Firm hit by phone hell

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HIJACKING a company's phone line is bad enough, but to leave it disconnected for six weeks is deplorable.

Ian Cocker's Attercliffe engineering firm was cut off on December 15 after Sky ordered his phone company Opal to hand over his account, claiming he wanted to switch supplier.

Mr Cocker says he knew nothing about this and when he protested, Sky offered him a new – and completely different – phone number. Then it cut him off.

His business, which makes steel parts for hi-tech machines, is still without a line, he is unable to get his old number back and Opal has charged him a 300 termination fee.

Ian, of Ian Cocker Engineering, Attercliffe Road, said: "As you can imagine the situation is costing thousands of pounds in lost business.

"Customers and suppliers have been very disappointed and are complaining of their inability to reach our company via our landline.

"To make matters worse, when I rang Sky on my mobile, they told me to put it in writing. Ofcom told me to seek legal advice. I want 1,000-a-week in compensation. I've tried everything, Action Desk is my last resort."


A SKY spokeswoman said: "Regrettably, the takeover of the line happened in error when an order was placed for an address very similar to Mr Cocker's.

"We will arrange a refund of the disconnection fee charged by Opal of 300 plus VAT."

Sky has told Mr Cocker it cannot get his old business number back and it is up to Opal.

But Action Desk has spoken to BT Openreach – which handles connections – and it has confirmed Sky still has the telephone line. The firm must contact Openreach and ask them to reinstate it.

We'll keep you posted.

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