100 homes without phone and internet

Daily Echo: Karmal Patel Karmal Patel

MORE than 100 homes and business in Southampton have been without phones and the internet for nearly three weeks.

Firms in Swaythling say they are being devastated while elderly residents and disabled people are being denied their lifeline to the outside world.

It is the second time in two months that people in that part of Southampton have been hit by phone problems. The latest failure comes after internet and phones in Swaythling, Mansbridge and Woodmill went dead for more than two weeks in October.

BT has blamed both breakdowns on the same problem – water damage to an underground cable. The company admits it has no idea when services will be resumed.

Customers say the telecommunication giant has given poor information about what is going on ever since the lines went dead on November 1.

Empty promises They claim that when they inquire about the problem they are fobbed off with promises that the service will resume the next day.

The firm says it is having to rebuild an underground junction box and replace cabling and surrounding ducting.

A BT spokesman told the Daily Echo: “We cannot give a firm date at the moment, but we are doing all we can to restore services as quickly as possible. This is complex work which all this work requires traffic management and we are working with the council to ensure we can undertake this work quickly and safely.”

Business people in Swaythling say the service failure is killing their trade.

Shane Pletts runs the Racquet Centre, a specialist racquet store in High Road. He said he had lost at least 75 per cent of his business because his credit and debit card machine has been out of action.

He said: “It’s shocking, they seem to be doing their best to put us out of business.”

Next door at the busy Hatchers newsagent, Kamal Patel has not only lost business through his card machine being out of action but also because people cannot buy credits for electricity and gas.

He said: “If people can’t buy this they will go elsewhere and I will lose a customer. This is devastating my business.”

Ivan Wood, who has run Hants and Dorset Industrial Gases in Burgess Road for the past 35 years, said: “If new and present customers come in and cannot use their cards they will go elsewhere and never come back.”

BT said customers should take up compensation claims with their service provider because its engineering arm BT Openreach only maintains the service.

While businesses are losing trade, residents have also lost internet and their house phone which to some is a lifeline.

Swaythling ward councillor Maureen Turner said: “Elderly people who have not got mobile phones are absolutely stranded. Something might happen and they can’t get hold of anyone – and their families who may live far away can’t check up on them. This could have disastrous consequences.”

Brian Richmond, 76, of Willis Road, said: “We feel terribly let down. What happens if someone wants to phone?

“They had the hurricane in American but got everything going much quicker than this.”

Comments (16)

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6:06am Wed 21 Nov 12

100%HANTSBOY says...

It would be a nice gesture by BT to offer those without any form of communication a mobile phone to help them keep in touch.
It would be a nice gesture by BT to offer those without any form of communication a mobile phone to help them keep in touch. 100%HANTSBOY

7:56am Wed 21 Nov 12

Sovietobserver says...

Newsagents ? That must be a front then for an off licence / tobacconists looking at that photo. Knowing Swaythling I bet those Rizlas sell like hot cakes.
Newsagents ? That must be a front then for an off licence / tobacconists looking at that photo. Knowing Swaythling I bet those Rizlas sell like hot cakes. Sovietobserver

8:02am Wed 21 Nov 12

Safehands says...

After my family trying to deal with BT these past few months to try and get connected, and after countless appointments that BT cancelled and didn't know why, I can safely say that they are a disorganised rabble who have the poorest customer service.

They are an absolute shambles.
After my family trying to deal with BT these past few months to try and get connected, and after countless appointments that BT cancelled and didn't know why, I can safely say that they are a disorganised rabble who have the poorest customer service. They are an absolute shambles. Safehands

8:16am Wed 21 Nov 12

Inform Al says...

Sovietobserver wrote:
Newsagents ? That must be a front then for an off licence / tobacconists looking at that photo. Knowing Swaythling I bet those Rizlas sell like hot cakes.
Karmel has run a needed service to Swaythling for years now. He is cheaper than any other outlet in the area to the extent that I walk past the Co-op opposite my front door and go about 1/2 a mile to shop at Karmel's shop. And yes, like all other newsagents he sells more than just newspapers so just what do you know about Swaythling then?
[quote][p][bold]Sovietobserver[/bold] wrote: Newsagents ? That must be a front then for an off licence / tobacconists looking at that photo. Knowing Swaythling I bet those Rizlas sell like hot cakes.[/p][/quote]Karmel has run a needed service to Swaythling for years now. He is cheaper than any other outlet in the area to the extent that I walk past the Co-op opposite my front door and go about 1/2 a mile to shop at Karmel's shop. And yes, like all other newsagents he sells more than just newspapers so just what do you know about Swaythling then? Inform Al

8:22am Wed 21 Nov 12

Inform Al says...

Interestingly Swaythling is not just neglected by the council, but also by BT. Although my part of Swaythling has not been affected by this outage my broadband speed like all my neighhbours is ridiculously slow, to the extent that the talktalk telivision package that requires a broadband speed of only 5mb per second is not available as my speed is less than 3mb per second.
Interestingly Swaythling is not just neglected by the council, but also by BT. Although my part of Swaythling has not been affected by this outage my broadband speed like all my neighhbours is ridiculously slow, to the extent that the talktalk telivision package that requires a broadband speed of only 5mb per second is not available as my speed is less than 3mb per second. Inform Al

8:51am Wed 21 Nov 12

Lockssmart says...

All I know is that Swaythling is one of the nicest areas to live in Southampton.
All I know is that Swaythling is one of the nicest areas to live in Southampton. Lockssmart

8:58am Wed 21 Nov 12

arthur dalyrimple says...

its a forgotten area unless you are a student !!!!!
its a forgotten area unless you are a student !!!!! arthur dalyrimple

9:28am Wed 21 Nov 12

Inform Al says...

Lockssmart wrote:
All I know is that Swaythling is one of the nicest areas to live in Southampton.
I concur, in general the natives are friendly. Problem is that we have been neglected for years now by all 3 parties, and now the icing on the cake was the Tories selling off the Swaythling youth centre to allow the university to have student acxcommodation there and the Flower Roads community centre for houses. I suppose we can always stroll down to the Sea City Mausoleum that we appear to have financed. There's nothing left here.
[quote][p][bold]Lockssmart[/bold] wrote: All I know is that Swaythling is one of the nicest areas to live in Southampton.[/p][/quote]I concur, in general the natives are friendly. Problem is that we have been neglected for years now by all 3 parties, and now the icing on the cake was the Tories selling off the Swaythling youth centre to allow the university to have student acxcommodation there and the Flower Roads community centre for houses. I suppose we can always stroll down to the Sea City Mausoleum that we appear to have financed. There's nothing left here. Inform Al

10:51am Wed 21 Nov 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

Inform Al wrote:
Interestingly Swaythling is not just neglected by the council, but also by BT. Although my part of Swaythling has not been affected by this outage my broadband speed like all my neighhbours is ridiculously slow, to the extent that the talktalk telivision package that requires a broadband speed of only 5mb per second is not available as my speed is less than 3mb per second.
I live in the area too and my Broadband is dreadfully slow, I ditched BT for AOL but it hasn't made any difference, presumably because it still uses the same BT connection. They semed to have spent a lot of money on various signs to advertise Daisy Dip, pity they don't do something about the drainage and the poluted streams that run through it.
[quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: Interestingly Swaythling is not just neglected by the council, but also by BT. Although my part of Swaythling has not been affected by this outage my broadband speed like all my neighhbours is ridiculously slow, to the extent that the talktalk telivision package that requires a broadband speed of only 5mb per second is not available as my speed is less than 3mb per second.[/p][/quote]I live in the area too and my Broadband is dreadfully slow, I ditched BT for AOL but it hasn't made any difference, presumably because it still uses the same BT connection. They semed to have spent a lot of money on various signs to advertise Daisy Dip, pity they don't do something about the drainage and the poluted streams that run through it. OSPREYSAINT

10:54am Wed 21 Nov 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

There is little to complain about Hatchers either, it's a bit "Open all Hours" but serves the community well. I hope he get's a decent recompense for the loss of trade.
There is little to complain about Hatchers either, it's a bit "Open all Hours" but serves the community well. I hope he get's a decent recompense for the loss of trade. OSPREYSAINT

11:04am Wed 21 Nov 12

bazzeroz says...

Absolute disgrace BT. British company at its best, NOT!
Absolute disgrace BT. British company at its best, NOT! bazzeroz

11:42am Wed 21 Nov 12

aldermoorboy says...

Al have you been to Sea Museum, it is great.
Friendly staff, great for kids and adults too.
It has so much history to offer.
It made me proud to live in Southampton.
Al have you been to Sea Museum, it is great. Friendly staff, great for kids and adults too. It has so much history to offer. It made me proud to live in Southampton. aldermoorboy

12:55pm Wed 21 Nov 12

knac says...

the workmen probably chopped through wiring working in swaythling
the workmen probably chopped through wiring working in swaythling knac

1:05pm Wed 21 Nov 12

G0Rf says...

Inform Al wrote:
Interestingly Swaythling is not just neglected by the council, but also by BT. Although my part of Swaythling has not been affected by this outage my broadband speed like all my neighhbours is ridiculously slow, to the extent that the talktalk telivision package that requires a broadband speed of only 5mb per second is not available as my speed is less than 3mb per second.
Oh my heart bleeds for you...you can only get 3Mbps on your broadband?

We can only get 0.9Mbps on a good day in the area of Southampton that I live in.
And there is no fibre optic or virgin media etc here!
[quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: Interestingly Swaythling is not just neglected by the council, but also by BT. Although my part of Swaythling has not been affected by this outage my broadband speed like all my neighhbours is ridiculously slow, to the extent that the talktalk telivision package that requires a broadband speed of only 5mb per second is not available as my speed is less than 3mb per second.[/p][/quote]Oh my heart bleeds for you...you can only get 3Mbps on your broadband? We can only get 0.9Mbps on a good day in the area of Southampton that I live in. And there is no fibre optic or virgin media etc here! G0Rf

2:20pm Wed 21 Nov 12

birddog38 says...

Amazing Broadband in Totton :-)
Amazing Broadband in Totton :-) birddog38

10:17pm Wed 21 Nov 12

B. L. says...

Safehands wrote:
After my family trying to deal with BT these past few months to try and get connected, and after countless appointments that BT cancelled and didn't know why, I can safely say that they are a disorganised rabble who have the poorest customer service.

They are an absolute shambles.
They have been for decades, hence the phrase British T......... and it's not coffee beans ! Incompetence and less than desirable business practices at it's best.
[quote][p][bold]Safehands[/bold] wrote: After my family trying to deal with BT these past few months to try and get connected, and after countless appointments that BT cancelled and didn't know why, I can safely say that they are a disorganised rabble who have the poorest customer service. They are an absolute shambles.[/p][/quote]They have been for decades, hence the phrase British T......... and it's not coffee beans ! Incompetence and less than desirable business practices at it's best. B. L.

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