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BT charge customer for lightening damage to BT cables.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by IanW, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. IanW

    IanW
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    Come on guys and girls I need some serious ammunition against BT.

    Last week my in-laws village had a lightening strike on a BT pole. This resulted in 5 houses receiving the full force which damaged all the SKY boxes connected to the BT socket. The damage also resulted in none of the phones working in the houses. So BT were called to fix the issue. BT came along and fixed the pole and all BT master sockets in the 5 houses. BT are now trying to charge each of the 5 houses £135 for the repair. :mad: :nono:

    Surely BT equipment is the responsibility of BT, not the customer. They certainly make this clear when you call with a fault, if your phone works in the BT master scoket then they consider it not to be their problem. I know that lightening is an act of god, but surely BT should be reclaiming the cost from their insurance company not the customers?

    Your advice please.

    Ian.

    :lease:
     
  2. Steven

    Steven
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    Its not like the customers caused the damage, it was a natural phenomena I'm no lawyer, so it may be one of those murky insurance areas like floods
     
  3. smelly

    smelly
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    If you can't get BT to shift (you'll probably find there's some small print somewhere) then can they claim the cost back off their home insurance? Obviously only worth it if they don't have a high excess limit but most home insurance covers lightning damage. Only thing I wouldn't be sure on is if they're covered as the lightning didn't directly strike the house but via the BT pole.

    Worth a try though? :confused:

    EDIT: found this on the BT website.

    If BT is unable to perform any obligation under this Contract because of a matter beyond its reasonable control such as lightning, flood, exceptionally severe weather conditions, fire, explosion, war, civil disorder, industrial disputes (whether or not involving BT’s or any third party employees) or acts of local or central government or other competent authorities, or events beyond the reasonable control of BT’s suppliers, BT will have no liability to the Customer for that failure to perform.
     
  4. ijd

    ijd
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    tell them to stick it, they are not the only phone supplier, do they have cable???if threatened with cancellation i bet they soon back down
     
  5. Garrett

    Garrett
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    There a waste of time. I was complaining to a guy who worked for them about the poles and all the wire in the area, and said it was about time that they put them underground. He said there were pipes already there to put it underground to allow them to do it.
     
  6. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi Ian,

    Sorry to hear of the lousy predicament your in-laws are in.

    Short of what others have already said, BT aren't going to be liable for anything other than repairing and/or replacing the master phone sockets in the homes of the affected people/families. Basically, BT will claim that lightning is an "act of God", and as such, they aren't liable. It's a fairly common clause in most contracts to do with home insurance, and companies like BT who supply homes with certain items. Ditto with gas and electric companies too.

    Alas, you have little to fall back on that your in-laws can use as ammo against BT! You can try to get in contact with the manager of BT (whoever he/she is), but your complaints are likely to fall on deaf ears.

    If you're very nice, you could ask Sky to see if they would consider replacing the Digiboxes for new ones, and put a spin on your in-laws age (e.g. it's Gran's only source of entertainment in life, she's housebound, and she's so frail she could pass away any time now...., etc - my apologies if that sounds cruel) and see if that works.

    Otherwise, it's down to regular household insurance.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Legally, I'm afraid you're f***ed! They don't BT the Bloody Tightwad company! :D


    Pooch
     
  7. JonMace

    JonMace
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    I don't think you will get anywhere with the sky boxes but you should not be reponsible for the repair of the pole and lines after all it is BT's equipment and not on your property. If there was a fllod at an exchange and all the equipent damaged would every one connected to that exchanged be charged?
     
  8. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    I think what they are saying is that BT are repairing the pole and the external cables but want to charge to repair the internal lines for the properties.

    Since BT was privatised they no longer own any of the equipment within your property. As soon as the line hits the master socket in your property the responsibility then becomes your own. You cannot blame BT for having its line struck by lightening and therefore nor for the subsiquent damages.

    If I am corrent then remember that it doesnt have to be a BT engineer that fixes the internal issues and you could look arround for quotes - to be honest in most cases this isnt worth while as BT is technically very cheap compared to private engineers
     
  9. FazerThou

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    Think this may be something to do with OFTEL making BT charge as other service providers would have too.
     
  10. IanW

    IanW
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    Guys as always you have been very helpful. :thumbsup:

    I will get them to give BT a serious winge, unfortunately they are in a small village, so no cable. If they get nowhere with the winging, then I will get them to try the household insurance.

    Ian.
     

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