02 are telling customers that a transmitter fault affecting coverage for hundreds of customers should be fixed by Wednesday (June 22).
The customers in parts of Newton Stewart have now been out of service for almost three weeks but 02 are telling them there is no fault in the area.
Following endless telephone calls to the customer service lines, some customers have been told by 02 staff that Newton Stewart isn’t appearing on their map, no fault has been recorded and that removing the sim card, giving it a quick rub and replacing it should sort out the problem.
An 02 spokeswoman finally told The Gazette today that a new part should be fitted and up and running asap.
But customers have been contacting The Gazette to say that they have given up and bought sim cards from rival companies simply to stay in touch with friends and family.
Even MP Russell Brown cannot get any sense from 02, who don’t seem to feel the issue is worth looking into despite promising a fix to a broken mast nearby.
02 admitted two weeks ago that a fault on a transmitter was to be fixed once a part had been sought, but this hasn’t made any difference. However, when customers begin to make their way outside Newton Stewart a full signal returns just metres out the town and in some parts of Minnigaff.
The MP said: “Local people are at the end of their tether with O2. We all rely on our mobiles, and even more so in rural areas like ours. While everyone understands technical problems arise now and again, people expect them to be sorted quickly.
“In total, over the last month the O2 network in Newton Stewart has been down for almost three weeks. Quite frankly, this is appalling level of service and O2 needs to start taking it seriously.
“What makes me even more frustrated is that O2 seem to have no idea about the fault when people call to complain about it. I tried calling Customer Services myself and was shocked that after nearly three weeks without signal O2 told me they had no idea about the problem in Newton Stewart and no one had reported it. They even went as far as to suggest it may be down to black spots in coverage and I should take a look at their coverage checker!
“People feel like they are being fobbed off when they call and O2 claim they’ve never heard about the fault before, when clearly that isn’t true. It’s rather ironic that a telephone company seems to struggle to get the basics of their own communications right.
“I’ve called on O2 to get this sorted immediately. I struggle to understand what problem can take three weeks to sort.”
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