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Stroke man cut off while BT struggles
DISABLED stroke victim Tony Collins has been left without a lifeline as BT struggles to connect his vital phone service.
Tony, 51, of Spindle Tree Court, paid for the line to be activated but more than a month later has been left with no contact with the outside world.
Despite engineers coming out on numerous occasions, they have been unable to resolve a problem which prevented Tony from dialling out in an emergency.
And during the most recent visit his line was cut off completely.
Tony has been forced to make the journey to the charity Living Options to get in contact with BT, who concede they are having difficulty setting up his service.
“I have had several strokes in the past,” he said. “At the end of August I had another stroke, and everybody told me I needed to get my own landline back on because I do not have a mobile phone.
“I used to have a BT line, but then I changed operators to get a Virgin package. After they sent me three bills in one month last year I decided to disconnect it because I did not want the hassle.
“I got in touch with BT and they were arguing with me, saying I did not have a phone line in my house, but I knew I did because I had one before.”
Tony accepted the fee to connect his new line because he had no other option, and BT arranged to send an engineer to his home.
“Three days before that I got a letter saying they had discovered I did have a phone line and they could switch it on remotely,” he said. “That seemed funny to me then, because I was paying them £40 to flick a switch. I tried the line after that, but it would not make outgoing calls.”
On Tony’s behalf, Living Options called BT and arranged a visit by technicians.
“Two of them came out, and told me it wasn’t a problem on my end. They said they would check the exchange and ring me back later when everything was sorted. I went out, and when I came back there was an automated message on the phone saying my line was back on and operational again. But when I went to try it, it was dead as a doornail.”
BT again sent out an engineer, who failed to fix the problem.
“I have paid my bill but I still do not have a phone line,” Tony said. “If I were to have a stroke again I would not be able to contact anyone, because I live here alone. My foot got infected years ago and I contracted septicemia, so I had to have my leg amputated.
“In the middle of the night if I have any problems I would have to put my leg back on and walk to hospital.”
A spokesman for BT said: “ BT would like to apologise to Mr Collins as his switch to BT has not been as smooth as it should have been.
“This is due to an error completing the order by connecting in the local exchange and we are endeavouring to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
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