A pub and restaurant owner is furious after a telecoms company allegedly sold his business phone number to someone else.
Chris Hough, 46, of the Martonian Inn at Sewerby, says he is losing customers after his phone line was disconnected.
“We received a letter from BT dated February 20, but it didn’t arrive until March 2,” said Chris.
“I can’t understand how someone can just take over my number. I have been with BT for 11 years.”
It meant the Martonian’s phone line became inactive and staff were unable to answer customer queries, costing him potential business.
In BT’s letter dated February 20 – which Chris says he only received on March 2 – the company said: “Dear Customer. We are stopping your service. Another customer has asked to take over the telephone line at your address on March 1.”
The letter added that Chris should get in touch by March 29 or his line would be cut off.
But because Chris could not respond in time, the number was transferred to another customer.
Now Chris says his business has seen a decline in customers since the farce began, after previously receiving “hundreds of calls a day”.
He added: “We have missed Mother’s Day. Customers are not aware that we are open or not.
“There is a noticeable drop in footfall. We have had no apology whatsoever. It must happen to other people.”
And Chris has criticised BT’s customer service, after saying a member of staff promised to call him back in early March, but never did.
A spokesman for the company has apologised to Chris and said they are investigating.
They said: “We are very sorry that this has happened and for the subsequent poor customer service Mr Hough has received. We will look into the complaint as quickly as possible and keep Mr Hough updated throughout.”
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