Gran wants compensation for phone line woes

Jean Whittington from Nelson Close, Sompting, was not happy that her phone line stopped working. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Jean Whittington from Nelson Close, Sompting, was not happy that her phone line stopped working. Picture: Kate Shemilt

A grandmother would like compensation from Virgin Media after her granddaughter had to call from Ireland to get her phone line fixed.

After months of problems and a string of rescheduled appointments, the line was fixed in 20 minutes after Jean Whittington’s granddaughter Sarah, 30, called from Navan in the Republic of Ireland to complain.

Jean Whittington from Nelson Close, Sompting, holding a picture of her granddaughter, who got the phone fixed. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Jean Whittington from Nelson Close, Sompting, holding a picture of her granddaughter, who got the phone fixed. Picture: Kate Shemilt

The 80-year-old from Nelson Close in Sompting said: “It is awful that my granddaughter had to call from Ireland to get it fixed when we had been calling every day and nothing was done about it. I have rather a forceful granddaughter.”

The retired nursing home carer said the problems began in November, when the phone line would randomly cut out. She complained in December to Virigin, but was told the phone line was fine so Jean and her husband Jeff, 80, bought new phones costing £60.

Sadly, the problems persisted and on January 18, the line was cutting out again. Mrs Whittington said she phoned Virgin on her mobile phone the next day, and an operator booked an appointment which they then cancelled, claiming the fault on the phone line was affecting the whole area and would be resolved by 6pm.

After ‘having no joy’, Mrs Whittington said she called back on Saturday, and the operator sent an engineer out on Monday, who established the fault in a phone line box on Hill Rise Avenue but could not fix it himself.

Jean Whittington from Nelson Close, Sompting, holding a picture of her granddaughter, who got the phone fixed. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Jean Whittington from Nelson Close, Sompting, holding a picture of her granddaughter, who got the phone fixed. Picture: Kate Shemilt

At 6pm that day, the grandmother said she spoke to three different people, who said it would be fixed the next morning – but no-one came on Tuesday, despite her waiting indoors.

Upset, Mrs Whittington called her granddaughter, who then phoned Virgin to say they had ‘treated her terribly’ and ‘put them straight’. An engineer was sent the next day and reportedly fixed the fault in 20 minutes.

Jean said the stress had not been good for her and her husband’s health. She said: “I think really they should compensate us for the phones because they were perfectly alright, and they said they weren’t.”

A Virgin Media spokesman said they would not be refunding the price of the phones, as they had no notes on their system that the call handler advised them to buy new handsets. They said: “We are sorry that there was an issue with the Whittington’s phone line and are pleased to have been able to resolve the issue. The issue was reported on 19 January and a technician visited the property on 23 January, identifying a fault in the customer’s area. The problem was fixed that day and Mr Whittington’s phone line has been back in regular usage since 24 January.”