Published: January 28, 2014
Anger grows over five-week Vodafone signal black-out in Burnham

Several businesses are among the hundreds of Vodafone mobile phone users in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge who continue to be without access to their service during the FIFTH WEEK of an ongoing technical fault.

Users have been without phone reception in parts of the TA9 and TA8 areas since the week before Christmas, as we first reported here.

One Burnham business user, Sarah Buchanan, told this week that the signal problems are impacting her business.

"It's now been over a month since we lost signal. I really can't imagine the damage this has done for my garden design business, but I would normally be taking bookings now ready for the coming year and haven't thus far," she said.

"Any business which relies upon a mobile to take new business calls is affected. If customers don't get through in the first instance they very often won't wait for a call back and will go elsewhere straight away."

Sarah added: "We still have not had any more updates on an estimated fix time, with Vodafone blaming it all on the weather. The CEO Jerome Hoencamp still refuses to talk to me despite repeated calls and emails."

Vodafone has admitted there is a problem with its Highbridge phone mast and that it is still working on resolving the issue. It is believed that the mast is third-party owned which has delayed the work.

Vodafone spokeswoman Jane Frapwell told this week: "We’re sorry some of our customers are still experiencing signal problems locally. We’re still having problems with the site. Our engineers are trying to isolate the problem. We are treating this as a priority."

Meanwhile, local Vodafone users have been inundating the firm's online support forums with complaints. One user called 'juppy' managed to speak to the director's team at the firm who gave a run-down of all the work to date in resolving the problems. However, 'juppy' concluded that there had been "22 days where absolutely nothing had happened" due to weather or delays connected with permission to access the third-party owned mast. He added: "A very nice chap who personally sympathised with us all but was unable to advice of a fix date."


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