Bizarre phone mix-up leads to crossed lines across Kenilworth

The front page of Friday's Kenilworth Weekly News
The front page of Friday's Kenilworth Weekly News

Dozens of frustrated residents and businesses in Kenilworth were left with crossed wires in a bizarre telephone mix-up.

The problems began when an engineer accidentally cut an underground cable.

But that was not the worst of it. When the service was restored in the High Street area two days later, some lines were accidentally crossed.

Resident Jane Poulter was just one of many people who contacted the Weekly News about the mix-up. She was left without phone or internet lines for over a week - and when her number was eventually restored, she found she had been swapped with a neighbour.

“The phone lines being mixed up has caused chaos and frustration,” she said.

“We are with Sky and it’s been hard to speak to anyone about getting the problem resolved. When I called BT, they told me I needed to contact Sky. When I called Sky they told me to contact BT! The main BT help desk seemed unaware of the scale of the problem.”

Allan Smith said his in-laws’ number had been swapped with someone else’s.

He said: “This is potentially very dangerous for elderly people who need to stay in contact with there families.”

A spokesperson from BT said: “During the course of some routine work, an engineer working for Openreach - which maintains the local telephone and broadband network on behalf of all service providers – accidentally cut an underground cable.

“Work began immediately to rectify the damage and restore services to those affected.

“The work was completed over two days. Unfortunately during the painstaking operation to restore the lines of customers affected – which has to be done one customer at a time – some lines were accidentally crossed.

“The work was finished on Friday, apart from two outstanding faults, which were being finished today.

“Openreach apologies for the unfortunate incident.

“Around 200 premises in the High Street area of Kenilworth were affected. Anyone experiencing any issues should contact their service provider (ie the company they pay their phone/broadband bill to).”