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The village where people have been receiving their neighbour’s phone calls

PUBLISHED: 09:05 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:54 17 December 2019

Julia Mays, 47, has been receiving calls from strangers after problems with phone lines in Fritton and St Olaves. Picture: Julia Mays.

Julia Mays, 47, has been receiving calls from strangers after problems with phone lines in Fritton and St Olaves. Picture: Julia Mays.

Archant

A mix-up involving a damaged network cable left villagers with each other’s phone numbers and having to answer calls from strangers.

Beccles Road between Fritton and St Olaves. Picture: Google Maps.Beccles Road between Fritton and St Olaves. Picture: Google Maps.

The confusion began in Fritton and St Olaves on Saturday afternoon (December 14) after engineers had completed work on a cable on Beccles Road - the stretch of the A143 connecting the two villages.

Julia Mays, 47, who lives in St Olaves, said she was notified at 4pm that a problem with the cable had been fixed but within half an hour she started receiving phonecalls intended for somebody else.

Having realised she no longer had her own phone number, she rang that number and spoke with a woman who lives in Fritton.

"She had a load of phonecalls for me, I had a load of phonecalls for somebody else. It's just crazy," she said.

Openreach, the company which maintains infrastructure for the telephone network, said the problem can sometimes occur after work on a damaged cable.

Engineers went to Fritton on Tuesday morning (December 17) and fixed the problem.

Miss Mays said: "It's not a good time of year to not have your own phone number."

She said the issue with the lines meant she had been at risk of missing an appointment for Universal Credit.

"I've had calls from people I don't know and there are other people I am not able to get hold of," she said.

"There is effectively zero mobile phone signal in the village," she said, adding that she relies on her landline while at home.

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Miss Mays first complained to Openreach about a problem with her phone on December 6.

She said this turned out to be an area fault and engineers from the company went to the village to fix the problem.

A spokesperson for Openreach said: "We're really sorry for the confusion and our engineers will be there on Tuesday morning (December 17) to sort things out.

"We recently had to repair a damaged cable in the local area and this can sometimes cause this issue to occur.

"In the meantime, we urge anyone experiencing problems to report them to their service provider."


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