BT Landline is not working but who pays the call out fee – Readers Question

BT Landline is not working but who pays the call out fee – Readers Question

14:02 PM, 7th January 2013, About 12 years ago 7

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My|Deposits Deposits Protection Query - READERS QUESTIONI have just had a text from a tenant complaining the BT landline is not working. BT say if its internal then they charge £99.00 call out + fix fee.

Steve’s question is who should pay for this ? Myself or the tenant ?

If it was a cooker or washing machine then we provide those so there would be no problem repairing, or replacing one of these.

However the tel line was put in 20 years ago by BT and the wiring is in the cellar so not been disturbed. It is more likely to be an external BT issue, but I just can’t work out if its my problem or the tenants in terms of payment.

Any guidance from the Property118 readership would be most welcome.

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Neil Patterson

14:18 PM, 7th January 2013, About 12 years ago

Hi Steve,

My guess would be like yours that the problem is BTs end and if that is the case if you call them out they should not then charge you a call out fee. Problem solved at no cost. If it is a problem with your wiring just like my business partner who has mice chewing through his fire alarm system at the moment it may be considered to be at your cost as if it was routine maintenance, but please don't quote me on that.

Industry Observer

15:15 PM, 7th January 2013, About 12 years ago

The answer to this is quite simple, and revolves around a tenant's expectations.

If it is a new tenancy and there is a BT socket or a TV aerial socket, then the tenant's reasonable expectation is if he attaches appropriate equipment to it that it will work.

In this case it sounds like an existing tenancy where the service has failed, so the cost will depend on where the fault is, of course. If BT say they have already tried everything externally, and that the problem is within the property, then there is no alternative other than to get them in. If they find the problem is their line (or rented equipment if a BT handset) then there will still be no charge. But if they determine it is not their equipment then they will charge the account holder - presumably the tenant.

Then your arguments start, of course!!

Steve Dalloway

17:23 PM, 7th January 2013, About 12 years ago

That's what I was thinking also...... Many thanks for helping me out

Steve Dalloway

17:28 PM, 7th January 2013, About 12 years ago

That's great and thanks for taking time to answer my query. It's usually bt's issue as nothing has changed in the flat. Current tenant has been there for 5 years so its not a new thing. Just couldn't work out responsibilities this am for some reason. Man flu probably!

23:16 PM, 7th January 2013, About 12 years ago

If you have a “master socket”, then you can disconnect all your internal phone wiring at it and plug in two different phones, to test the line. It is very unlikely that both phones have a fault.

(see for an image of a "master socket")

If you are in a area that virgin covers, they do not charge for installing a phone line and often can fit you in within a few days. I gave up on BT years ago when they wished to charge me to turn on a existing phone line, so I could pay bills to them.

Virgin also does not charge to repair a phone line when damage it doing building work… (or digging the garden)

4:50 AM, 8th January 2013, About 12 years ago

It is worthwhile taking off the covers for the individual sockets to see if the wires are still in place.

They can pop out and cause line problems

The small cables are easy to push back into place

If this doesn't solve the problems then there will be cable problems.

BT are only responsible for the line up to and including the master socket.

Nat Patel

17:58 PM, 20th January 2013, About 11 years ago

Hello,I am landlord for since 1986.I had few time this kind of problem and one last month regarding Bt line, Tv ariel,broadband,Sky,Cable .Tenant moved in 3rd November 2012.she complaint after 4 weeks that tv loos picture quality,broadband not working,and i do'nt know where is tv ariel.I replied"to my best knowledge this is not my must contact provider eg..Bt,Sky or cable provider for your requirements.I have no concern.Beacuse i never had complaint from previous 3 diffrent tenants in past 7 years.I have provided Bt line.Mainantance and contracts are must look for good provider and services that serve you."Iam in contact with my tenants several time since complaint and paid rent on time too but not mention about this problem.I thik this is fare and reasonable answer for tenants.More ..we are living in 21st century with wireless equipment .One BT socket is sufficiant for tenants.That is my openion.

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