A BT customer from Cambridge has hit out at the firm for trying to charge him after his connection was mistakenly shut off.

At the end of September Mike Stayte’s telephone land line, which also supplies his television and broadband, mysteriously went dead.

The following day, after phoning the company, it was revealed that his home’s connection was shut down by mistake instead of a new neighbour’s line, who had declined to continue to use BT’s services.

Despite being a customer for 33 years, Mr Stayte was on the phone for more than an hour the following day to try to arrange for his connection to be restored.

Eventually, they arranged for the line to be reinstated, but warned that he may have to pay a connection charge as a new customer. Furthermore it could not be guaranteed that he would be able to keep the same phone number he had had for more than three decades.

Mr Stayte, who works as a manager at John Stayte Services, a fuel and gas provider in Eastington, was told he would have his connection to the service restored this week, on October 10, but the error has still not been rectified.

“It’s just ludicrous,” he told the Gazette. “You just get bounced around from person- to -person, transferred to someone in Newcastle, London and India and no one can deal with the issue.”

He is still waiting for the connection to be restored. “It’s almost comical now, it’s a complete farce,” he added.

A BT spokeswoman was very apologetic, she said: “BT has safeguards in place to avoid people being disconnected by accident. We are investigating what happened in this case.

"Once we were made aware of the situation, we worked to put things right as quickly as possible.

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused.”

She explained that the wrong postal address was recorded on the order – either by the person requesting the new service, or by the BT employee taking the order. They are not sure who, but are still investigating.

As a result, the order was placed not as a new service, but as if the person was requesting to take over Mr Stayte’s service.

Mr Stayte said he had recently received a credit note from BT, even though the connection is still down at the moment.

“They sent a credit note for £12.46 but there has still not been any connection. We also purchase BT Sport which costs a lot of money.”