BT customers in Sway left ‘isolated’ as fault in Openreach network knocks out landlines
VILLAGERS have been left “isolated” after a fault left them without landline services for a week.
The issue affected residents in Sway, with phones out of action since Thursday 9th November. The problem was still yet to be fixed as the A&T went to press.
Michael Eyre, who lives on Shirley Holms, said trying to report the problem to BT or its network provider Openreach for any action or answers has left him feeling “incredibly frustrated”.
He told the A&T: “When I pick up the phone there’s no dial tone, just a lot of crackly static, and I can’t dial out.
“Just trying to get the issue reported to BT was near impossible. I’ve still got the internet so I had to go online to log a fault on their website. This took several attempts but I did eventually get a fault reference number. I went to check that number later on and it said there was no fault recorded.
“When I finally got to speak to a human being on Friday, the first person I spoke to at BT said this was a major fault affecting hundreds of people. I was later told by someone else the problem was due to building works at a nearby phone exchange. I went to that exchange and there were no works going on.”
Mr Eyre said his is one of six homes on his road affected, adding: “The thing that terrifies us now is, if the internet goes down, we’re completely isolated. Through all this, BT has done nothing at all to fix this. The main problem is you can’t get any straight answers about what the problem is and when it will be fixed.
“First I was told it would be fixed by last Friday. Then I was then told it would be fixed by Monday, now I’m being told it will be Friday. If you’re trying to get answers from BT, prepare to be incredibly frustrated.”
Another Sway resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Last week I lost the phone, internet and Careline services. A BT engineer said he found a fault in the local exchange but, because of problems with the building, he couldn’t go in without permission.
“Several hours later he returned to say that he’d replaced all the wires because it was such a mess. I can’t fault the engineer, he tried his best and kept us informed. But he also said it was ridiculous he wasn’t allowed in the building and that he’d been in and out of the exchange with no problems for years.”
Mr Eyre has now been told by a BT complaints team member the problem is caused by a broken or “intermittent” trunk cable between the Sway and Lymington exchanges. The customer service representative told Mr Eyre it would be Openreach’s responsibility to fix or replace the cable.
He added: “I don’t have high hopes of seeing this resolved soon.”
An Openreach spokesperson said: “On Friday, we discovered one of our copper cables in Sway was damaged. This meant a small number of residents have been left without a working phone line and/or broadband while we make repairs.
“We know how worrying and isolating it can be to be without phone lines and we’re sorry it’s taking us longer than we’d like to resolve this problem. Specialist engineers were due on site on Thursday to continue the remedial work.”
“We can confirm we’ve received nine fault reports across all of our around 600 providers who use the Openreach network.”
A BT spokesperson added: “The complaints team have spoken to the customer and have advised on when this (repair work) will be completed and (the) customer is happy with this.”