I need a real person from BT to answer my urgent call

An elderly neighbour’s alarm system is linked to a landline, but it is out of order

Last modified on Tue 1 Jun 2021 02.02 EDT

My 97-year-old neighbour has an alarm system supplied by social services linked to her landline. She has a fob she can press to summon help if she has a fall.

The problem is that her landline is out of order. I reported the fault to BT but found it impossible to speak to a real person. The automated system confirmed there was a fault on her line and promised an engineer would call – but only before midnight on a date four days away.

Given the circumstances, I need to get her line repaired as a priority but this is proving impossible.

OW, Ilkley

I sent this email on to a contact in the Openreach media team at 11am, and by 5pm the company – which manages the telecoms infrastructure on behalf of all of the providers, including BT – had sent an engineer who had fixed the problem. Openreach has had some criticism on these pages in the past but on this occasion it really stepped up when needed.

You told us you were amazed the Guardian had it fixed in a few hours. It was just a case of knowing the right person to ask.

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