How many KCOM engineers does it take to install Lightstream in one flat?

David Carr

4 min read - 21st Sep, 2016

I can’t tell you, so far I’ve counted 6 and yet still my property is yet to be connected.

As well as this 10 enquiries to KCOM customer service have been made none of which have been resolved.

An all round embarrassingly poor install managed by KCOM.


The saga begun with KCOM lightstream sales. As an existing lightstream customer I have been using the service for more than 3 years and couldn’t fault it so when I needed to move home a lightstream area was top on my list of priorities. I called KCOM to be certain it was possible to take it with me to my choosen new home. They assured me everything would be good and ready to go so we arranged an install date.

On install day the attending KCOM engineer found the property was far from lightstream ready and possibly not even available to it at all!

For me lightstream is a service that is invaluable to my work, I work from home frequently so having just signed a 6 month tenancy in a city with no other decent options this was not the news I needed to hear.

After a tense bank holiday weekend of waiting to find out more I was told a site survey would need to take place. A further 3 engineers visited to complete this survey. All agreed it was a fair distance between my flat and the exchange but not one of these bright sparks thought to take a measurement. Following the visit I was relived to find out that they could install light stream after all and a date was set.

In between this time some external work would be carried out by at least one more engineer presenting another missed opportunity to take a measurement.

On the new install date a failure to take any measurement resulted in the 50 meter cable the engineer brought with him being too short by 3 meters. A dry install took place meaning he fitted and setup everything in the property without being able to connect to the exchange box. My partner who had stayed home from work was assured that by the end of the day another engineer would come over and complete the job of extending the cable by a further 3 meters. We were told connection would be evident by a red optical light turning green on our internal white box. 

From this point on we have been caught in a customer service nightmare.

As the working day closed the red light remained and my partner was understandably concerned we had been forgotten so called KCOM for more information. She was told there were delays across the city and engineers were working overtime that night to complete any external work yet to be done. She was assured it would be completed by the end of the night.

The next day we woke to find we were still not connected, each subsequent call to customer services over the next few day resulted in someone promising to email or forward the last email to the relevant department and contacting us when an response had been sent, each time I called they checked and no response to the last email had ben received. It became clear no one was reading these emails. It occurred to me that this was turning into the definition of insanity, repeating the same action over an over again and expecting a different result.

Enough was enough, I find it very unpleasant to get angry with customer service representatives but I had to just to get any further along and finally a supervisor took over my case who has so far on one occasion fulfilled a promise to keep me updated but only to inform me no email response had been given.

I know for a fact that engineers are in contact with KCOM through the day as myself and my partner have witnessed them make frequent calls during their visits. I fail to see why no one can just call the department that manages the schedule to find out if or when we are to be visited to complete the work. Or why not be really inventive and visit them in person. I certainly would.

To this day I have no idea if KCOM have any plans at all to finalise my installation. I just know we are fast approaching the 26th September, a full month after I was originally supposed to be connected.

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