Frustrated residents in Ashton Hayes say it will take a long time to rebuild their trust in BT after weeks of being left with no phone or internet connection.
Many homes in the village are still cut off from the outside world for the second time in six months , after a broken cable disconnected their phone service, and are unhappy with the lack of communication they’ve had from service provider BT.
The chaos has left businesses unable to operate properly since mid November, students struggle to complete assignments and pensioners frightened because their emergency panic buttons don’t work, as well as affecting the local school’s day-to-day operation.
Earlier this week, about 50 residents turned out to a meeting of Ashton Hayes Parish Council where Aron Briggs from BT and Andrew Arditti of Connecting Cheshire spoke to attendees during a special debate about the problems.
Mr Briggs assured residents he was doing his best to resolve the situation, despite admitting he had only been aware of the issues for less than a week. He explained the installation of the fibre optic superfast broadband cables had resulted in damage to the existing and ageing copper wire network and as a result, cut off more than 230 residents.
In the past few weeks, he said, BT had been resolving the issues and replaced the copper cables to finalise the fibre optic system.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Briggs faced a host of questions from irritated residents, and he was asked about compensation as well as the poor level of communication people had received from BT.
Accepting they had done a ‘poor job’ and wanted to put things right, Mr Briggs promised to report the issue at the highest level but said he was not yet able to give a reply to the community’s request for compensation.
A resident who attended the meeting told The Chronicle: “BT said that the village wide failure was unique and accepted that their response had been poor which the audience certainly agreed with. We want better communications, improved service quality and a reassurance that this will not happen again.
They added: “It really will take a long time for Ashton Hayes residents to build up trust in BT again after two catastrophic system failures in the past six months.”
- Anyone who has ongoing problems relating to the phone line situation in Ashton Hayes should send an email to Mr Briggs with information at firstname.lastname@example.org.