Thursday, 16 August 2012

BT"s 53.25 MbDownload Bog-Up Continues

It beggars belief, but the BT 53.25Mb download bog-up continues.  It's now a few weeks since Apple released their Mountain Lion update and it became blindingly apparent to Mac-owning BT customers, both business and a few domestic ones, that something was wrong when they they tried to download it and it and the process stuck at 53.25Mb.

As ever, folks -me included- contacted BT to get their bog-standard initial and I suspect mandatory scripted reaction:  "It isn't our fault - contact X, it is their software/hardware (delete as appropriate) causing the problem."  In this case X was Apple.

It soon became apparent that similar problems were being encountered by Mac users in the US and Australia.  That suggested that either BT might be right in their assertion, or there was a common global cause - but one that only affected some BT users in the UK, but seemingly few, if any using other ISPs.  

A little digging uncovered the fact their was a common link between BT customers in the UK and those in Australia and the US - they all were using the 2-Wire 2700 HGV router - known in the UK as the BT Business Hub.  On BT 2-Wire routers, the issue was quickly shown to be linked to the firmware and a limitation on download sizes.  In fact, the problem wasn't specific to the Mountain Lion download and had been referred to BT months ago in a different guise.  

Overcoming the problem is as simple as replacing the 2-Wire, even temporarily, with another router.  You can even use a HomeHub 2 - possibly the only thing it has ever been good for, other than a doorstop!

Given that the 2-Wire didn't have this problem when it came to downloading Lion last year, it must be a new glitch in the firmware.   It seems that BT have told some users that they can upgrade the router firmware, if the customer provides them with the 2-Wire serial number - although I have yet to see any evidence that this has been done - and worked.

Others have been advised by BT of a series of steps to adjust the router, temporarily, to allow the download - followed by a factory reset to restore the 2-Wire to its former settings.

Still others - BT Business Broadband customers - have been sent BT Business Hub 3s to replace their 2-Wire routers.

The issue and potential solutions have now been well-aired on the BT Domestic and Business Forums. So, given all the above, I was stunned to discover that BT are still telling confused customers that the problem isn't a BT issue.  Writing on the Apple Forum today, welshman07 observed:

"...Only one hour ago I was told categorically that it was impossible for the BT router to be the problem. Then 30 minutes later I spoke to a different guy who was very helpful and admitted it was a BT problem and that it can be solved. I am now waiting for an engineer to phone me back with a solution..."

Isn't it about time BT got its act together?

Firstly, BT need to get their collective heads round the concept that when a customer reports a problem, that there is a problem - until proved otherwise.  

Second, BT's primary working assumption regarding a reported fault, having ruled out simple "customer cock-up," needs to be that there is some sort of BT equipment failure - until proved otherwise.

Third,  BT Group (and independently, Retail, Wholesale and Openreach) need to aggregate and data-mine fault reports - looking for temporal and spatial similarities to rapidly identify issues that are affecting groups of customers or specific locations.

Fourth, when a fault has been shown to be related to BT equipment or processes, BT should admit to it, both to the individuals reporting the fault and if it is a widespread issue, publicly on their own forums.  They should also publicise the remedial action they are taking and the time-scales of the corrective action being taken.

Fifth, BT MUST inform their call-centre staff of all issues of this type that affect multiple customers - to stop them misinforming customers about the nature of these faults.  At best, the current situation all too often smacks of ineptitude... worst, deceit.

No comments:

Having had some major problems with my own broadband service, I understand how others struggle to get help from BT.

There is a lot of good information out there, but it can be hard to find. So this blog is an attempt to pull some of it together, in one place.

It's a blog that really shouldn't be needed - if only BT and possibly other ISP's in the UK, provided useful customer support.