LETTERS From Sam Alabaster, Shanklin:
I AM writing regarding your article (CP, 08-02-2013) about the problems with BT installing phone lines.
The gentleman in the article is not alone as I, too, have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for a phone line to be installed.
My partner and I moved into our new flat in Regent Street, Shanklin, in mid-December and had an appointment for phone and internet services to be activated on December 28. When the engineer arrived, he discovered there was no phone line in the flats, only the unoccupied offices beneath.
He said the most likely course of action would be to install a new phone block on to the back of the building and run lines into each of the flats but to be sure a survey would be needed.
It took two surveys and more than five weeks for BT to confirm this (even though the engineer knew that’s what would need to be done when he first saw it).
In the meantime, I’d had one text message telling me I’d missed an appointment similar to the gentleman in your article.
I’d also been promised by BT I’d receive a call on certain dates updating me on the order progress on two separate occasions, neither of which happened.
As a result of this, I’ve been having to call BT from my partner’s mobile phone to chase them up, which is costing an absolute fortune.
I’ve had to make five or six phone calls in the past couple of weeks, trying to chase them up about the progress, and kept being told different things.
When I finally got a straight answer, I was told the earliest date available for the work to be carried out to install the line was March 15, exactly 11 weeks after my original appointment!
It’s ridiculous that in 2013 it can take nearly three months to get a line installed.
BT seems to think that as it is the only company that can install phone lines, it can fob off us customers with dates months away because it knows there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s a complete disgrace, in my opinion.
Both mine and my partner’s mobile phone bills have been considerately higher this past month, as we are trying to sort out our other utilities, but without a landline are having to call premium rate numbers from our mobiles, as no company seems to want to cater for freephone numbers for mobile customers.