Saturday, December 21, 2013
Neighbours in a Suffolk village have vented their fury at communications firm BT after their phone lines were cut off, with no guarantee of when connections will be restored.
Problems started for householders in Snipe Farm Road, Clopton, at the end of October, when an electricity line was brought down by a storm that swept the county.
BT managed to solve the fault temporarily within about 10 days and reconnect the five affected customers, but when engineers returned on Tuesday to complete the full repair, the phone lines went dead again.
Neighbours were then told they could be without a connection until December 23. Penny Moon said: “No sooner did the BT Openreach lorries leave, we realised we had been cut off. There was no warning and no explanation.
“Roadworks signs went up and came down, then we were left without phones or the internet. It happened without any notification. We would have got our business done beforehand, had we known.”
Of five homes connected to the same line in Snipe Farm Road, four were left without a phone or web connection. Ms Moon said she was told the lines would be restored before December 23 but was unable to establish a more accurate assurance.
“For them to cut us off and then charge 14p a minute on our mobile phones to tell them we have a fault is outrageous. If they have the monopoly, they need to act responsibly. We are gobsmacked at the appalling way they have handled this.”
A spokesman for BT said the firm would like to apologise to those affected and assure them that all will be done to clear remaining faults as quickly as possible.
He added: “Engineers were able to provide a temporary repair for the nearly 50 faults that were reported following the recent storm damage. Work was carried out (on Wednesday) to complete the full repair.
“The reconnection works can be incredibly complex and occasionally there can be instances when full service is not restored to all.
“We are investigating remaining faults and would advise anyone without service to ensure their respective service provider is aware so that it can be looked into.”
Ms Moon later added that although she was concerned by the incompleteness of the work, the Openreach engineers had been “extremely sympathetic and apologetic”.