Phone failure costs businesses thousands

Dominic Chessum Companies in Norfolk have lost thousands of pounds worth of business after being left without phones, faxes and internet access because a major telecoms firm has gone bust.

Dominic Chessum

Companies in Norfolk have lost thousands of pounds worth of business after being left without phones, faxes and internet access because a major telecoms firm has gone bust.

Traders across the county lost the vital technology on Tuesday afternoon after Lancashire based Global Telecoms and Technology folded.

Earlier this month Global's main supplier, Berkshire based Gamma Telecom, took out a winding up order against the firm and service users say their phone lines were disconnected without warning and they were left without a helpline to contact.


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Today communications industry regulator OFCOM said all businesses who required reconnection should be live again within the next 24 to 48 hours and the delay had been due to difficulties in establishing how Global had disconnected the lines.

Now traders are holding their breath to see if the pledge comes true and if they will be able to keep their previous phone numbers.

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Adrian Seller and his son Stephen run Home James, a Breckland taxi service, a garage and a trailer business from the Threxton Road industrial estate on the outskirts of Watton.

Mr Sellers said: “All our business comes in on the telephone.

“At first we lot the outgoing calls and then the incoming calls went a day later.

“We have been trading for 20 years and we have had that number for 20 years.

“We have been running round putting up an emergency mobile number but our business thrives on loyalty and people using that phone number.”

On the other side of Watton Brenda Parrott who runs the Aerolite petrol station and garage on Norwich Road said the problems were costing her business thousands of pounds.

She said: “We cannot accept credit or debit cards in the shop or the garage because the machine is not working. People do not carry cash anymore, certainly not enough to pay for a tank of petrol.

“Customers cannot top up their gas or electricity cards either. The only thing that is working is the lottery machine which works off a satellite.

“We have lost all the phone lines, including the one for the garage business so people cannot book in their cars.

“Three quarters of my business used those machines, thank goodness for the loyalty of my customers.”

OFCOM says that Global operated between 3,500 and 4,000 communication lines in the UK but is unable to say exactly how many Norfolk businesses have been affected by the firms collapse.

The EDP was unable to contact anyone from Global Telecoms and Technology.

Any business left without phones as a result of the collapse of Global should contact OFCOM on 0300 123333 for information and advice.

To contact Home James ring 07745 970979 or to contact Aerolite ring 07932 774807.

Has your business been affected by the collapse of Global Telecoms and Technology. Contact reporter Dominic Chessum on 01362 854701.

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