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58 day wait for phone repairs

PUBLISHED: 05:18 20 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

A COUPLE have spoken of their despair after waiting 58 days for telephone engineers to fix their line.

Margaret and David Williams, of Framsden, near Debenham, were cut off in November because of a fault in the line.

A COUPLE have spoken of their despair after waiting 58 days for telephone engineers to fix their line.

Margaret and David Williams, of Framsden, near Debenham, were cut off in November because of a fault in the line.

They immediately reported the problem, and waited for engineers to arrive.

"It's just unbelievable," said Mrs Williams. "On November 22, we had this dead telephone so I rang and reported it and was told it was an underground fault and they would come up."

They were told they would come out on December 2, but it was two days later that the engineer came and said they would need to get permission from the council to dig up the grass verge.

Contractors arrived a week later having got permission to dig a hole, but filled it in two days later without the fault being fixed because of flooding problems, she said.

They then had to wait for some equipment to be sent, because the supplier was shut until well into the New Year.

"Ever since then we have had promises of different dates," she said. "We have been in contact with them practically every day."

When the problem continued after Christmas, the couple were sent a mobile phone by BT, who have said they will pay for their outgoing calls while they continue to be cut off.

"We are very rural. They have diverted our telephone calls to the mobile phone, and the only place you can really get a signal is in the bedroom," said Mrs Williams. "It's still very, very unsatisfactory."

She added: "It's 58 days today. It just seems to be one excuse after another really."

A BT spokeswoman said they hoped to have the couple connected next week.

"It's a sorry tale, and I do feel very sorry for them because it seems to have gone on for ages," she said.

But weather had hampered their efforts to reconnect the couple, she explained.

When the fault was first reported, BT engineers were working flat out to fix faults caused when lines were brought down during the storms. When they did dig on the grass verge, there were flooding problems, and they had to go back to the council to get permission to dig another hole on the road. They were due to begin digging today , she said.

She apologised for the length of time they had been without a service.

"I understand their frustration and their anger particularly over the Christmas period," she said. "We really have been working as hard as we can. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did not help us along the way."

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