Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: British Gas alarm system - AGAIN!

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    4

    Angry British Gas alarm system - AGAIN!

    My house has a British Gas alarm system fitted when it was built (but never activated as I objected to paying the rip off installation fee and monthly charges). I've got itemised billing on my BT phone line and was checking the bill online last week and I noticed that the alarm makes the occasional call to an 0870 number!!

    I complained to British Gas about this but they said that the alarm might have a fault and they can send an engineer out to investigate but as the alarm isn't activated and I don't have a contract it will cost around 85!!

    I wondered if it would be possible for BT to somehow block the 0870 number but they just said it's nothing to do with them and wouldn't help me (I guess they're quite happy if it continues to make calls!).

    I feel like I'm being scammed here. Either I've got to pay the British Gas "ransom" to get the alarm fixed or just let it continue making calls without my permission.

    I had a look inside the alarm control box and there's 4 wires going into the PCB that come from the BT line. The terminals on the PCB are marked "RING", "TIP", "T" and "R" (or something very similar). I thought it would just be a simple job of disconnecting all the wires but when I did that the alarm started beeping and when I tried using the phone I couldn't get a dial tone so I had to re-connect it.

    Is there a way to fool the alarm somehow? I wondered about pulling the fuse out of the alarm but I notice that it's got a battery backup inside the control box so I guess it'll complain like mad if I isolated it (until the battery ran out).

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Alicante Spain
    Posts
    1,920

    Default

    From what you say is happening, it looks like the phone line goes into the alarm first and then out from there.
    I think that the incoming line is marked Ring and Tip, and the outgoing cable is marked R and T. So in theory, if you join Ring to R and Tip to T you should get your phone line and the alarm disconnected. But you alarm may throw a wobbly if it detects that the phone line has been disconnected.
    The British Gas alarm panels are normally DSC Envoy panels if that helps.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    I think that the incoming line is marked Ring and Tip, and the outgoing cable is marked R and T. So in theory, if you join Ring to R and Tip to T you should get your phone line and the alarm disconnected. But you alarm may throw a wobbly if it detects that the phone line has been disconnected.
    Ah, so it loops through the PCB - that would explain why the phone stopped working!

    The alarm did start complaining about not having the phone line connected to it (I guess it regularly checks for a carrier on the line). I wondered about leaving it for a while to see if it would eventually stop beeping but then chickened out and decided to re-connect everything.

    What's annoying is that as soon as I re-connected the alarm to the BT line it immediately dialled the 0870 number - grrr!

    I'm waiting for a response back from BT at the moment - I've heard that it might be possible to bar some outgoing calls so I might try this option instead (actually prevent the alarm from calling the 0870 number in the first place).

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Alicante Spain
    Posts
    1,920

    Default

    Just had a thought, there might be a setting in the setup of the alarm that can turn off the telephone line bit. I know some alarms have this ability to disable the telephone dialer in the set up menu.
    Do a google for a "DSC Envoy alarm" you may be able to get the installation manual for it.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member KirasHome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fmrl View Post
    My house has a British Gas alarm system fitted when it was built (but never activated as I objected to paying the rip off installation fee and monthly charges). I've got itemised billing on my BT phone line and was checking the bill online last week and I noticed that the alarm makes the occasional call to an 0870 number!!

    I complained to British Gas about this but they said that the alarm might have a fault and they can send an engineer out to investigate but as the alarm isn't activated and I don't have a contract it will cost around 85!!
    I guess I'm just a grumpy old man, but if it is doing this without your permission and it is costing you money I'd say you are fully entitled to recover that money from British Gas. You might need to check the contract you signed when you bought the house in case there is anything in there about it (we have a clause in ours about paying for the maintance of the communal pond). If that's clear I'd be tempted to send a letter to Britsh Gas telling them that you intend to recover the cost of the calls from them plus a small administration fee, and see what they say to that. Keep the admin fee reasonable - say 10-20. And keep a record of all correspondence you send to them and (difficult as it can be) keep it short and polite. If they refuse to either pay or fix the problem, take it to the small claims court. So long as what you are doing is reasonable and your not charging silly money for the admin fee you normally find judges are sympathetic to this kind of thing. The main point of this is of course just to get them to get off their backsides and actually fix the problem. Doing this might get the people at the other end to actually think about what they are doing rather than giving you a knee-jerk reaction of a 85 call out fee.

    BTW - I'm not a lawyer or anything so this could be completely wrong, but I can get very grumpy at times :-)

    HTH, Jamie

  6. #6
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default

    The manuals are on www.ukpanels.com

  7. #7
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Go to www.matrixalarmsystems.co.uk. They were brilliant

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •