Fury after 19 days off the hook


Staff reporter (Border Counties)

A RESIDENT in Llanfyllin has been left frustrated after being without his phone line for 19 days.
Storms that struck Powys last month resulted in Richard Kretchmer having no working telephone since Thursday, February 13.
Mr Kretchmer from Llanfyllin reported the fault after his line went down, but was left annoyed by the lack of response from BT, which manages the network.
He said: “We reported the fault to BT on Thursday, February 13, and have spoken to the BT call centre several times since.
“We were told that the phone would be sorted by Thursday, February 20, and then told again that it would be fixed by Monday, February 24, but the line didn’t come back on until Monday, March 3.”

BT declared a status of Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control (MBORC) for the area. An MBORC status means more resources were being directed to the area.
However, the lines were restored on Monday when it was found there was a break in an underground cable on the road between Llanfyllin and Bala.
Mr Kretchmer said he was disappointed that the company would not arrange to divert incoming calls to his mobile.
He said: “Our landline is used a lot, and BT wouldn’t arrange a divert to our mobile until a couple of days ago, so we have had to use our mobile to make calls.
“The mobile reception here is very poor so we only normally use Pay As You Go, so we have spent a lot of money on calls.”
Mr Kretchmer said he had also been irritated by the lack of information from BT’s call centres, and believes the company did not have enough engineers to deal with the problem.
He said: “It’s very frustrating with the lack of information. The BT call centre is slow to contact and always busy.
“Call centre employees are very polite but they have very little information to tell you.
“The people who are able to tell you what’s going on are the BT Openreach engineers, the people on the ground who fix the faults.
“You have to go through the call centres though, and it seems the problem is that there aren’t enough engineers.”
A spokesman for Openreach apologised for the delay in restoring the service, after the work proved more difficult to resolve.
He said: “Openreach would like to apologise for the delay in restoring service.
“This was due to a fault in an underground cable which due to its nature, has proved more difficult to resolve.
“We are not aware that this particular fault affected any other phone users in the area.”

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