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'TalkTalk landline was down for five weeks, so my constituents couldn't contact me'

Cut off: David Bryan, who is a councillor, was unable to take calls from his constituents - COPYRIGHT JAY WILLIAMS
Cut off: David Bryan, who is a councillor, was unable to take calls from his constituents - COPYRIGHT JAY WILLIAMS

When we got back from holiday I discovered that we had no landline and duly reported this to TalkTalk the next day. There was no response so two days later I spoke to TalkTalk again on the phone and “live chat”.

Every time we made contact, TalkTalk ran tests to confirm that we did indeed have no working phone line.

Eventually, someone from customer services rang back to say that we would be contacted within three working days with the result of more tests. She offered to redirect calls to my mobile. This was not done.

Two-and-a-half weeks after we had returned from holiday my wife began ringing customer services again and contacting TalkTalk online. Three weeks later we are still without a working line, although calls are now being redirected to my wife’s mobile.

Every time we have phoned we are put through to a different person and have to repeat the whole saga. Today I was phoned by yet another individual to say they were still trying to trace the fault and repair it.

There is no end in sight. This is affecting not only my domestic situation but, more importantly, my working life. I am a county councillor and I rely on the phone line for my constituents to contact me with their issues. What sort of councillor can hope to be of use to the community if he has no phone link?

David Bryan, Pembrokeshire

Early on TalkTalk did check the line by talking you through a test procedure and then doing its own tests externally. The issue was supposed to be escalated to the relevant department. TalkTalk now admits that instructions about this were not picked up.

It added a call divert from the home phone to the mobile but you are in an area where coverage for mobile phones is variable.

Four days after I contacted TalkTalk its chief executive’s office spoke to your wife and alerted the technical team. Four days after that someone came and seven hours of tests revealed a problem at the exchange.

Even though the fault was elsewhere an engineer installed a new main socket. Only when the exchange issue was resolved was the dial tone, which had been absent before, reinstated but then the broadband, which had worked all along, went wrong.

The next day an engineer turned up and found that the extensions had not been wired up correctly by the other engineer at the new master socket. Now the broadband was back.

However, the speeds were variable. TalkTalk sent a new router and arranged a call back to check that everything was working.

A TalkTalk spokesman said: “We’d like to thank Mr Bryan for his patience while we carried out an investigation. His services are now working to his satisfaction and we’ve provided him with compensation, along with a goodwill gesture for any inconvenience caused.”

This, after you had had no phone service for nearly five weeks, was £100 in all.