Hundreds without phonelines after Carlisle fault
Hundreds of Carlisle homes and businesses have been without phone lines for days - prompting a call for compensation.
Thehas learned the problem with Virgin Media landlines in the area may have affected up to 800 customers - with one confirming he was without a working phone line for 11 days.
Patrick Tracey, 73, has had to rely on his mobile phone - and said an engineer told him that one of the oldest local customers affected was 104.
“Virgin Media have been sending out emails three or four times a day, giving a date for when they hope the service would be restored,” said Mr Tracey, of St Edmunds Park, Carlisle.
“But they kept pushing that date back, again and again.
“They did send out an engineer and he told me that the problem wasn't with my phone line inside the house but outside.
“He said there was a major problem in the Carlisle area; and that all the phone lines in the box through which my line goes were out of action. There were at least seven other boxes affected, he said.
“When I rang them on my mobile, I got through to an Indian call centre but they couldn't really tell you anything other than what was in the emails.
“They give you the option of having an online chat with them, from Monday to Friday, between 8am and 8pm, but every time you try to do that all the operators are engaged.
"You're told to please try again later."
Mr Tracey continued: “I understand that a lot of people in Carlisle have been affected by this. We should be compensated for the loss of service.
“I pay £19 a month for my landline and it's been out of action for the last 11 days.
“People haven't been able to get in touch with me and I've incurred expenses - using my mobile phone - that I wouldn't otherwise have incurred.”
Mr Tracey's line finally began to work at about 5.30pm yesterday, but it is unclear how many other properties were back online.
A spokesman for Virgin Media told thethe firm was aware that “some customers” in the Carlisle area were experiencing problems and the firm's engineers were working hard to resolve this as quickly as possible.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” he added.
Customers were this week debating the problems with landlines in Carlisle on the Virgin Media Community website.
One spoke of the repair date being repeatedly extended, commenting: "This is not acceptable."
Another customer said: "I'm in CA2, and the phone is dead. Tried calling it in: after four minutes of answering question after question I got told the queue was at least 10 minutes. Tried chat - no response at all.
"I have to say, after 20+ years with BT before moving to Virgin I had virtually no problems. Eight months into a Virgin contract and I've had 2 broadband outages and now the phone.
"I'm not enamored with the service, or lack of."