Telecoms is a complex business involving the coordinated operation of more than one network for any one call, and many pieces of equipment. Faults happen, no matter how good the component parts of the connection may be. Customers are advised to develop some "first-aid" skills, in order to facilitate the handling and speedy correction of faults. Once diagnosed as a fault, it is similarly important that the exact symptoms are reported.

Self Diagnosis - Line or Network ?

If callers can dial in, it is probably not a line fault. If there is no dial tone, yet callers can dial in, it is probably nonetheless a line fault.

If, when you dial out, the call does not connect, or you receive an engaged tone, it is likely to be a network fault. If you consistently receive a message to the effect of "you are not a registered customer", your number will probably not have been provisioned on the switch.

Line Faults Reporting

If you determine it is a line fault, we advise you to perform a "clean line test" before reporting it. This should clearly eliminate faulty equipment on your site as the cause of the problem. In the VAST MAJORITY of cases faulty equipment on the customer's site is found to be the cause. If the fault handling progresses as far as calling out a BT engineer and the fault is then found to be in your equipment, on your side of the BT network terminating point, there is a real chance you will be charged !

To perform the Clean Line Test: unplug ALL equipment from the line including computers, etc. Then plug in a reliable corded handset, and see if the problem persists (many problems are traced to cordless handsets). If the line is found to work inbound and outbound for voice, there is no line fault. Then plug your devices back in, one by one, testing with each new addition. You will probably then readily identify the device that is causing the problem.

If your lines are with us, you will find on your recent invoice a helpline number. This is for use ONLY in cases of line fault. It will be either 0800 026 0090 or 0800 026 1550 depending upon the carrier with which we placed your line. If your lines are not with us (and even though your calls might be) you should report line faults to BT by dialling 154.

Line Services Fault Reporting

In some instances when a line is transferred to us, a service like call diversion might not work as it did previously. Line rental transfers are done strictly on a like-for-like basis, so all existing services should come over unaffected, and indeed the vast majority do. In some instances PIN numbers or other existing settings can be reset in the transfer process. In the event of any difficulty please refer to the Line Rental section of this site where the most common services are detailed. If the fault persists, we will need you to report exactly what happens as you follow those procedures through. Please click this link to see information about Line Services, or use the search facility to locate the page.

Network Faults Reporting

The most common instances of network faults are very transitory in nature. They can be caused by congestion in the inter-connect between BT and the switches of our carriers, or a variety of other random effects. In such instances customers are advised to prefix their calls with 1280 (to go to BT), or one of our other network codes, in order to change the network routing.

In most cases the fault will not persist, but if it does, please report it to us on 0800 980 5090. We will ask the carrier to investigate, but in such cases they will need one or two examples of recent calls that failed, that is number dialled, the time the call was made and from what number, and the exact result experienced. The carriers treat such matters seriously, and you can be sure the fault will be properly investigated, even to the extent of changing their routing permanently if required.

In cases of difficulty in dialling out, a message to the effect that "you are not a registered customer" indicates a provisioning omission by the carrier or ourselves, and we can correct that quickly if you call us on 0800 980 5090.