Wednesday August 31st: My mum tries to call me, we realise the phone is broken. It's after 8pm so I try leaving an email through their webform, as they recommend on their webpages as a way of reporting faults. This results in an automated reply to me quoting my mail and saying they might not get back to me as they get so many emails. Not wanting to spend ages on hold on the mobile I leave it for the meantime and hope they'll get back to me.
Sunday September 4th: mum tries to call me again, still broken, decide email is obviously not going to be answered.
Monday September 5th: Call NTL on mobile at lunchtime. Answered after approx 10 mins. Offer to send an engineer "this afternoon, before 6" so I go home to work from home. No engineer. Call NTL on mobile at 6:05 - answered after approx 25 mins, having heard the entire loop of their hold music. Earlier call centre assistant booked "wrong sort of technician" who can't do house calls. When technician got to ticket they gave it back to dispatch. For some reason, despite me having given dispatch my mobile number, no-one called me to let me know. The right sort of engineer is now booked for Thursday morning, 8-12.
NB a very similar problem with phones around this time last year (no dial tone, line gives busy signal if rung) took several weeks to get fixed. They never refunded any line rental. They never refunded me for two 45 min calls on hold on a PAYG mobile. They never refunded me for a wasted morning off when their engineer failed to show up. Admittedly I didn't ring their customer services department and insist, but I suspect I will be doing this time.