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Phone fault leaves Hayle family unable to talk to relatives at Christmas

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: January 09, 2013

Alison Johnson of Hayle with her son James

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Two Hayle youngsters were unable to talk to their overseas father at Christmas after a phone line fault cut off their access to the internet for five weeks..

Alison Johnson, 50, a sales administrator in Hayle, has been left at her "wits end" after numerous calls to BT who provide her phone line.

Despite the repeated requests, the mystery problem, which has left her without phone or internet was not fixed and her children James and Rebecca were not able to email, Skype or talk to their father who lives abroad over the festive season.

They were also unable to contact other members of their extended family and had trouble revising for GCSE and A-Level exams that they will be sitting soon.

Miss Johnson said: "I am at my wits ends as BT seem powerless to fix the fault.

"I have had no landline for five weeks and there seems to be no end in sight.

"BT have apologised and keep telling me it is the weather – but we have not experienced any flooding in this area.

"Their customer service is non-existent and I am seriously frustrated in my attempts to get them to give me an honest reply to my question ‘when will it be fixed?’"

After being contacted by The Cornishman, a spokesman for BT apologised for the delay and said the company would be sending an engineer to try and fix what had been a complicated problem, on Tuesday.

The fault started in early December and by the 4th, the family was left no access to the phone line.

Miss Johnson called the telecom provider that day but it was not until nine days later that an engineer was first sent out to look at the problem.

Luckily, a friendly next door neighbour has been allowing the Johnsons to sign in to her broadband but although a help the signal has been weak and patchy.

The problem has now been fixed but Miss Johnson is still unhappy with the company's customer service.

She said: "If I treated customers like that, we wouldn’t have any customers and my boss would sack me.. They don’t really care. They’re such a big organisation they don’t really care."

Jason Mann, spokesman for BT said engineers for the company had carried out a repair to an underground cable but it was then discovered they also needed to work on a phone pole on private property.

He said : "We are sorry for the delay. An engineer will visit today (Tuesday) and hopefully he will gain the necessary access to this pole."

He added that the majority of faults were repaired "very quickly" by the end of the next working day after the problem was reported.

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