February 24th, 2013

Icknield Way

Of telephone companies and baby planning

This week has been largely characterised by lots of time waiting for BT. Last week I finally got round to reporting that our broadband connection keeps dropping out intermittently. It's been doing it for a while really - at fairly random intervals it just drops out for between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes - sometimes just when we're on the phone, and at other times it's every half hour, and sometimes it's just random. Anyway having replaced the ADSL filters in January, and replaced an elderly handset on Wednesday the errors were still happening, so I spoke to them on Wednesday last week and they made me plug the router into the master socket for 24 hours to see if it fixed the problem. It didn't, so I spoke to them again on Thursday, and after a basic line check which was fine the second-line support team promised to call me back on Monday morning after their Exchange team had had a chance to investigate (they suggested Friday, but I said Monday since I knew we were going to be away Friday night). Since then there has been an inordinate amount of waiting!

On Monday I waited an hour for them to call me, then tried 1471 and discovered they had in fact tried to call me on Saturday while we were out, so I called them up a bit cross, and they didn't exactly apologise but did agree to send me an engineer on Tuesday afternoon to come and see if they could find the problem. On Tuesday I waited in all afternoon and the engineer didn't turn up - I replied to their text message notification to complain, and got a courtesy call just after 9pm. It seemed there had been a "communication issue" between the booking team and the engineer. Anyway since the issue seemed to have gone away temporarily they promised to call back on Wednesday and check if it was still OK. Of course the connection started breaking again overnight, so on Wednesday morning I called them again rather than waiting for the call back, and after quite some time waiting on hold another engineer was booked - this time for Friday morning. On Friday I didn't actually have to wait long for the engineer! Amazing! He came, was polite and helpful, but couldn't actually find anything wrong though he admitted he couldn't stay and monitor indefinitely to wait for another problem.. He did move our master socket upstairs into the room we keep the computers in, and replaced it with a modern filtered one, which means the other sockets in the house now only act as phone lines, but no longer need ADSL microfilters attached to them. About an hour later the connection dropped again, and after a couple more outages I called BT again - and they've booked me yet another engineer. This time the earliest they can manage is Tuesday morning, so once again I wait.

Since then the connection has actually been up a bit more reliably than before, but still drops out when we're using the phone. An improvement I guess - we'll see how it does over the next couple of days! It's just as well I've been at home though! It would be even more irritating if I were having to take time out of work for this, rather than time I was happy sitting around doing jigsaws, reading, geeking and crocheting :)

There have been other bits of waiting this week too - waiting for baby - who is fine to stay put for another couple of weeks as far as I'm concerned - and waiting for assorted parcels in the post. I now have more maternity bras (you really needed to know that) and we also have a baby bath, changing mats, and a nice new chest of drawers in the nursery for baby clothes with a changing table on top. We've put the pushchair together too and packed the hospital bags, and been for a tour of the Rosie Birth Centre - which was lovely. All feeling much more ready than we were a week ago!

So after a very chilled out day at home yesterday the plan for today is another relaxing morning, then to head into town this afternoon to see Wreck It Ralph at the cinema and go out for dinner. Since as several people have pointed out we might not get much chance for that sort of outing for a while :).