Businesses and residents have been without an internet or phoneline for a week due to a BT fault, only to find they had then been given the wrong phone numbers.

Homes and businesses in Westward Ho! have been left in chaos after a fault which left them with no phoneline or internet for a week.

And to make matters worse, many have now discovered they have been given the wrong telephone numbers.

The fault also meant card payments could not be taken at businesses, and one of the village’s two cash machines was out of order.

Trouble for businesses

Business owner Rob Braddick said: “One poor Westward Ho! man was getting all our bookings coming in to his house phone for Braddick’s Leisure.

“It got so bad he had to unplug his landline.

“We had the phonelines for The Pier House, The Waterfront and the holiday park all diverting to one mobile.

“We had to take credit card details for The Waterfront at the amusement arcade over the road because they were the only one with a working card machine.”

Mr Braddick said staff has been ‘running around like mad people’ for the last 10 days until phonelines were reinstated yesterday (Sunday).

He added: “I think I’m a little greyer now.”

‘Absolute disaster’

Bev Coombes, of Delica Devon in Nelson Road, said seven days without a phoneline was an ‘absolute disaster’.

She said: “I had to turn people away if they wanted to pay with a card, and I couldn’t take any orders over the phone.

“We’ve all lost business and will be looking to follow this with a compensation claim.

“And this is the best bit - I had my line reinstated on Friday but when I tried calling it from my mobile on Saturday the shop phone wasn’t ringing.

“I got back on to BT and it turned out they had reconnected me to someone else.”

‘Disgusted’ at treatment

As well as businesses, residents have also suffered with no landlines.

Maggie Durkin, who lives in Park Avenue, said she was ‘disgusted’ at the way people had been treated.

She said: “When our phones went back on last Friday afternoon we were all so relieved we did not notice that our number was wrong.

“We have since discovered that we have someone else’s number and after making contact through mobiles have found we are not alone.

“In this age of super highway broadband, one would think that communications would become easier.”

BT apologises

A spokesman for BT apologised for the fault in the underground network.

He said: “Our engineers have been working as quickly as possible to restore service on what has been an exceptionally complex repair.

“It included replacing several hundred metres of underground cabling and night time working because much of the job involved work at a road junction.

“The majority of customers affected by the problems now have a normal working service again and we expect to have completed the job by end of Wednesday.

“Due to the complexity of the operation, it is possible that a very small number of customers might experience crossed lines as engineers are carrying out their final checks and tests.

“If any customer continues to experience problems, he or she should report it to their service provider.”

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