BT apology for Bedale pensioner

First published in News by

BT has apologised to a pensioner for failing to restore his telephone connection since it was cut off in the September floods.

Bruce Oliver, of Snape, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, said the “lifeline” service he needs to call his daughter in Germany had remained broken, despite at least ten calls to the firm appealing for action.

The retired cheese wholesaler’s plight follows 93-year-old Dunkirk veteran David Evans, of Leyburn, branding the firm a disgrace after being left without his landline for almost a month following the floods.

And residents of Thornton-le-Beans and Thornton-le-Moor, near Northallerton, who were left without telephone lines for two weeks in September, condemned BT for leaving dozens of elderly villagers without a means of communication.

Mr Oliver, 69, said he had reported the fault on September 27 and had urged BT to restore the service as the village has no mobile phone reception.

He said: “It is shocking, nobody has been able to contact me for six weeks now, yet nobody at BT seems to care.

“I kept getting the same answer – it would be fixed tomorrow.

“If I had still been in business I would have gone bankrupt.”

A BT spokeswoman said delays the repairs has been lengthened due to excessively high fault volumes in many parts of the county due to severe weather in the area.

The firm’s repair technicians found the loss of service had been caused by a faulty cable and that the joint box where the repair needed to be carried out had flooded and remained full of silt.

They said specialist equipment would be needed to clear the box, but as it was in a “traffic sensitive area”, it would require road safety precautions.

The spokeswoman said: “We are very hopeful that the repair will now go ahead either Monday (November 12) or Wednesday (November 14).

“We are very sorry for the length of time taken to restore service to Mr Oliver. Traffic management has been requested and we are looking to complete repairs as early as possible next week.”

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