Lock – phone – BB

A key

When I got home from work today Jane had had the front door lock changed! To be honest I’m surprised that she’s not done it sooner!

Actually, all was good: there have been some days that I’ve had to leave via the back door as I couldn’t physically unlock the front.

Just in case you were wondering, none of that was a euphemism. I honestly sometimes couldn’t get out the house! Which was somewhat frustrating.

New old phone

Nokia 5140i

In other news: I’m back to using my old-school Nokia 5140i.

My O2 Xda Orbit is now safely packaged up and ready to be returned to the O2 store in Edinburgh tomorrow. Following the hard reset and reinstallation of the other evening within 5 hours of being used after that it crashed … and then a couple of hours later completely froze. Bah!

Big sister?

Big Brother 2007 logo
While reinstalling software on my Psion 7Book I sat watching Big Brother on Channel 4 with Jane. Looks like it’s mostly Big Sister this year: eleven females and not a Y-chromosome in sight.

Until Friday. Poor fella.

Good to see Chris Moyles on Big Brother’s Big Mouth, though.

O2 Xda Orbit … nearly a review

O2 XDA Orbit - it's a PDA, a phone, a GPS, a Radio ... everything!

It was my intention this evening to write a review of my O2 Xda Orbit, the mobile/cell phone / PDA / GPS / radio device that I got about a month ago.

But instead I’m spending my evening performing a hard reset and reinstalling everything, for the second time this month. And I’m not even going to say how many times I’ve had to perform a soft reset. A day.

That, I guess, is a review in itself.

Telephone problems mastered

BT master socket, next to a double power socket.

Jesus said “You cannot be the slave of two masters!” (Matthew 6:24). BT said exactly the same this morning when they discovered that someone had tried to wire a second master socket to our original master socket.

At 08:30 a BT OpenReach engineer turned up at the door — not the cheeriest engineer that I’ve ever met — and got to work testing our master phone socket in the hallway.

Open(Reach) investigation

A few minutes later he asked if we’d installed our own Sky TV box. “No,” said I, “Why?” He showed me that someone had wired an extension socket into the back of the master socket, and that it was done in such a terrible way that it was clear to him that it hadn’t been done by a qualified BT engineer.

We assured him that we’d only been living here for five months, we didn’t have Sky TV, hadn’t been poking screwdrivers and wires into the back of the master socket, and that all we had connected was a telephone, the router and an answering machine.


It turns out that the problem was our answering machine. It turns out that the problem was our answering machine because whoever had wired in that rogue extension socket had wired in another master socket (at least that’s what I think he muttered) and that it had short-circuited our telephone line and completely knackered our answering machine in the process.

So now we have a phone line again, but no answering machine (other than the invisible BT 1571 service in the sky … but not Sky, because, as I’ve already established, we don’t have that).

We’ll just have to wait now to see whether we’re charged the £110+ call-out charge plus £99 per hour for someone else’s poor telephone wiring. But if we are and it goes any way towards solving our poor broadband connections — and allowing me to blog about something else for a change!! — then it will be money well spent.


Old red telephone with the receiver off the hook.

Well … I’m really quite speechless. Literally! Our telephone line is now not working.

We, quite remarkably, have a broadband service — 8 Mbps no less — and a broadband talk service — that’s VoIP to you and me — but no landline telephone.

So I went online and reported the fault at BT Faults. We’re now waiting for them to get back to me, via text, to tell us that they’ve fixed the problem and we can make calls again.

Complaints procedure

Printed on the rear of every bill from BT is the following:

Our commitment to our customers:

We aim to give you an excellent service and our Code of Practice (available on www.bt.com or on request from 0800 800 150) sets out full details of what you can expect from BT.

If you have a complaint:

Please call 0800 800 150 (a free call) for the quickest response. If you decide you want to write to us, the address is BT UK Business Accounts, Providence Row, Durham DH98 1BT.

If you are unhappy with our response you can ask our Complaint Review Service to investigate. This specialist team will work with you to find a solution.

If we do not answer your complaint within 12 weeks, or if we write to you saying that we cannot agree an outcome, you can ask Otelo, the Office of Telecommunications Ombudsman, to investigate. The address is Otele, PO Box 730, Wilderspool Park, Warrington, WA4 6WU. The website address is www.otelo.org.uk or you can call 0845 0501614.

You can also download a version: BT Code of Practice (PDF, 325 KB)

I shall be reading that document and I suspect writing to complain.

Update (22:14)

Here’s what it says on the BT website that is tracking our fault:

The problem is likely to be in your property.

It could be an equipment problem that you can solve yourself or it could be a line problem, which we’ll need to fix for you.

I strongly suspect that it’s a problem with the line, or at the exchange, because we’ve changed nothing and our broadband is working. And I get nothing even with the corded BT phone plugged into the test socket on the master socket.

This is just not good enough. This is by far the worst experience I have ever experienced from a communications company. And that makes me sad because I wanted to believe that BT cared for their customers.

On the off-chance that we wake up in the morning and discover that BT have “done the double” and we’ve lost our broadband connection too, if you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know why, and I’ll fill you in on what’s going on when I return to work on Monday!