What happens with missed NBN appointments?

Alex Hukley and Ryan Cusack feed the NBN cable into the pit during the recent NBN fibre rollout event in Blacktown. National Broadband Network fibre hauling in Blacktown, NSW. On Thursday 17 January, Federal Member for Greenway, Ms Michelle Rowland will help rollout the first NBN fibre in Blacktown, NSW. In Blacktown and the surrounding suburbs, NBN fibre construction has commenced to connect around 16,800 homes and businesses.

Alex Hukley and Ryan Cusack feed the NBN cable into the pit during the recent NBN fibre rollout event in Blacktown.

It is a very frustrating time for an NBN end user when an NBN technician misses a scheduled installation appointment. In most cases the end user must be at the property in order for the NBN installation to be completed. This means taking a day off work and stay home hoping that all will go to plan and the scheduled appointment will go through as expected.

Unfortunately on a lot of occasions the NBN appointment is missed. This is often caused by high workload. The NBN technicians have very busy schedules and it is impossible for them to get to every appointment in a day. Especially when an appointment takes longer than expected.

Missed appointments lead to very frustrated end users who have no option but to take it out on their ISP (internet service provider). Unfortunately the ISP is at the mercy of NBN and rely on the NBN technicians to get their customers connected. The ISP then needs to contact NBN and arrange for an appointment reschedule.

With this comes more frustration for the end user and the NBN policy is to book the next available appointment. This means that they join the back of the queue just like someone ordering a service for the first time. Often meaning weeks of additional delay before they can be connected to the NBN. This causing more frustration for the end user who again often takes this out on the ISP.

The ISP is caught helpless in these situations and can only apologise on behalf of NBN for their team missing the appointment. These missed appointments can go on and on and the end user can be without service while these appointments continue to be missed.

Often the end user feels that approaching the TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) will help speed up the situation. Unfortunately this is not the case, and simply just means that a complaint is filed against the ISP. The TIO refuse to accept complaints directly against NBN who in most occasions are the prime culprit in delays with missed appointments. This is frustrating for the ISP who of course just wants to get the end user connected as quickly as possible so they can start using the service and the ISP can start billing the customer!

If you’re reading this article after having a missed NBN appointment, spare a minute for the ISP who is only doing their job and ordering the service from NBN. NBN’s failure to have enough technicians on the field, or fail to book a manageable amount of appointments for a day are what cause these missed appointments. Logging a TIO complaint will not speed up the process. It’s recommended to be nice to your ISP and understand that it’s not actually their fault that NBN missed your appointment. An ISP can continue to put pressure on NBN to complete your appointment and the good ones can go the extra mile and attempt to escalate your NBN order. You should remember though that at the time of writing your order is amongst more than 30,000 other NBN orders that are hitting the system each and every week!

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