Mobile phone mast breakdown fury

FURIOUS mobile phone users in Thornbury are demanding answers and compensation after being without a signal for more than a week.

Customers of operator O2 first realised they could not use their phones in and around the town on December 23.

They wrongly assumed it would be restored within a day or so but became increasingly angry at what they said was a lack of concern by the company - as well as a lack of information.

Those on contracts and pay-as-you-go monthly deals said they had lost out financially and have demanded compensation.

Many customers were also disappointed at being unable to send festive text messages over Christmas and as the Gazette went to press, were concerned they would also miss out on New Year wishes.

Yvonne Williams, of Coln Square, Thornbury, said she lost her signal at about noon on December 23.

She said: "When it came to Christmas, we knew nothing would be done about it then.

"I'm a pay-as-you-go customer but on a monthly tariff so didn't want to lose my credit. I spoke to someone at O2 after Christmas and was told the signal would be restored by Saturday but that didn't happen.

"I did manage to get then to reimburse me £10 but nothing has been done about the problem since then and we can't get anyone to tell us what's caused the failure and when it will be repaired.

"I think it's a pretty bad show. We are paying for a service and not getting it. There are a lot of O2 customers in and around Thornbury but they are going to lose a lot of them if this isn't sorted out."

Ms Williams said although she had a landline, she normally didn't use it much. But the loss of the mobile signal meant she was having to use the landline, incurring extra costs.

Another customer, who did not want to be named, said the company told him it had no idea when the failure would be fixed. He was also told it would only look at possible compensation once the problem was resolved

He said: "Here's an example of a major company that has let down its customers. It's currently eight days that we've been unable to use our phones."

On the O2 website, which boasts of its "award winning network", a message said a phone mast for the area wasn't working and customers "might experience problems making calls, using the internet or sending/receiving emails in this area.

An O2 spokesman said engineers had to order a replacement part for the mast serving the town as it had suffered water damage.

He said: "The recent poor weather has resulted in some equipment damage to one of our masts in Thornbury. We’re working as quickly as we can to resolve the issue and restore the site as soon as possible. We’re sorry for any inconvenience."

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