September 2018

In the last newsletter, I was rejoicing about acquiring a landline and internet. However, the landline and internet lasted about a week and then both crashed. A BT engineer appeared (on time) and after some hours concluded that the fault lay in the wiring serving a multiplicity of phone points around the house, but as that was our responsibility it would be costing far more than £120 to track down and resolve the issue. Fortunately, when we were originally sent the BT package to set up the internet, it included the invaluable piece of information that you can determine whether any telephone socket is still linked to a number (even if not activated) by attaching a telephone and dialling 17070. By this method, I had established that the house still had three separate numbers, one for the burglar alarm system, one for nearly all the points round the house, and one for a socket in the library, probably for our predecessors’ old fax machine. The engineer attached a phone and internet wifi hub to this solitary socket, and then climbed up the telephone pole outside the house to swap over the connections so that this line now became 01387 880 764. We were told to wait 24 hours for the internet hub to settle down to its new home and all would be well.

True, the landline worked, but 24 hours later, the internet hub continued to blink at me in orange and green, no heart-warming steady blue indicating a connection. I tackled BT again, but had to call Wayne in from the garden, to order a further visit by an engineer, because I am not the account holder. This led to an hour long, amazingly acrimonious conversation with BT “customer service” who were insisting that because our 14 day trial period was ending, for them to take the matter further, we would have to accept the 18 month contract for an internet connection which clearly did not work. Wayne’s response, somewhat bowdlerised, was “not bloody likely!” In the end BT agreed to send out an engineer the following morning and extend our trial period for 7 days from when they got the internet up and running again.

Come the following morning and… no BT engineer. In the afternoon one did appear and
after running yet more checks, concluded that the problem lay with the wifi hub BT had sent us in the first place. Producing a replacement hub out of his bag, we had the comforting steady blue light within seconds, though with only 2 to 4Mbps, we are not going to be downloading any HD Netflix, let alone more dubious moving images in the near future.

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