When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
Weymouth residents' phone fury
4:53pm Monday 21st January 2013 in Latest
DOZENS of people have been left without working phone lines for more than a week.
They have hit out against BT due to the lack of action taken to solve connection problems in Wyke Regis.
BT Openreach apologised last week to around 120 phone users affected by damage to an underground cable on Wyke Road.
While around 80 of the affected customers are now able to use their phone lines, engineers are working to repair remaining faults.
The company said it is unknown when the service will be fully restored.
Concerns have been raised for elderly people who may not own a mobile phone or have relatives living nearby.
After attempting to fix the problem, many said they have not been able to make phone calls but have been receiving them from people they do not know.
Helen Toft said her 74-year-old mother-in-law Jillian Hall, of Rylands Lane, wears a personal alarm and relies on a working phone line in case of an emergency.
“There may be some elderly people out there with no mobile phones or family to help them.
“It is a dangerous situation for some pensioners to be in, I am checking on Jillian a lot more now I know her personal alarm is not working.
“Suffice to say BT has cross-wired the line and my mother-in-law now has someone else's number and can only make outgoing calls.”
Other residents have complained about the high costs involved after BT diverted landline calls to their mobile phones.
Lydwell Close residents Peter and Maureen Tizzard, both 72, said: “It is really annoying now, we just want to the problem to be sorted out.
“To start with, they diverted all our home phone calls to my mobile but using that to keep contacting BT's call centre has cost me nearly £100.
“They then told us they had fixed our landlines but we started getting phone calls from strangers and when our family dialled our home number they were put through to someone else.
“We are just worried in case it is an emergency and there is a problem.”
Their neighbour Sylvia Thomas said: “I live alone and it has really stressed me out.
“I just want the problem to be sorted, my phone has either not been working or I have been getting another person's calls.”
Resident James Robinson is urging BT to take action on behalf of his elderly neighbours.
He said: “At that sort of age, health problems do manifest themselves and frequent calls to the health centre, relatives and taxi companies are required.
“When will these people realise they are dealing with real people with real problems?”
A spokesman for BT said: “Openreach would like to apologise to those people still affected by faults in a damaged underground cable at the 'old bridge' on Wyke Road.
“Snow has made working condition difficult and has hampered efforts to restore service to those affected.
“Engineers have already renewed a length of faulty cable to restore service to around 80 phone users and are on site today to locate and resolve the remaining 46 outstanding faults as quickly as possible.
“It is not possible to give a precise date when this work will be completed.”