‘Give us our phone line back!’

The Martonian at Sewerby has been without a phone line since early March
The Martonian at Sewerby has been without a phone line since early March

A business owner who claims BT cut off his restaurant’s phone line and sold it on to another customer says he still hasn’t been reconnected.

Chris Hough, 46, of the Martonian Inn at Sewerby, said he received a letter dated February 20, that only arrived on March 2, saying BT would disconnect his phone line if they did not hear from him by February 29.

The letter read: “Dear Customer. We are stopping your service. Another customer has asked to take over the telephone line at your address on March 1.”

But Chris says it was impossible for him to contact the company before then, having received the letter after the deadline.

He added: “It is five weeks since we have been without a telephone line. They are managing to re-direct the number through my mobile phone though.

“People were so relieved that we were still open after not being able to get through.

“They were calling up in the run-up to Easter because people were thinking we were closed.”

While business is picking up again, Chris said the farce cost him footfall on Mothers Day - one of the Martonian’s busiest days - because potential customers were unable to contact the restaurant and find out if it was open.

Chris said his treatment by BT has been “appalling”.

He added: “I can’t understand how someone can just take over my number. I have been with BT for 11 years.”

Chris is now waiting to hear back from the telecoms company to find out when the Martonian’s original number can be reconnected.

BT said Mr Hough was not a victim of “phone slamming” and that his line had been disconnected in error.

A BT spokesman apologised to Mr Hough, saying: “We are very sorry for the delay in restoring Mr Hough’s phone line.

“All incoming calls are now diverted to his mobile phone to ensure he misses no further calls and the line is due be fully reinstated on April 12.”