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    Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

    This is a discussion on Underground cable damage, who's responsible? within the Cabling and faceplate help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; A question for any BT /Openreach Gurus on the forum (or anyone else who has an input) Sorry about the ...

    1. #1
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      Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

      A question for any BT/Openreach Gurus on the forum (or anyone else who has an input)
      Sorry about the length of the post.

      A colleague lives in a close on the outskirts of a village. I'll call him "Joe" who despite being a very capable man at his job, is not a telecoms engineer.
      His phone line is an underground armoured "2 pair" from a manhole in the verge outside the property to a junction box on the wall of the house.
      The run is about 35 metres, directly in the ground, at the side of his drive & adjacent to a wooden fence. (No ducting)

      Whilst having rotten fence posts replaced, an over enthusiastic guy put a spade straight through the underground armoured phone cable.
      "Joe" got in touch with TalkTalk, & became good friends (over the next few days) with Gupta in India, who assured him that the line tested out perfectly.
      This confused “Joe”, who had no phone or broadband & could plainly see the two separated ends of the cable in the fence post hole.

      Needless to say, TalkTalk suggested that he got in touch with Openreach, who in turn said "nothing to do with us, get in touch with TalkTalk"
      I got involved when "Joe" mentioned his problem & I suggested doing a temporary repair to join the two cables.
      He then pleaded with me to do it for him & not wishing to see a grown man cry (or drive his car over the nearest cliff, as was mentioned), I affected a temporary repair.

      Subsequently, TalkTalk phoned "Joe" back on his land line asking who had repaired it. (The broken line which they had said they said was OK, & of course, now is again)
      The lady apparently had to amend the fault report from "severed" line to "damaged" line.

      The fencing contractors have now found an electrician who is prepared to make a permanent repair & that is how things stand at the moment.

      Question is, whose responsibility is it? The line is not in a duct as it would be if installed now. But it is on the BT/Openreach side of the installation.
      How would this situation be resolved for a single elderly person without recourse to a retired electrical engineer? Did I commit an offence (no pun intended).

      Regards,

      Max.


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    3. #2
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      Re: Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

      You are correct in that BTO will do the repair, but the fact that TalkTalk is the supplier means that they will have to direct(place an order with) BTO to have the line repaired. The line renter may be asked to pay for the repair, which if it was a legitimate contractor doing the fence, would be paid by his, the contractors insurance. If it was a DIY job, then the renter will be held responsible for the payment, if any is demanded.

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      Re: Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

      As previously stated Talk Talk have to place the order through BTO as talk talk are BT wholesales customer and "your friend" is talk talks customer. BTO will raise charges for the repair if a line is damaged. The charges will be forwarded on to Talk Talk who then have to decide whether or not to pass the charges on to their customer. If your friend can get talk talk to raise a fault report and get a BTO engineer sent out without being advised of possible charges then they can't be charged. But if Talk Talk raie a fault report and do advise your friend of possible charges they can't expect a bill. The minumum call out fee is £99.98 and then charged by the hour at about £66.00. The fencing contractors insurers should pay for this.

      I think if you looked into this further you will find that you shouldn't have touched BT's external Network and if they found out this could lead to all soughts of problems.Unlikely wittha big company but they could suggest you made the issue worse you have caused more damage etc etc.

      Anyway going to cost at least £160.00 (if they are less than an hour)

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      Re: Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

      For everyones info. BT have a special department that can be contacted if ever any digging is going to take place. Compnaies should be aware of this and if mness BT send someone out to marik where cables are. Contact details as follows,

      BT (Dial before you Dig)
      T: 0800-917-3993
      F:020-8326-4050
      dbyd@bt.com

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      Re: Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

      Your asking who's responsible, thats simple the contractor.

      Phone company repairs the line, sends the bill to your mate for paying and your mate then gets the money off the contractors insurance company.

      If he's lucky.
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      Re: Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

      Thanks for the input.

      I think we all agree that the fencing contractor is liable & it seems that they will eventually repair the damage.

      The main problen seems to be how does anyone get a quick result?
      We are all addicted to our broadband & being without it can be "Traumatic"

      nige1983.
      Had Talktalk done as you say they should & put the order through to BTO, everyone would have been happy.
      Maybe after a couple of weeks or so this may have eventually happened?
      (Cost was not really an issue, as I was offered £50 just to look at the problem - I didn't take the money)

      My man was also scouring the streets looking for a BTO van, but like police, never there when you need them.

      I suppose that whats really needed is a quick response number that actually gets a BTO repair team to the site.
      Wonder what happens if the "Dial before you Dig" number is rung after the event?

      Regards,

      Max.

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      Re: Underground cable damage, who's responsible?

      Wouldn't dial the number "after the event" admission of guilt on your friends part. Can't see why talk talk didn't advise your friend of possible charges and raise the issue with BTO. At the end of the day this isn't going to cost Talk Talk a penny. Your friend just needs to ensure the fencing contractor is going to stump up or as a last resort if the cables are in your friends garden possibly his home insurance!

     

     

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