Wednesday 30th Peter’s sister phoned us to say she was having problems with her telephone, there was a crackling on the line and I could hardly hear her, I said I would report it for her. I looked up the number in the phone book, and pressed all the appropriate buttons till I got in the queue to speak to an advisor. When the young man answered he said would I hold while he tested the line, he chatted to me while it was being tested and said he was based in India and the sun was shining. After about five minutes he said the line had been tested and it was working fine and the fault was inside the house. I asked if they could send an engineer round to find the fault as my SIL is nearly ninety frail and vulnerable and needs the phone. He said it would cost £99 for a home call but we could test the phones in the house and there were more details in the phone book and on the internet. We then went over to her house and first checked the line by replacing her phone with one we brought with us. We then disconnected all the phones and reconnected each one individually, still no joy. Peter looked up at the telegraph wires connected to the house and noted that they looked faulty with bits dangling off them.
I went through the phone book trying to find a local phone engineer who would come out and check the wiring in the house but nothing listed.
I then got back on the phone to India, this time using my mobile, I requested a house call happy to pay £99 as she needs the phone after 45 mins talking to my very helpful new best friend in India he agreed to put my SIL forward as a ‘welfare’ case and promised a visit within 24 hours after chatting a bit longer he confirmed an engineer would be out to her within 24-48 hours. The call cost over £10 fortunately I was using my Tesco free credit so it didn’t actually cost me anything, however the charge was over £10.
SIL has mobility issues, uses a stair lift and has a panic button installed, she is very vulnerable, and although not wealthy has sufficient money to pay for a house call when needed. So why can’t I pick up the phone and call a local telephone engineer to attend the house and check out the equipment? Before we left we bought her a mobile Pay as you go Phone, the girl in Tesco set it all up and got it working for her, so at least she had a working phone by her bed over night and she has called us twice to prove she knows how to use it. On returning home I phoned Age UK to ask it there was a better way of dealing with this problem, they did not know of anything but referred me to the Citizens advise Bureau.
I checked with SIL yesterday who said nobody had appeared as yet. She phoned up today to say a man has been and the fault was with them outside the house but it was a two man job and he would be back this afternoon with a mate to fix it, still waiting to hear from her that the line is fixed. I will update when we have more news.