Feeds

BT quietly recalls shocky adapters

Comtrend even quieter

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

BT is quietly sending out replacements for Comtrend adapters, warning users of dodgy models not to touch them if they can't be disconnected first.

The telecommunications company is recalling the ethernet-over-mains networking boxes on the grounds that the casing can disintegrate, and tells users to switch off the mains connection before touching the kit - or to call the hotline if that's not possible. It is posting out replacement devices and pointing those who receive a package at its supporting website. Comtrend, meanwhile, has been silent on the matter.

Apparently customers who have not received a package have nothing to worry about.

BT won't tell us how many packages are being sent out, only that it's a "tiny percentage" of the 300,000 users who previously received the networking kit. Evidently the number is high enough to make it worth setting up a website and organising a support line, but not enough to warrant a press release or report to the European register for product recalls (RAPEX).

To be fair to BT, the Comtrend devices have UK (three-pin) plugs on them, so anyone pushing one into an EU power outlet will have bigger problems than a potentially-fragmenting case.

The devices are supplied to customers of BT Vision, and controversial as they have been demonstrated to generate huge amounts of interference - with recent models knocking out FM radio, and everyone from the Civil Aviation Authority to the BBC concerned about the lack of regulation on the devices. The replacement units BT is sending out will probably be just as prone to creating radio noise, but hopefully less prone to electrocuting people.

BT reckons it knows every single person who has a dodgy unit and will send out replacements to all those people, and therefore there's no reason for alerting anyone else. But just in case you picked out a cheap mains networking unit at a car boot sale, or worry that BT might have forgotten your address, then you might like to check the model numbers just to be sure. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.