BT offers just 56p compensation per day after firms lose phone and Internet for four weeks

Daily Echo: FURIOUS: Businessmen Martin Smith, Weng Hua, Nuellur Rahman, Shane Pletts, Kamal Patel and Hussain Abdul are among those affected by the fiasco. FURIOUS: Businessmen Martin Smith, Weng Hua, Nuellur Rahman, Shane Pletts, Kamal Patel and Hussain Abdul are among those affected by the fiasco.

Businesses fearing closure after being cut off from phone and Internet access for four weeks have been offered compensation – of just 56p per day.

Firms in Southampton have lost thousands of pounds in custom due to the problems, which owners claim are “crippling” their Swaythling businesses.

But BT bosses have further angered traders in High Road, after a local councillor claimed that they had been offered as little as 56p per day in compensation.

Ward councillor Maureen Turner labelled the offer “derisory”, while businessmen also slammed the move.

Nuellur Rahman, co-owner of Mumbai India Kitchen, said: “That doesn’t come close to covering the business that we have lost. We’ve lost about 35 per cent of our custom due to BT, so I want something similar back from them. BT are failing us, simple as that. It’s disgraceful.”

Cllr Turner said: “These people have lost hundreds of pounds in business and they are only being offered this derisory amount. It’s a kick in the face really.

“BT must get their act together and take responsibility for a service they have promised to provide.”

As reported by the Daily Echo, the lines went dead on November 1, with BT blaming the breakdowns on water damage to an underground cable.

But the problems could continue into the new year after the telecoms giant admitted it had no idea when the service would be up and running again.

Lee Bennett, who has run LVs and Volume Hair Design for 17 years, said: “We’ve heard that they are going to have to dig up the road on December 30. If that’s the case then we will be without phones and Internet until well into the new year.

“This is the busiest time of year in our trade, or in any trade. Every time we don’t pick up the phone, we lose a sale because we can’t make an appointment. It’s cost us about £500 a week.”

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Shane Pletts, who runs the Racquet Centre, said: “These problems are crippling for business.”

A BT spokesperson said: “We are doing all we can to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, but at this stage I do not have a date for the full restoration of services.

“We are having to completely rebuild underground equipment before we can start restoring service to customers. Part of this work has been completed, but there is still more to do.

“With regards to compensation, we would always advise customers to speak to their own service providers. At the moment our number one priority is to restore service.”

Comments (18)

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1:15pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Stillness says...

None of them own a smart phone then? No one has thought of diverting their calls to a mobile? If that is the case I'm amazed that they have stayed in business as long as they have.
None of them own a smart phone then? No one has thought of diverting their calls to a mobile? If that is the case I'm amazed that they have stayed in business as long as they have. Stillness
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Wed 28 Nov 12

arthur dalyrimple says...

obvious the shops will go for car parking for the swaythling watch tower , just the usual low tricks.
obvious the shops will go for car parking for the swaythling watch tower , just the usual low tricks. arthur dalyrimple
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

Stillness.

The issue was that they could not process card payments, apparently.

If I was runing a business from home and this happened. I would be suing for loss of earnings. Corporate responsibility my friend!

The fact that they offered compensation suggest they accept liability under contract! Bad move on their part.
Stillness. The issue was that they could not process card payments, apparently. If I was runing a business from home and this happened. I would be suing for loss of earnings. Corporate responsibility my friend! The fact that they offered compensation suggest they accept liability under contract! Bad move on their part. Subject48
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Stillness says...

Subject48 wrote:
Stillness.

The issue was that they could not process card payments, apparently.

If I was runing a business from home and this happened. I would be suing for loss of earnings. Corporate responsibility my friend!

The fact that they offered compensation suggest they accept liability under contract! Bad move on their part.
I think that BT sets out the levels of compensation and the customer agrees to them by accepting the contract. I lost my phone line recently but could still handle card payments by tethering my laptop to my phone and using a secure-ish Wifi service. To not have something in place when your business depends so heavily on internet connectivity is an oversight.
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: Stillness. The issue was that they could not process card payments, apparently. If I was runing a business from home and this happened. I would be suing for loss of earnings. Corporate responsibility my friend! The fact that they offered compensation suggest they accept liability under contract! Bad move on their part.[/p][/quote]I think that BT sets out the levels of compensation and the customer agrees to them by accepting the contract. I lost my phone line recently but could still handle card payments by tethering my laptop to my phone and using a secure-ish Wifi service. To not have something in place when your business depends so heavily on internet connectivity is an oversight. Stillness
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Wed 28 Nov 12

bazzeroz says...

Disgusting as it is that's about the going rate set by the telecom people, 56p per day. My line was off for 13 days a few years ago and as all TalkTalk would offer me was something along the same lines. I negotiated a months line rental in the end but I do feel sorry for these businesses. But it does beggar the question as to why calls are not being diverted to mobiles at the cost to their suppliers. It can't be difficult to set up these days, surely!
Disgusting as it is that's about the going rate set by the telecom people, 56p per day. My line was off for 13 days a few years ago and as all TalkTalk would offer me was something along the same lines. I negotiated a months line rental in the end but I do feel sorry for these businesses. But it does beggar the question as to why calls are not being diverted to mobiles at the cost to their suppliers. It can't be difficult to set up these days, surely! bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

Stillness,

The court would have to decide if the standard terms in the contract used by telecom(the conpensation stipulated clause) would be suffcient.

If all industry across board offer 56(more or less) per day compensation to customers.

This does not make it a fair amount of compensation because those terms cannot be negotiated at the point of sale.

This my friend would allow corporations to avoid liability for almost everything if all industries agreed on certain compensation clauses in their given industries.

Also, do you think the contract would contain terms with a quantified period of time of what would be deemed as "acceptable" time period where service would be unavaliable.

Im sure there must be a similiar case in the past, so I could be wrong. But, someone in the law profesion would have to clarify most up to date caselaw as I cannot.
Stillness, The court would have to decide if the standard terms in the contract used by telecom(the conpensation stipulated clause) would be suffcient. If all industry across board offer 56(more or less) per day compensation to customers. This does not make it a fair amount of compensation because those terms cannot be negotiated at the point of sale. This my friend would allow corporations to avoid liability for almost everything if all industries agreed on certain compensation clauses in their given industries. Also, do you think the contract would contain terms with a quantified period of time of what would be deemed as "acceptable" time period where service would be unavaliable. Im sure there must be a similiar case in the past, so I could be wrong. But, someone in the law profesion would have to clarify most up to date caselaw as I cannot. Subject48
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Lone Ranger. says...

Irresepective of BT offering 56p per day compensation perhaps these businesses should have, or will now, consider looking into a "Disaster Recovery Plan".
.
Most if not all businesses in the country should have one..... I know that most of the large organisations do but it is an area that medium to small companies do not consider to be important.
.
If something goes wrong they are never going to receive all of the money they claim that they have lost back from suppliers like BT or the Utility companies.
.
The only ones to blame are themselves.
.
Do a Disaster Recovery Plan before its too late.
.
There is a lot of advice online and there are always companies that specialise in this area !!
Irresepective of BT offering 56p per day compensation perhaps these businesses should have, or will now, consider looking into a "Disaster Recovery Plan". . Most if not all businesses in the country should have one..... I know that most of the large organisations do but it is an area that medium to small companies do not consider to be important. . If something goes wrong they are never going to receive all of the money they claim that they have lost back from suppliers like BT or the Utility companies. . The only ones to blame are themselves. . Do a Disaster Recovery Plan before its too late. . There is a lot of advice online and there are always companies that specialise in this area !! Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Wed 28 Nov 12

dolomiteman says...

I think there is more to this story than is being reported, when My phone line went down for one day we got a month of line rental refunded so I find it hard to believe that BT are offering 56pence.
I think there is more to this story than is being reported, when My phone line went down for one day we got a month of line rental refunded so I find it hard to believe that BT are offering 56pence. dolomiteman
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Wed 28 Nov 12

media8ter says...

That's what you have insurances for, loss of business through no fault of your own.
That's what you have insurances for, loss of business through no fault of your own. media8ter
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Wed 28 Nov 12

media8ter says...

That's what you have insurances for, loss of business through no fault of your own.
That's what you have insurances for, loss of business through no fault of your own. media8ter
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Wed 28 Nov 12

media8ter says...

That's what you have insurances for, loss of business through no fault of your own.
That's what you have insurances for, loss of business through no fault of your own. media8ter
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

I think its perfectly reasonable NOT to expect/accept a month long break in a essential service which you are paying for.

Its statutory requireemnt by fsa for certain companies to have contigency plan drawn for these sort of emergency(financial industry afaik).

For these sized business no. So... logicaly the courts should agree. shoudlint count for mitigation. Desirable: yes, essential: no.

But yeh might as, well set a precedent and allow all utility companies to cut on maintanence costs and service as long as they put in a petty compensation clause in their contracts...

I bet you would not agree if it was your business or home being shafted by a corporate giant.
I think its perfectly reasonable NOT to expect/accept a month long break in a essential service which you are paying for. Its statutory requireemnt by fsa for certain companies to have contigency plan drawn for these sort of emergency(financial industry afaik). For these sized business no. So... logicaly the courts should agree. shoudlint count for mitigation. Desirable: yes, essential: no. But yeh might as, well set a precedent and allow all utility companies to cut on maintanence costs and service as long as they put in a petty compensation clause in their contracts... I bet you would not agree if it was your business or home being shafted by a corporate giant. Subject48
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Stillness says...

Subject48 wrote:
Stillness,

The court would have to decide if the standard terms in the contract used by telecom(the conpensation stipulated clause) would be suffcient.

If all industry across board offer 56(more or less) per day compensation to customers.

This does not make it a fair amount of compensation because those terms cannot be negotiated at the point of sale.

This my friend would allow corporations to avoid liability for almost everything if all industries agreed on certain compensation clauses in their given industries.

Also, do you think the contract would contain terms with a quantified period of time of what would be deemed as "acceptable" time period where service would be unavaliable.

Im sure there must be a similiar case in the past, so I could be wrong. But, someone in the law profesion would have to clarify most up to date caselaw as I cannot.
I expect that BT may have had a lawyer pass a quick eye over their T's & C's at some point ;-) You are correct about qualified and qualifying time periods. They are also in BT's contract. Although I agree that it is a very small sum of compensation I think it is wrong to expect your supplier to be responsible for you not taking out adequate insurance or having a contingency plan. If one of this stores happened to sell dodgy pork pie that lead to someone going to the Doctor and on their way they ran over a pedestrian would the store owner accept responsibility for the accident? If anyone is ever in any doubt over liability it is wise to assume that "the buck stops here", that way you won't be surprised when it does and you may take some precautions before it becomes critical.
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: Stillness, The court would have to decide if the standard terms in the contract used by telecom(the conpensation stipulated clause) would be suffcient. If all industry across board offer 56(more or less) per day compensation to customers. This does not make it a fair amount of compensation because those terms cannot be negotiated at the point of sale. This my friend would allow corporations to avoid liability for almost everything if all industries agreed on certain compensation clauses in their given industries. Also, do you think the contract would contain terms with a quantified period of time of what would be deemed as "acceptable" time period where service would be unavaliable. Im sure there must be a similiar case in the past, so I could be wrong. But, someone in the law profesion would have to clarify most up to date caselaw as I cannot.[/p][/quote]I expect that BT may have had a lawyer pass a quick eye over their T's & C's at some point ;-) You are correct about qualified and qualifying time periods. They are also in BT's contract. Although I agree that it is a very small sum of compensation I think it is wrong to expect your supplier to be responsible for you not taking out adequate insurance or having a contingency plan. If one of this stores happened to sell dodgy pork pie that lead to someone going to the Doctor and on their way they ran over a pedestrian would the store owner accept responsibility for the accident? If anyone is ever in any doubt over liability it is wise to assume that "the buck stops here", that way you won't be surprised when it does and you may take some precautions before it becomes critical. Stillness
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

If the dodgy pie was out of date then you would sue the shop for selling out of date goods. If the good were manufactured incorrectly you would sue the manufacturer. There is something in law called "duty of care" principle and causation.

Just because a lawyer has drafted up a contract does not mean it is correct. Hence we have court cases where it can be contested. You would be surprised what companies try to get away with by putting in exclusion clauses.

Matter of fact is BT accepted responsibility by offering conpensation. They have already accepted liability defacto admited they have broken contract or even have potentialy admited they had a duty of care. This means they can potentialy be sued under contract or tort law.

This is a point of law issue rather than point of fact in my opinion on the grounds stated previously.

Of course you are entitled to your opinions. As I said, most up to date caselaw would provide answer as to if litigation will be successful.

Please recomend me to a "loss of internet due to provider being negligent" insurance company. I would be interested in reading their underwirting guide.
If the dodgy pie was out of date then you would sue the shop for selling out of date goods. If the good were manufactured incorrectly you would sue the manufacturer. There is something in law called "duty of care" principle and causation. Just because a lawyer has drafted up a contract does not mean it is correct. Hence we have court cases where it can be contested. You would be surprised what companies try to get away with by putting in exclusion clauses. Matter of fact is BT accepted responsibility by offering conpensation. They have already accepted liability defacto admited they have broken contract or even have potentialy admited they had a duty of care. This means they can potentialy be sued under contract or tort law. This is a point of law issue rather than point of fact in my opinion on the grounds stated previously. Of course you are entitled to your opinions. As I said, most up to date caselaw would provide answer as to if litigation will be successful. Please recomend me to a "loss of internet due to provider being negligent" insurance company. I would be interested in reading their underwirting guide. Subject48
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

I missed this part of your post!

so...

As to the the pie having effect cuasing you to run someone over. It would be up to the court to decide if the bad pie was directly responsible for you loosing control of the vehicle through proving adequate chain of causation and proximity.

Until it happens we will never know for sure because theres no case law as far as I can remember outlining your example. Would be interesting if it did however.

I do appreciate your sentiments but common sense, unfortunately, rarely has anything to do with law!
I missed this part of your post! so... As to the the pie having effect cuasing you to run someone over. It would be up to the court to decide if the bad pie was directly responsible for you loosing control of the vehicle through proving adequate chain of causation and proximity. Until it happens we will never know for sure because theres no case law as far as I can remember outlining your example. Would be interesting if it did however. I do appreciate your sentiments but common sense, unfortunately, rarely has anything to do with law! Subject48
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Stillness says...

Subject48 wrote:
If the dodgy pie was out of date then you would sue the shop for selling out of date goods. If the good were manufactured incorrectly you would sue the manufacturer. There is something in law called "duty of care" principle and causation.

Just because a lawyer has drafted up a contract does not mean it is correct. Hence we have court cases where it can be contested. You would be surprised what companies try to get away with by putting in exclusion clauses.

Matter of fact is BT accepted responsibility by offering conpensation. They have already accepted liability defacto admited they have broken contract or even have potentialy admited they had a duty of care. This means they can potentialy be sued under contract or tort law.

This is a point of law issue rather than point of fact in my opinion on the grounds stated previously.

Of course you are entitled to your opinions. As I said, most up to date caselaw would provide answer as to if litigation will be successful.

Please recomend me to a "loss of internet due to provider being negligent" insurance company. I would be interested in reading their underwirting guide.
I doubt very much that you would find cover for "loss of internet" and that's why I had a plan in place in case it ever happened. It's just a part of running a business isn't it?
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: If the dodgy pie was out of date then you would sue the shop for selling out of date goods. If the good were manufactured incorrectly you would sue the manufacturer. There is something in law called "duty of care" principle and causation. Just because a lawyer has drafted up a contract does not mean it is correct. Hence we have court cases where it can be contested. You would be surprised what companies try to get away with by putting in exclusion clauses. Matter of fact is BT accepted responsibility by offering conpensation. They have already accepted liability defacto admited they have broken contract or even have potentialy admited they had a duty of care. This means they can potentialy be sued under contract or tort law. This is a point of law issue rather than point of fact in my opinion on the grounds stated previously. Of course you are entitled to your opinions. As I said, most up to date caselaw would provide answer as to if litigation will be successful. Please recomend me to a "loss of internet due to provider being negligent" insurance company. I would be interested in reading their underwirting guide.[/p][/quote]I doubt very much that you would find cover for "loss of internet" and that's why I had a plan in place in case it ever happened. It's just a part of running a business isn't it? Stillness
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Stillness says...

Subject48 wrote:
I missed this part of your post!

so...

As to the the pie having effect cuasing you to run someone over. It would be up to the court to decide if the bad pie was directly responsible for you loosing control of the vehicle through proving adequate chain of causation and proximity.

Until it happens we will never know for sure because theres no case law as far as I can remember outlining your example. Would be interesting if it did however.

I do appreciate your sentiments but common sense, unfortunately, rarely has anything to do with law!
I shall look forward to the court case with interest. Will it be you prosecuting? ;-)
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: I missed this part of your post! so... As to the the pie having effect cuasing you to run someone over. It would be up to the court to decide if the bad pie was directly responsible for you loosing control of the vehicle through proving adequate chain of causation and proximity. Until it happens we will never know for sure because theres no case law as far as I can remember outlining your example. Would be interesting if it did however. I do appreciate your sentiments but common sense, unfortunately, rarely has anything to do with law![/p][/quote]I shall look forward to the court case with interest. Will it be you prosecuting? ;-) Stillness
  • Score: 0

6:58pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Inform Al says...

Swaythlings telephone lines have been substandard for years. My part of Swaythling is not affected by the current problem but I cannot change my talktalk contract to a new, cheaper one giving telly as well because the system requires a minimum broadband speed of 5 mbs, mine is less than 3mbs.
Swaythlings telephone lines have been substandard for years. My part of Swaythling is not affected by the current problem but I cannot change my talktalk contract to a new, cheaper one giving telly as well because the system requires a minimum broadband speed of 5 mbs, mine is less than 3mbs. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

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