We are independent telephone engineers based in North East England and can provide “per fault” Telephone System Maintenance for certain systems. We network with other engineers across the UK, so can often find help from our range of contacts.

As we’ve blogged before here, we tend to pick up work with “orphan” systems, namely those who have no maintenance contract, and have suddenly “gone sick”..

We witnessed one of our customers experience a fair amount of financial pain recently. Consequently, we thought it appropriate to share some knowledge on a major issue. Specifically, the whole “maintenance contract or per-fault repair” dilemma. Do you cover your system via an maintenance contract, or wait for it to go wrong, then find an engineer?


Actually, they had been “pain-free” quite a few years. Their system maintenance contract had lapsed, so it was one cost that they had happily got rid of. Until…

You are probably ahead of me here – yes, they suddenly had a major problem. A power failure at the premises had resulted in the main equipment of their system becoming mightily confused and refusing to behave. Heavily dependent on their phones, they were in trouble.

An Engineer Calls…

We sent an engineer who checked the system and found that the main “brain” had experienced some kind of major trauma associated with the power problem. Time to send a replacement, and arrange another visit.

It Gets Worse.

Following that visit, problems persisted. Very odd, intermittent ones. Another component was sent to site. Our engineer fitted it and found the problems repeating. Drat. Finally, it was determined that the problems were on the Openreach network. However, our customer still had to pay for a visit that proved this. Also, for the replacement component.

By now, any savings made from not having a contract had long-gone. Had the customer had a maintenance contract, then these visits (and components) would have been covered as part of the contract.

An Alternative?

What are we recommending? Well, we are happy to carry out non-contract engineering work, but need to make it clear that it can (but not always) get very expensive. We have to cover our engineer’s costs, whether the fault is with the system or elsewhere.

However, ultimately, it’s the customer’s decision; standing the annual cost of a maintenance contract, or taking a gamble on whether your system will prove faultless. The stark question is this:-  How much does your phone system matter to your business?

Read our subsequent blog where we explore in more depth the advantages and disadvantages of “contract” versus “per fault” maintenance.

Meanwhile, in respect of telephone system maintenance, and “fixing things”, we may be able to help. Drop us a line.