But only after three months pressure from Ofcom, BT and The Clarion!
IT HAS TAKEN THREE MONTHS AND TWO DAYS, ceaseless work from Ofcom and British Telecom plus a little help from The Clarion, but at long last Northumberland farmer Fiona Skeen has had her ‘stolen’ BT telephone landline returned!
Fiona battled for 93 days, made dozens of fruitless phone calls and eventually turned to The Clarion after receiving a letter from BT in mid-February “regret[ting] that you have chosen to move your telephone subscription from BT to Clear Telecom”.
Despite her immediate protest that she had done no such thing, overnight she lost the BT landline her family farm had used for more than fifty years and was given the first of two ‘temporary’ numbers by her supposed new network.
The Clarion joined Fiona’s fight towards the end of March after she contacted us and an immediate complaint was made to the communications watchdog Ofcom who promised to make enquiries.
Even with the government-appointed regulator and a sympathetic BT on the case, it wasn’t easy: Clear Telecom insisted that the original landline at Fiona’s Berryhill Farm in the parish of Ford had been ‘retired’ and that they were in the process of supplying her with a new one.
They did. And that’s when she lost her broadband connection, too: it had been dependent on her old BT landline!
Eventually, Ofcom insisted on Clear Telecom re-checking their records. . . and that was when they admitted she wasn’t their customer after all!
One day later, two triumphant emails appeared in The Clarion inbox. The first, from Ofcom communications manager Harry Rippon – who had taken a personal interest in progress of the case – simply said, “Just to let you know that Mrs Skeen’s landline number issue has been successfully resolved, and that she is very pleased to have her original phone number back.”
The second, from Fiona, confirmed that and more!
“Thank you so much for all your help,” she wrote. “Ofcom’s involvement made all the difference, it wasn’t until they put serious pressure on that Clear Telecom conceded that I wasn’t in fact a customer of theirs.
“Also, the telecoms people at Ofcom and BT – Jeff and Teresa, who worked tirelessly – have been brilliant.
“I know what I would like to do to Clear Telecoms for the months of stress and inconvenience they have caused!
“One last favour: could you please tell all my friends, suppliers and customers that I am back on my old BT landline number
and I’m happy and waiting to take calls and get emails?”
If YOU have a problem with your telephone or internet service provider Ofcom is there to help and to adjudicate disputes.
Complain initially to your network provider but if that brings no satisfactory response contact Ofcom <www.ofcom.org.uk> or at Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA.
And tell them The Clarion sent you!