UK storm: BT 'disgraceful' says car salesman

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Media captionMike Walmsley said he had "finally" been put on call divert

A businessman who has spent two weeks without a phone line since storm-force winds hit Suffolk has branded supplier BT "absolutely disgraceful".

Mike Walmsley, from Ipswich, usually sells two cars a week but since the severe weather has not sold any.

He says he has been unable to talk to customers or update his web adverts.

BT said there were a number of complex faults that were taking longer to fix and has apologised for any inconvenience.

After an initial text from BT saying he would be reconnected on 29 November, Mr Walmsley has now been told the line would be repaired on Wednesday.

'Looking for excuses'

Mr Walmsley says he was told the delay was partly due to the fact engineers would have to use temporary traffic lights to control the motorists while the work was completed.

"I think they're looking for excuses for why they're taking so long," he said.

Image caption Mr Walmsley's broken phone line lies by his gate

Mr Walmsley said he had phoned BT on at least nine occasions since being cut off.

"The first time I rang they said they would repair it within three days. Nobody came.

"I've rung them every day since."

Mr Walmsley said on Monday he had "finally" been put on call divert, which meant that calls from customers would be diverted to his mobile phone.

BT has been unable to say how many customers have been cut off by the storm, how many have been reconnected and how many extra engineers have been drafted in to help with repairs.

On its website, BT says problems are "ongoing" in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire due to the storm.

A spokesman for BT said: "We have been working flat out since the damage occurred, including over the weekend, to resolve the remaining problems and are aiming to restore service to most of these by the end of the week. We would again like to apologise for the inconvenience caused as this essential work is carried out.

"There are many factors which determine when, and how quickly, we can carry out repairs, such as the amount of damage caused, numbers of people affected and whether our engineers are able to safely access the damaged areas.

"In a number of these cases we have to apply for traffic management or road closure to allow safe access to damaged poles or manholes."

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