Herefordshire businesswoman 'hits out at BT over broadband' header image

Published: 20th Feb 2015

A businesswoman from a rural town in Herefordshire has hit out at BT over the broadband service they provide, as it's so poor she's been forced to change her working hours.

Sophie Matthews-Paul, an analyst and consultant in the digital printing industry, is just one of many people from Lyonshall and the surrounding area that are at the end of their tether with slow and inconsistent internet provision, the Hereford Times reports.

She has been forced to shift her working hours to 04:00 to 08:00 GMT, as this is when there are less people online and the broadband is more likely to work properly, rather than the signal dropping off.

"To see our rural community fighting for fair treatment over a BT problem is infuriating and unnecessary. We are always put at the bottom of the pile, it seems, when it comes to prioritising," Ms Matthews-Paul said.

She told the newspaper that a lack of consistent connectivity has meant that she has been forced to work the incredibly early shift for almost two weeks.

The problem started when her internet service began to deteriorate so much, that by the early evening, the connection was almost non-existent.

At first she phoned her main service provider, Claranet, but no-one seemed to be able to help. After another week, a BT engineer tested the line and told her it was clear, suggesting there was no problem.

Ms Matthews-Paul became so desperate that she contacted an alternative firm and set up a second account through a different phone number, but the same fault resurfaced.

"The new provider, Merula, then escalated the issue through the higher echelons of BT Wholesale - but, despite my knowing what was going on, the other 5,000 people affected were still being fobbed off with excuses," she explained.

In her opinion, BT have been more of a hindrance than a help, as each department has blamed another and there has been endless denial from the firm.

The company confirmed that there was a fault on the Kington exchange, which was causing slower internet speeds, but said this only affected a small number of customers. In a statement, BT said the issue was now fixed and apologised for any inconvenience experienced.