Couple moved to Fenland six months ago... but still waiting for BT to connect phone lines

WHEN they moved to an idyllic isolated spot in the Fens Colin and Pat Pinn thought family and friends would be just a phone call away – six months later they are still waiting to be connected.

The retired couple are forced to rely on a mobile phone which is often useless because of the poor signal in the area. As Pat is disabled the Pinns are concerned about what could happen if they needed emergency help.

After seven broken appointments the couple, who live in Day’s Lode Road, Fodder Fen, Manea, thought their problems were over when someone from BT turned up.

However, they were then told he could not connect the line because there is a 30-metre gap in the underground cable.

Mr Pinn, 70, said: “We moved here at the beginning of April and we immediately let BT know we had moved just as we had done several times in the past. The thought never occurred to me that there would be a problem. We have been customers for a long time.

“We could see that there was a line here from the previous people and we thought it would just be a formality to get it connected. While we love living here it is a pain without communication and if the mobile doesn’t work we could be in serious trouble.”

Although the land line has not been connected the couple is still being charged �40 a month.

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Mrs Pinn added: “It just seems strange in this day and age that a telephone cannot be connected. If BT had just flatly said we cannot supply you with a phone at least we would know where we stand and we would not keep paying them but we have had to wait six months for them to turn up and now we are no further forward.”

With calls frequently cut because of the weak signal Mrs Pinn relies on e-mail to contact her sister and other relatives. But she said: “Even that is not always certain.”

Mr Pinn contacted Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries, to see if he could help. Mr Pinn said: “I wrote to him explaining what was happening but it hasn’t done any good at all.”

A spokesman for BT said: “We have run into a number of engineering problems and underground blockages which have caused delays in fulfilling this order, and this has proved to be a difficult case to get cabling into.

“This now requires further underground digging work to build a further new length of ducting for new cabling to go into.

“We have been in contact and will keep updating the customer as to the progress of this work.

“We would of course like to apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst we are undertaking these works.”

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