HUNDREDS of thousands of BT customers have experienced problems getting online today after huge storms caused an outage in Edinburgh and in other parts of Scotland.
“Apocalyptic” lightning storms and flooding ravaged parts of the UK last night following the heatwave, and BT says this caused an outage at its Edinburgh exchange, which is where home broadband cables feed into.
Two months’ of rain fell in four hours, flooding streets and homes as temperatures yesterday reached 34C (93.2F) for the fifth day in a row.
BT says 100,000 customers were affected by the outage, although it says this will now be resolved for most as of 6.30pm.
Almost 1,000 people reported issues on outage site Down Detector at the heigh of the problems, with the majority saying they’re having problems with their internet.
In a statement a BT Group spokesperson said: “Severe storms and flooding in Edinburgh last night damaged some broadband equipment in our exchange buildings.
“As a result, some customers in Edinburgh and a small number of other locations in Scotland were unable to connect to the internet.
“We believe the fault is now fixed but given the extent of the lightning last night, there may be individual network faults which should be reported to broadband providers as normal. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience.”
BT admits that lightening strikes may have affected its lines elsewhere around the UK too causing broadband outages.
Down Detector reports were UK-wide and we’ve seen reports of problems on social media in Eastleigh in Hampshire and in West London, as well as in and around Edinburgh.
It follows a large spike in complaints last night where almost 1,500 people reported problems with their BT service on Down Detector.
The latest issues will be another blow for millions of Brits working from home who’ve already suffered numerous outages across different networks during coronavirus lockdown.
Just last month, Virgin Media’s customer website and emails went down leaving thousands unable to log in.
Can I get compensation if my broadband cuts out?
BROADBAND and phone customers are usually paid compensation from providers for service or engineer visit issues – but this scheme has been temporarily paused.
Under the current coronavirus circumstances providers are less likely to be able to carry out repairs, install new services or make home visits.
Usually customers would get £8 back for every day that the service stops working after two working days of it going down.
Customers are also usually due £25 if an engineer misses an appointment or cancels with less than 24 hours notice.
If there’s a delay to the start of a new service then you will usually get £5 for each day, including the missed start date.
If your service goes down then it’s worth asking for compensation, even if it doesn’t fall into one of these categories.
If you’re unhappy and they don’t resolve your complaint then you can take it to one of two dispute resolution (ADR) schemes – Ombudsman Services: Communications or Communications and Internet Services Adjustment Scheme.
One BT customer tweeted this morning: “It says the local outage in my area (Eastleigh) was fixed last night but it definitely wasn’t. Whole street can’t connect to broadband.”
Another wrote: “Do you have broadband issues in Edinburgh and do you know when things will be back up if so?”
Someone else added: “Oh good, it’s the children’s first day back at school today so already stressful, why not chuck in a broadband fault so I can’t log on to work and instead spend my morning on hold? Cheers @bt_uk”
How do I check if BT is down?
Broadband issues are frustrating for customers at thousands of people continue to work from home.
BT has a service checker on its website so you can see how services are performing in your local area.
You need to enter your phone number to check your line.
Major broadband providers have recently agreed to switch millions of vulnerable customers to cheaper deals saving them £70 each a year.
Meanwhile, Universal Credit claimants can get home phone and broadband from BT for just £10 a month.
And if you’re struggling to pay your bills, you should be offered a repayment holiday.
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