13 months ago I first reported an intermittent fault with my telecoms to Orange Home. I had a working voice line, but only an intermittent broadband connection, and much slower than it should be given that I live around the corner from the exchange. At the time I suggested that the problem might lie with the rather ropey wiring inside the flat - specifically the old style GPO phone point (broken) where the line entered my flat.
Just to reiterate. That was 13 months ago.
Today I finally got a BT engineer sent out. He took one look at the GPO phone point and confirmed my diagnosis (on closer inspection the wiring inside was so corroded and loose that it's a miracle I was getting any connection at all). He's replaced it with a modern master socket, and now - for the first time since I moved in - my broadband is operating as advertised.
Now in fairness to Orange, part of the reason it's taken so long is that this was an intermittent fault. So when I got disheartened arguing with tech support bods insistent on investigating unrelated problems, I'd give up for a while and put up with it. Had it been simply unusable it would have been fixed ages back. That said, it's both heartening and infuriating in equal measures that I'd correctly identified the fault on day one myself. If the tech support bods at Orange had listened to me and done what I asked then, this would have been fixed for over a year by now.
Instead they sent me a stream of unnecessary replacement equipment, and performed idiotic remote tests that shed no light whatever on the actual problem (as well as repeatedly asking me to connect equipment to a master socket which I'd told them wasn't there!) All because we have an idiotic deregulated telecoms industry here in the UK (thank you Thatcher) which discourages service providers from investigating issues in the infrastructure because the infrastructure is owned and managed by another company. Bah.
Still. At least now my broadband works.