Burgh Castle man has waited 11 months for BT to install phone line in his home

John Willingale with his newly installed phone line.Picture: James Bass

John Willingale with his newly installed phone line.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A Burgh Castle man has described the 'nightmare' 11 months he has waited to have a phone line installed in his home.

John Willingale, 62, moved to High Road in March last year. So, to give himself plenty of time he placed an order for a new phone line in February.

'But when we moved in, we were still no closer to having a working phone, and that meant we had no internet,' said Mr Willingale, who works as a fabricator.

'We kept getting excuses from BT, and were told to phone them - which was difficult without a phone! I have a mobile but the signal out here isn't very good.'

Mr Willingale faced months of phones calls and emails back and forth to BT to try and get the problem solved. He said that his need for a home phone was particularly important, due to his ill health.

Mr Willingale had a heart attack in 2012, and since mobile phone signal is unreliable in the area, a home phone would be a lifeline.

Then a few days before Christmas, Mr Willingale received a call on his mobile to tell him that his home phone line was now up and running.

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'And it wasn't,' he said. 'They asked how I knew and I told them that if it was they'd have called me on it!'

Mr Willingale's phone line was finally installed on January 4, but he has since received statements charging him for a period from December 24 - January 2.

'They said I hadn't reported a fault,' said Mr Willingale. 'But I didn't have a phone line to report a fault on.

'I'm sure I can't be alone, and I wanted to warn others of the problems I've had,' he said.

'I've been in constant contact with BT and all they ever told me is that an engineer will come out, but they never did.'

A BT Openreach spokesman said: 'We are very sorry for the delay in providing service to Mr Willingale's property. Providing service to a new build site is a very complex and time-consuming job.

'The work to provide service to Mr Willingale's address required extensive external work such as laying underground duct, cabling, jointing and junction boxes.

'This has taken longer than we would normally expect and we apologise for the inconvenience caused. Mr Willingale's service is now up and running and we have offered a credit on his account of £49.75 as a good will gesture.'