I know exactly what you mean Spymaster.
Recently, a friend of mine 'downed' a phoneline to my house. This happened on MOD property, therefore BT classed it as being on 'private' land.
The situation was as follows.
 I lost my armourey phone [police] line, my BT landline and my broad band connection;
 BT said an engineer could not survey the damage for 5 working days;
 Surveyor came out, [after my being on hold for 55 minutes and stating the police would be involved], surveyed the damage, measured the height of
other cables and announced that they were below the 'legal' height requirement of 6.8 metres.
 My boss threatened to intervene and the engineer was told to put in a new line - below the legal height.
 Nothing was heard from BT until 3 months later, I received a 'bill' for £480.
 I refused to pay, as the line 'dropped' from their junction box, it was the old twin core and that it was below the legal height.
 BT responded by saying as the line 'dropped' on private land, I would have to pay all costs.
 I refused and told them I would see them in court.
 Another 2 months later, I received a frantic phone call saying that if I paid for the labour (£280) they would forgo the rest of the bill.
 I told them - literally to
off or I would take them to court for harrassment.
 Last month, BT phoned my mobile and said they were dropping all charges!
1 - BT