Cllr Stephen Fenton has drafted the following ‘simple guide’ to reporting graffiti or other damage done to BT or Virgin Media street cabinets, based on recent experiences in trying to get graffiti cleaned up. Stephen would welcome comments on how this guide could be improved!
Is it a BT or Virgin Media (VM) box?
When you come across a cabinet has been subject to a graffiti attack or some other form of vandalism, the first step is to try to work out whether it is a BT or VM box. This information will determine who to report it to. Whilst the council will arrange for graffiti to be cleaned off cabinets for which it has responsibility (eg traffic lights boxes), it is not responsible for telecoms cabinets.
Some BT cabinets are easily identifiable, either because they have a poster on the front of the cabinet or BT stencilled on the side.
BT box front view
BT box side view
BT fibre cabinet
There is no consistently easy way to identify Virgin Media cabinets but if the chamber lid is marked CATV or NTL it will invariably be a VM cabinet.
Virgin Media box
If you have a fair idea which type of cabinet it is, there are various ways in which you can report damage.
Reporting damage to BT cabinets
The BT web page which contains instructions for reporting damage to cabinets can be found Here . You are invited to call 0800 023 2023 and choose Option 1. You will be connected to an advisor who will ask for details of the location of the cabinet. It’s helpful if you can provide the address of the nearest property and the postcode. You will be given a reference number. The BT cabinet pictured above was reported in mid December 2015 and was cleaned up within four weeks.
Reporting damage to Virgin Media cabinets
The VM web page which contains instructions for reporting damage to cabinets can be found Here. You can choose to report the issue by phone, on 0330 333 0444, or click on ‘Contact Us’ then ‘Something else’ then ‘Reporting an open or damaged cabinet’.
The phone reporting service is automated, so you don’t get to speak to a person but instead answer a number of questions. You should provide as much information as you can, such as the address of the nearest property and the postcode. At the end of the call you will be given a reference number.
Reporting via the website is quite straightforward, but you are not issued with a reference number.
I reported the VM cabinet pictured above in mid December via the automated phone line and got a reference number, but then had to chase up twice via the website route. This did eventually prompt a helpful and attentive e-mail from a representative at the VM Operations Centre who admitted that there had been some ‘minor issues’ with the automated reporting line. He verified the information needed (nearest property and postcode) and undertook to raise an order to have the cabinet cleaned and repainted.
I’d welcome any additions / amendments / improvements to this simple guide.