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We’re struggling with two-week wait to fix our phone lines
BUSINESSES are counting the cost after having no phone lines, internet connection or card machine facilities for a fortnight.
They have lost thousands of pounds due to the technical fault in London Road, Marks Tey.
Richard Hipkin, owner of Chataeu Wines, fears his shop could close if BT does not fix the fault within two weeks.
He said: “We have got a large wholesale business where people buy on credit card, but we cannot take cards.
“I am 20 to 30 per cent down on turnover. Plus all the local people do bill payments here “It is OK if you have got a car, you can go further into town, but we have a lot of elderly people come in – that is the worst affect, the older folk, we can’t do anything to help them.
“It has taken two weeks.
“I just get a text everyday saying they are still working on the fault and thanks for my patience. To be fair, I haven’t got any patience left.
“If it goes on for another two weeks, it will seriously put the business under threat.”
Patrick Schils, manager of InterBike bike accessories shop, said the problem started on Tuesday, June 19, and he cannot believe it still has not been sorted out by BT.
He said: “This was the last thing we needed in this current economic crisis. The Tour De France has started when our sales where supposed to peak – they are now rock bottom.”
Mr Schils, 55, said customers wanting to buy goods for several hundred pounds had come into the shop and, unable to pay by card, had not returned.
The shop, which has been open for about 20 years, also does a lot of its trade on the internet.
Mr Schils said: “The internet was working from time to time, but it was extremely slow.
“For the last four or five days, it has been out completely.
“BT doesn’t seem to be bothered. They said it was going to be sorted out a week ago.
“People who normally ring up and say have you got that jersey in stock etc, and might come from 20 to 30 miles around, are going to go somewhere online.”
A BT spokesman said an underground cable started to develop faults after water leaked into it.
He said: “Our engineers have been working to replace about 200 metres of affected cabling.
“Due to the poor conditions in the area, we have been delayed by having to clear a number of major blockages to manholes and joint boxes.
“On returning to site today, the whole area is once again completely submerged.
“We have specialist engineers on site determining the further extent of the damage, and next steps, to get these faults cleared.
“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused, and assure those affected we are doing all we can to get this difficult and detailed repair completed as quickly as possible.”