Villagers slam telecoms giant as they enter third week of blackout

Residents in a Moray coastal community are have entered a third week without the use of their telephone and internet connections.

Homes and businesses in Portknockie found that vital links to the outside world ceased to work when the area was hit by the aftermath of Hurricane Bertha earlier this month.

Since then all attempts to convince BT that their is a serious issue in the village have failed, with the telecoms provider insisting that there are no faults on the lines.

Customers have been told that they must lodge individual complaints with BT – while offering the use of free WiFi hotspots to their increasingly angry users who struggle to get any kind of mobile telephone signal under normal circumstances.

Amongst the suggestions being put forward by BT is that a local shop owners’ alarm system may have caused the communications failure as it was connected to the telephone line.

“BT are saying that they did not know there was a problem and will only deal with individual cases – so everyone with a problem line will have to get in touch with them in person,” local resident Brian Telfer said.

He added: “I called and was told I can use mobile WiFi hot-spots at no extra cost and they would divert house calls to my mobile – but my mobile does not work in the house and we are outwith WiFi hot spots.”

Mr Telfer had previously contacted insideMoray to highlight the issue which was of particular concern as his daughter, Elaine-Maree, was expecting to give birth at any time and the family feared she would not be able to contact them.

In the event Elaine-Maree gave birth to a baby boy last week – but when Mr Telfer’s wife Gwen tried to contact him with the news there was more telecoms grief for the family.

Mrs Telfer explained: “I tried to phone Brian to tell him the news but ended up telling a complete stranger he was a grandad because BT connected our number to someone else’s telephone!”

Local chip shop owner Moira Proctor meanwhile has said she also has not telephone, internet or can receive a mobile signal. She added: “I wasted a whole morning trying to talk to BT who are now saying that the faults are completely fixed and have been since Friday.”

insideMoray was unable to receive a reply from BT last night.

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