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'BT losing my phone number has cost me thousands'

Wednesday, September 2nd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A business owner says BT has cost him thousands of pounds after losing his phone number and failing to install his broadband.

Ross George, who runs a building company from his home in Reading, Berkshire, moved into a new house with partner Faye Hickinson on 18 June but is still without an internet connection more than two months later.

BT did eventually connect Mr George’s phone line, but with the wrong phone number.

“I have a small building company but as my advertising had a number on it that no longer works, I’ve had no new business from it in months,” Mr George told Cable.co.uk.

The 30-year-old said the mistake has cost him "literally thousands" as his employees’ uniforms, leaflets and a recently-designed website now all display the wrong number, while he pays £1,800 a year to advertise on trade website Checkatrade.com.

“What’s worse is as [BT] have told me all along that I could have my old number back, I’ve just paid for more uniforms with the same number. I’ve only just found out that I can’t have that number back.”

Mr George said he hasn’t had a single call for work on his landline in months, while the lack of broadband has made it difficult to deal with email correspondence.

“My partner and I have been getting increasingly stressed due to all the messing about. We have been repeatedly lied to, fobbed off and let down by BT.”

Mr George, pictured (right) with partner Faye, 27, and labourer Harley Leech, said BT has given numerous different reasons for why his broadband is not yet up and running.

“Firstly they just kept saying there was no record of our home move, then there was an engineering issue.

'Nothing ever gets done'

“They said there was already a different company supplying services to the house then they didn't have my bank details, even though I'd been a customer for a year.

“The latest is that I need to pay a £50 deposit. But I had previously been told this would not be necessary and I have already paid this on my account anyway, but because they cancelled and reinstated my account they have no record of this.”

He said he has spent hours on the phone to BT every day but never seems to get anywhere.

“They pass me around to different teams, they then say a manager will call in four hours but no-one ever does.

“Nothing ever gets done, and the next call I make no one knows anything about the last things that were said, no notes are ever left for the next operative.

“I have had six installation dates and every time they don’t do it, and give us a new excuse.

“It has caused me to lose income, it’s caused arguments and huge amounts of stress to my entire family. I have never been treated so poorly by any company, ever.”

Last month, Cable.co.uk reported how a cafe in Stoke-on-Trent had suffered a decline in business after BT lost its phone number.

The owners of Zest Cafe Bistro had to cancel events that are usually fully-booked and said it was impossible to know exactly how much business they had lost.

Cable.co.uk has approached BT for comment.

Update: A BT spokesperson said: “We’re sorry for the problems and the delay in connecting Mr George’s phone and broadband. We’re working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.”

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