No phones for days... and it could last weeks

No phones for days... and it could last weeks

Low-tech - Beverly Ashwood of Eliza boutique

The demolition site where the cable was cut

First published in News by

HOMES, shops and offices in Westcliff have been left without phone connections after bungling workers pulled down BT lines while demolishing shops.

About 20 business and household phone lines and internet connections went down on Saturday, with users being told it could take weeks to get them back.

BT is diverting calls to customers’ mobile phones, while traders have had to resort to manual credit card machines.

Christine Wellham, manager of Halo hairdressers, next to the demolition site, said: “It’s causing us a lot of problems.

“BT has diverted our numbers and we are using a mobile broadband dongle for our online booking system, but it’s terribly slow and keeps cutting out.”

Ms Wellham is also concerned about the way the demolition work is being carried out. She explained: “We are right next door. There’s stuff falling down into our back yard when we go out there.”

Francina Kops, of nearby Encore Exclusive Menswear, said: “We didn’t have any notice of this demolition work. It has affected shops and the flats above them.

We’ve been told it could take weeks before we have our phone lines, internet and transaction machines back.

“It’s really affecting our businesses. We are having to do transactions on old card machines. Sometimes we get cut off three or four times before we get through.

“A lot of customers say they will go to get cash, then don’t come back while others are just leaving deposits. It’s really having a big effect.”

Hamlet Court Road residents have also been hit. One, who asked not to be named, said: “I have had no contact from BT.

Absolutely nothing. So I went down myself to ask the workmen, who said a cable had been cut through when they were demolishing the build ing. I don’t have the internet anyway, but I use the phone a lot and it’s having a big impact.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I get my TV through the internet, so I have no broadband, no phone and no TV. I’ve had all the DVDs out for entertainment.

“We’re not even with BT, but it all runs on BT systems.”

A BT spokesman said: “We have suffered some third-party damage and cuts to our network cabling in the area, for which we have had 12 reported faults from people who have lost service.

“Engineers are planning all the repair work needed to replace this cabling.

“We will be doing all we can to get this done as quickly as possible, but we are not able to give a date at this stage.”

The demolition work is being carried out by Bayview Construction. The Echo approached the company, but got no reply.

LOST TRADE - AND NO APOLOGY

Businesses have been hit hard by cut phone lines, with many reporting fewer customers.

Card payments will not connect, a cafe has been unable to take phone orders and hairdressers are losing clients.

Beverly Ashwood of the Eliza boutique said it was like stepping back in time.

She said: “We are having to use a Dickensian-looking machine to take card payments.

People see it and are worried.

“We have to ring every transaction through to the bank which takes a long time, and then they all have to be physically taken to the bank.

“If people want to pay cash, we are sending them to the machine at Sainsbury’s, but as soon as they walk out the door, it gives them a chance to change their mind.”

Rakela Hair Fashion has sent all but one member of staff home because business is so slow.

Owner Roland Karaj said: “We have lost 80 per cent of our customers. Are the builders going to pay my staff? Is BT?

They are each blaming each other.

“A simple apology from the builders would have been OK, but I didn’t even get that.”

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:32am Sat 8 Mar 14

rodgdodge says...

Seems to me that these traders, will have lost a lot of potential customers. Surely as well as re-established the service, some compensation should be given.
Especially with all the extra hastle of maintaing contacts and keeping their businesses going.
Seems to me that these traders, will have lost a lot of potential customers. Surely as well as re-established the service, some compensation should be given. Especially with all the extra hastle of maintaing contacts and keeping their businesses going. rodgdodge
  • Score: 57

10:26am Sat 8 Mar 14

pembury53 says...

rodgdodge wrote:
Seems to me that these traders, will have lost a lot of potential customers. Surely as well as re-established the service, some compensation should be given.
Especially with all the extra hastle of maintaing contacts and keeping their businesses going.
don't worry, there'll be compensation claims flying in a plenty.....
[quote][p][bold]rodgdodge[/bold] wrote: Seems to me that these traders, will have lost a lot of potential customers. Surely as well as re-established the service, some compensation should be given. Especially with all the extra hastle of maintaing contacts and keeping their businesses going.[/p][/quote]don't worry, there'll be compensation claims flying in a plenty..... pembury53
  • Score: 2

10:38am Sat 8 Mar 14

AuldGit says...

"A Dickensian-looking machine to take card payments"? I don't think so.
Charles Dickens 1812 – 1870
"A Dickensian-looking machine to take card payments"? I don't think so. Charles Dickens 1812 – 1870 AuldGit
  • Score: 8

12:22pm Sat 8 Mar 14

morbeous says...

I would make the building contactors pay the compensation to those affected and also make them pay BT as its not BT's fault.
I would make the building contactors pay the compensation to those affected and also make them pay BT as its not BT's fault. morbeous
  • Score: 19

1:35pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Ladydolphin.mh says...

I HOPE THAT THEY PAY OUT A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR THEIR BUNGLE AND WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AND HOPE THAT IT DOESN'T AFFECT YOUR YOUR TRADE THAT MUCH THAT YOU GO OUT OF BUSINESS SWEETHEART.
GOOD LUCK HON!
I HOPE THAT THEY PAY OUT A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR THEIR BUNGLE AND WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AND HOPE THAT IT DOESN'T AFFECT YOUR YOUR TRADE THAT MUCH THAT YOU GO OUT OF BUSINESS SWEETHEART. GOOD LUCK HON! Ladydolphin.mh
  • Score: -3

4:28pm Sat 8 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Thats what those extortionate BT line fees are for, to play catch up, with the millions of faults.
Thats what those extortionate BT line fees are for, to play catch up, with the millions of faults. carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

Ladydolphin.mh wrote:
I HOPE THAT THEY PAY OUT A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR THEIR BUNGLE AND WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AND HOPE THAT IT DOESN'T AFFECT YOUR YOUR TRADE THAT MUCH THAT YOU GO OUT OF BUSINESS SWEETHEART.
GOOD LUCK HON!
Why are you shouting. Take caps lock off. There's no need to shout
[quote][p][bold]Ladydolphin.mh[/bold] wrote: I HOPE THAT THEY PAY OUT A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR THEIR BUNGLE AND WISH YOU ALL THE BEST AND HOPE THAT IT DOESN'T AFFECT YOUR YOUR TRADE THAT MUCH THAT YOU GO OUT OF BUSINESS SWEETHEART. GOOD LUCK HON![/p][/quote]Why are you shouting. Take caps lock off. There's no need to shout Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: 11

5:04pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

Barclays Bank APP. Ping it Free to use anyone can use. Simple!
Barclays Bank APP. Ping it Free to use anyone can use. Simple! Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: 2

5:14pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Gay Ray says...

Living the La Vida Legra wrote:
Barclays Bank APP. Ping it Free to use anyone can use. Simple!
Some people will have ethical reasons for having nothing to do with Barclays and nothing is truly free to use.
[quote][p][bold]Living the La Vida Legra[/bold] wrote: Barclays Bank APP. Ping it Free to use anyone can use. Simple![/p][/quote]Some people will have ethical reasons for having nothing to do with Barclays and nothing is truly free to use. Gay Ray
  • Score: 8

7:03pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

Gay Ray wrote:
Living the La Vida Legra wrote:
Barclays Bank APP. Ping it Free to use anyone can use. Simple!
Some people will have ethical reasons for having nothing to do with Barclays and nothing is truly free to use.
So don't use it! No problem
[quote][p][bold]Gay Ray[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Living the La Vida Legra[/bold] wrote: Barclays Bank APP. Ping it Free to use anyone can use. Simple![/p][/quote]Some people will have ethical reasons for having nothing to do with Barclays and nothing is truly free to use.[/p][/quote]So don't use it! No problem Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Sat 8 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

morbeous wrote:
I would make the building contactors pay the compensation to those affected and also make them pay BT as its not BT's fault.
Accidents happen, time to reflect on times gone by, pre internet ? get a good book, have a sing song around the piano....
[quote][p][bold]morbeous[/bold] wrote: I would make the building contactors pay the compensation to those affected and also make them pay BT as its not BT's fault.[/p][/quote]Accidents happen, time to reflect on times gone by, pre internet ? get a good book, have a sing song around the piano.... carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 4

9:24am Sun 9 Mar 14

abd123 says...

Many plumbers etc use mobile payment machines with sim cards to accept payments so you do not need a landline. Many plumbers etc have their landlines diverted to their mobile while the are out, BT could easily do this immediately if asked. This problem is easily overcome.
Many plumbers etc use mobile payment machines with sim cards to accept payments so you do not need a landline. Many plumbers etc have their landlines diverted to their mobile while the are out, BT could easily do this immediately if asked. This problem is easily overcome. abd123
  • Score: 0

6:12pm Sun 9 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

abd123 wrote:
Many plumbers etc use mobile payment machines with sim cards to accept payments so you do not need a landline. Many plumbers etc have their landlines diverted to their mobile while the are out, BT could easily do this immediately if asked. This problem is easily overcome.
IN SHORT, GET A LIFE BLONDIE....
[quote][p][bold]abd123[/bold] wrote: Many plumbers etc use mobile payment machines with sim cards to accept payments so you do not need a landline. Many plumbers etc have their landlines diverted to their mobile while the are out, BT could easily do this immediately if asked. This problem is easily overcome.[/p][/quote]IN SHORT, GET A LIFE BLONDIE.... carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -8

7:11pm Sun 9 Mar 14

silverleaf48 says...

its all very well diverted calls to mobiles from customer with not home phone
who is going to pay will not be British telecom the customer most lightly
share holder come first and customers come second fact.
its all very well diverted calls to mobiles from customer with not home phone who is going to pay will not be British telecom the customer most lightly share holder come first and customers come second fact. silverleaf48
  • Score: 0

10:46am Mon 10 Mar 14

southend_Dave says...

carnmountyouknowitma
kessense
wrote:
morbeous wrote:
I would make the building contactors pay the compensation to those affected and also make them pay BT as its not BT's fault.
Accidents happen, time to reflect on times gone by, pre internet ? get a good book, have a sing song around the piano....
Its not about being able to go on the internet for leisure, most companies need it for their business.

I'm sure when a customer comes to buy something and they cant use their card they will happily have a sing song around the piano instead to pay the bills.
[quote][p][bold]carnmountyouknowitma kessense[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]morbeous[/bold] wrote: I would make the building contactors pay the compensation to those affected and also make them pay BT as its not BT's fault.[/p][/quote]Accidents happen, time to reflect on times gone by, pre internet ? get a good book, have a sing song around the piano....[/p][/quote]Its not about being able to go on the internet for leisure, most companies need it for their business. I'm sure when a customer comes to buy something and they cant use their card they will happily have a sing song around the piano instead to pay the bills. southend_Dave
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree