90-year-old from Cheddar has phone line put on hold for six weeks
A NINETY-year-old woman from Cheddar has been waiting over six weeks for her phone line to be installed.
Esmie Ricks, of Redcliffe Street, moved from Winscombe to Cheddar on August 31, and asked her telephone provider, HIVE Telecom, to install a land line.
Mrs Ricks said: “I am with HIVE, but they rent the lines from BT.
“I contacted them very early on and I’ve phoned them several times since and several times they’ve said ‘tomorrow’.
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“Nothing happens. But the other people who live on Jewkes Court are with BT and they haven’t got a phone line either.”
Mrs Ricks lives on her own. Her son lives in Germany and her daughter lives in Limerick in Ireland, both of whom helped her with the move.
She continued: “I rely on the phone a lot to communicate with them and have long chats. It’s very difficult, especially when you’re on your own.
“All I’ve got is a tiny mobile which I’m not used to and I’m a bit deaf. My house phone is a loud phone to make it easier.
“I can’t hear terribly well with my little mobile, and it also is very costly and both my children are abroad and it’s ever so costly for them to ring me.”
With the six-week mark having passed since she moved to Cheddar, Mrs Ricks is becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of phone line, especially as she says no explanation has been given.
She said: “I don’t know what the problem is. I’ve never had any explanation or apology or anything like that. Nothing from BT and HIVE just say ‘Oh well, it’s BT’.
“I don’t accept that they can get away with it. You pay your bills and yet, there’s no service.”
The next date that has been given to Mrs Ricks for installation is October 16. For her, the phone line cannot come soon enough.
She said: “The biggest thing for me is communicating. When you move into a new house you have to notify all the utilities. There are all sorts of phone calls to be made.”
“But, then there is the personal side of it which that because it is so costly I can’t have long phone calls with my friends.
“Moving itself is very stressful business, they say it is one of the three most stressful experiences you can have. And to have this just seems inefficient.
“I know that people are using mobiles so much more, but landlines are still important, surely?
“Sometimes you have to make a fuss. You do have to fight a bit don’t you?”
A spokesman for HIVE Telecom said: “We are a re-seller of BT services including installation of lines into residential houses. We do not supply these lines ourselves, much like many hundreds of re-sellers in the UK market place.
“HIVE Telecom have been in regular communication with Ms Ricks and have kept her fully informed of the progress on her order with us.
“Unfortunately as a re-seller we are tied to BT’s lead times and due to the nature of the order, this has caused a delay.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to Ms Ricks and will continue to work with BT to ensure the installation takes place on time.”
A spokesman for BT said: “The delay has been caused by the amount of work required to provide this customer with service, which involved us having to lay around 50m of new cabling.
“The work is now well advanced and we expect our part of it to be completed within the next few days, so the customer’s order can go ahead and be completed.
“Once the order is complete, the rest of the work will be progressed – this is an unusual case, because it requires us to lay much more new cabling than normal.”