BT cuts off disability charity to give phone line to commercial company

07:00 23 January 2013

Archant

A DISABILITY charity has been left unable to help its clients after BT commandeered its telephone line for a neighbouring business.

The team at Disability Huntingdonshire were stunned when an Openreach engineer arrived on Monday last week (January 14) and said he had been told to allocate their phone line to the commercial company next door.

Volunteers at the charity, based in Pendrill Court, Papworth Everard, provide information on services, benefits and finances to disabled people, carers and families with disabled children.

Charity secretary Olly Cooper explained that the charity takes on average 10 calls a day, carries out eight home visits a week and receives numerous emails from people all wanting help, advice and support.

Mr Cooper said the mix-up was delaying help for disabled people – and urged people affected to complain to BT

He explained: “Disabled people in Huntingdonshire have been cut off from Disability Huntingdonshire by an error at BT. The BT engineer walked in just over a week ago and said ‘I know I shouldn’t be doing this but I have been told to give your line to the business next door’.

“We said ‘You can’t!’ We phoned BT and they said we wouldn’t be cut off but the next morning we had no internet. We have badgered them all week but all we get told is that they will send someone out from Openreach. So far, nothing has happened, nothing at all. They told us that they were reconnecting us but the line is still as dead as a dodo.”

He continued: “I think it was just a complete an utter bureaucratic error. In the meantime, we have been muddling along. Luckily, people can phone our sister charity, Disability Cambridgeshire, but we are completely without our data line, so we are without access to our information system and internet. We are an advice service for disabled people. This has greatly delayed our work.

“If this affects you please complain to BT.”

INFORMATION: If you or someone in your family is disabled and you need help and advice, Disability Huntingdonshire volunteers are available on 01480 830833. The charity is currently unable to receive or reply to emails.

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