MOBILE phone users in and around Bridlington are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of network coverage from one provider.
Three Mobile, which has a shop on Chapel Street, is at the centre of a coverage issue, which has left some Bridlington residents angered, and in some cases fearing their health may be at risk.
The Free Press spoke to Three Mobile user Michael Connolly, 52, who has a Three Mobile contract, along with his wife Angela, 65.
They have both recently experienced large periods of network failures with their phones, meaning they cannot make or receive calls or SMS text messages.
Mr Connolly, of Traflagar Crescent, says there had been very few issues with the network over the previous two years, but problems started about a month ago.
“We began to get a really weak signal, or nothing at all. On weekends especially we had no signal whatsoever in and around town,” said Mr Connolly, who is epileptic and relies on his phone if he has a fit while on his own and needs to contact help.
“People would have to contact us by landline, which is fine, but I live in a first floor flat and use a cane to walk.
“If I have a fit without warning and fall down the stairs and break my leg, I have no way of calling for help if my phone has no signal.
“Three have broken their contract with me by not upkeeping a signal and I am not the only one.”
Mr Connolly claims friends and family are having the same issues in Bridlington, and has heard that the Three Mobile shop on Chapel Street has been inundated with complaints.
“I spoke to the manager of the store in town, and from what I can gather they have been overwhelmed with recent complaints,” said Mr Connolly.
“My wife, and at least 10 other people we know have had the same trouble. The manager in the shop gave me a number to call.
“When I did so I spoke to a call centre worker, who didn’t understand the need for me to have a full signal. At first they tried to say it was an issue with my phone, but people have been unable to call me either. It’s clearly a signal problem.
“Secondly they tried to say they would re-direct calls to my landline, but that is of no use as I need my mobile in case I am out and get into trouble through my illness.
“They refunded me and my wife £10 each, which is half the monthly contract. So they are admitting in doing that that there is a problem.
“They then offered me and my wife new handsets as they said the phones we have may have a lower level of signal strength - but I haven’t accepted that as the problem is bigger than just ourselves. I know of plenty of other people in the area with similar problems with different handsets to my own.
“Three should be seeking to help everyone else out who is affected by this problem.
“My contract is up soon, but I don’t see why I should change to another provider. I expect Three to fulfill their contract with me and provide the service I have paid for.”
The Free Press contacted Three through their complaints department, and a spokesperson for the company said:
“Our investigation suggests the issue is being caused by a fault with the customer’s handset rather than the network.
“We have been contact with the customer about this directly and have offered to replace his handset.”