Business left with no phones

A Brechin business has been left without working phone lines for nearly three weeks following a fault with 
their line.

Ferguson Oliver Wealth Management on Clerk Street has had no working lines since August 7, following intermittent issues with their line since mid-July.

Karen Addison, office manager at the company, said: “Mid July we started having intermittent problems, unable to dial out or receive incoming calls, but it always seemed to correct itself and was never down for very long, ranging from a few minutes to half an hour.

“BT said they checked the line and couldn’t find a fault, they would have to take our lines down, during business hours, to check further. We had our IT firm check our phone system during this time, which we were 
advised was fine.”

There was no further problems following that spell, until Friday, August 7 when the phone lines stopped working. Karen continued: “BT visited the office that afternoon and advised the problem was with underground cables / wires and was out with our office premises and should be fixed that weekend.

“We’ve been given all sorts of excuses such as cleaning out the manhole to find the fault, to traffic management problems, it feels as if they are just telling us anything to get us off the phone.

“The phone lines of one of the neighbouring businesses also stopped working, but BT have sorted this problem within a couple of days.

“As each date passes and we call to query why it’s not fixed, we are given another date. The latest date we have been given is for August 25, but we cannot see any activity and are not holding out much hope that the lines will be working.”

During the time when their phone lines have been down, the company have had to forward calls on to a mobile number.

Mike Ferguson, managing director at the company, said: “It is especially frustrating because we have recently spent considerable time and money doing up our offices both inside and out and as part of our rebranding to Ferguson Oliver Wealth Management and have been doing quite a lot of marketing.

“Clients both old and new can’t get through to us and whilst we are getting calls diverted to a mobile number if one call comes in that is the line taken up. With stock markets falling right now clients are phoning in for reassurance and they can’t get through which is frustrating from their end.”

An Openreach spokesman said: “We’re sorry it’s taking longer than usual to repair this complex fault, which is due to the nature and level of work required. Mud and silt had blocked underground equipment and plant was needed to clear the blocks, which has been completed.

“The fault has been traced to an underground cable and traffic management is now required to reach the location. This is subject to the usual statutory notice periods and can take time to organise with contractors. In this case, the traffic light company needs to carry out a site survey, which is due to be completed today (Tuesday), before applying for permission from the roads authority to go ahead.

“Once a date is agreed, engineers will try to fix the fault or arrange for the cable to be replaced. We’ll endeavour to complete repairs as soon as possible.

“Service providers are responsible for liaising with Openreach on their customers’ behalf. They can escalate urgent cases to Openreach using the industry-agreed processes and can also help with practical measures such as phone diverts while repairs are ongoing.

“BT is not the service provider in this case.”