'It is so frustrating'- businessman's anger at £1.7m warehouse phone line delay
- Credit: Eurogroup
A businessman has blasted BT after the telecommunications company failed to install a phone line at a new £1.7m warehouse.
Richard Crowther, director of specialist removal firm Eurogroup, is furious at the seven month delay to install a phone line at the company's new warehouse in Gorleston.
BT says the problem is due to having to build "new network infrastructure" to the building and has offered a gesture of goodwill as an apology over the long running saga.
The saga started last June when Eurogroup, whose headquarters are in Mildenhall, asked BT to hook up the warehouse to the phone network.
It was then discovered there was no phoneline into the building and despite much toing and froing BT and its linked broadband company Openreach it has still not connected the warehouse up to its systems.
Mr Crowther had hoped the warehouse would be fully operational by September, with a digital contract signed with BT on September 10.
Even though it did open in September, because there is a lack of phone lines and broadband only one employee is working at the site on Beacon Park.
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The warehouse should have a full workforce of up to 15 people and Mr Crowther fears that further delays in installing the line will impact on the company's expansion into Norfolk.
And he says the £7,000 bill for the expected work is not justified due to the delays.
Such is his concern that he was written directly to BT's chief executive officer Philip Jensen demanding action.
Mr Crowther said: "We spoke to them early in June to say we are opening a new warehouse and then an engineer came out and he said there was no connection.
"I think they have been out three times now and nothing has been done. We have got no wifi or no telephones.
"I have just one person there on a forklift truck.
"It is so frustrating. We are trying to develop the business and bring jobs to an area that needs them.
"I find it shocking that BT have not got control of its business. I suspect someone will get a rocket now I have contacted its CEO."
Mr Crowther's letter to the BT boss says: " I am writing this email in desperation to get some acknowledgment from BT/Openreach on how much longer it will take to have a phone line put into our business.
"We started this process in June 2021 with no immediate rush as we were not going operational until September 2021.
"However, we are now seven months down the road. All I have are excuses and what appears to be an organization that has absolutely no control over its business activities."
His letter does admit that Covid has impacted on how businesses operate, but Mr Crowther added that his firm and others have learned to adapt to the circumstances.
Mr Crowther's letter ended: "Hopefully, this will reach someone in BT who actually has control and will act upon this desperate plea for some action."
Openreach said it needed to carry out duct and internal work and by December it was admitted in an email: "They are aware of the severity of this delay and the issues this is causing for your business."
An email exchange between BT and Mr Crowther on January 13 said "line plant works" by Openreach had been been delayed.
Openreach was meant to confirm the work had been completed by January 31, but BT informed Mr Crowther that no work had been undertaken as of February 3.
A BT spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry that it is taking longer than expected to get EuroGroup connected.
"This is due to the need to build entirely new network infrastructure to serve the premises, which is part of a new build development.
“We are working closely with our infrastructure partner Openreach to get the business connected as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will look to offer a gesture of goodwill for the business.”
Eurogroup employs 40 people and has a base in East Harling, near Thetford.
It is a member of the British Association of Removers.