Bolton-le-Sands businesses left without phones for three weeks

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A row of businesses in Bolton-le-Sands have been losing trade after their phone line went down three weekes ago.

The firms in Main Street have been unable to get BT engineers out to fix the line since it failed suddenly at lunchtime on January 21.

Colin Bowker, of Bowker’s Butchers, said the problem was causing five businesses – the butcher’s, a garage, post office, Spar and chip shop – to lose trade.

The issue has also affected some houses close to the site.

Mr Bowker said: “We have been without a telephone or internet for three weeks. We have rung BT but got nowehere with them.

“It’s costing the business a lot of money, and I am having to use a mobile phone to make calls so we are all running up massive bills.

“The day after it happened, I spoke to someone who said it would be fixed within five days, but since then we have been unable to speak to anyone.

“We believe it’s something to do with an underground cable but that’s all we know.

“It’s ridiculous that it has taken three weeks, and we still don’t know what’s happening.”

Mark Norris, from Scotch Garage, said: “I am getting people who want to pay for cars who are having to pay cash because I can’t use my card machine.

“I have used up my free mobile minutes so it’s costing me a fortune. I need a phone all the time in this job.”

A spokesman for Openreach, BT’s local network business, said: “Our engineers have been working hard to fix a damaged cable and we expect to have everyone’s service restored by early next week at the latest.

“The cable has been particularly difficult to fix and additional underground blockages have complicated the repair.

“We are sorry that this repair has taken some time to fix and for the disruption caused.

“People and businesses who wish to claim compensation should contact their phone providers.

“As customers have their contracts with the phone providers it is they who process any such claims.”