs.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
I am breifed that all missed appointments encur a £40 charge or refund back to the Communications Provider. I am not able to give you a link to the contract signed off by Openreach and the individual CP's.

Maybe there's something on the OR website if you get registered and dig around, maybe there's not. But it is the case and has been high focus internally for most of this year amoungst Customer Service Teams.
Posted by john_beck_uk over 5 years ago
This situation happened to my Son just a week ago. His contract is with Sky but though he waited in for the appointment no one called, though he saw an Openreach engineer outside his property and work , on a local cabinet. The excuse was that the engineer could not gain access. No card left to confirm he even visited the address, though he did not.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
Shame he didn't get the job finished, since he took the time to drive there, do work at the cabinate and outside the property... will only go down as at least an hour spent on a job that didn't result in a clear and make his own performance look bad, all for the sake of knocking or ringing the bell on your sons property (bell works right?).
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