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'BT cut off my phone line and gave it to my neighbour'

Wednesday, November 11th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A South Wales businessman has been without a phone or broadband connection for more than a week after BT cut off his phone line and gave it to his neighbour.

Jerry Haslett said the mistake could be costing him up to £750 a day because it has made it so difficult to run his business.

Mr Haslett runs fuel supply company Celtic Fuel Oils from his home near Caldicot, Monmouthshire.

But since Monday 2 November he has not only had to contend with not having a phone line or access to the internet, but with poor mobile signal as his coverage at home relies on a broadband connection.

“It was 8am last Monday and I was on the phone when I spotted a man in a yellow jacket up the telegraph pole outside,” he told Cable.co.uk.

“The phone went dead so I put two and two together. I quickly got dressed and went outside but he had gone.”

After Mr Haslett phoned BT to complain, an engineer was sent out the following day to investigate.

“He said my ‘deed line’ had been stolen in order to connect my new neighbour. They said [the previous engineer] shouldn’t have done it but he had.

“I’d been effectively cut off. My business depends on phone and broadband.”

Mr Haslett said BT told him the telegraph pole is at full capacity, and so to reconnect him its engineers will need to dig up the road to run new cables.

“That was a week ago. They said that by the end of this week they will have completed a traffic survey to decide whether they need two-way or three-way traffic lights. They then need to dig the cables which could take up to two weeks.

'Takes the biscuit'

“This is a breach of contract. They’ve connected my neighbour using a landline that I’ve paid for. And this morning they’ve taken the direct debit out of my account, which really takes the biscuit.”

Mr Haslett, who has been running Celtic Fuel Oils for six years, said the company gets all of its orders over the phone or via email.

“We get a lot of business over the internet. It’s between £500 and £750 a day I’m losing and all BT have said they will compensate me is the price of the broadband and landline,” he said.

“I can’t do anything. We’ve got a Vodafone Sure Signal, which actually creates a pretty good mobile signal, but it relies on a broadband connection. At the moment we’ve got nothing at all.”

“I’ve been a customer of BT for the last 30 years but the attitude when you call them is just appalling.

"They’ve put the phone down on me twice, but you’re never going to get the same person again. There’s nothing you can do."

BT is investigating.

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