Posted: Mon 14th Nov 2022

Mobile network providers slammed for ‘unacceptable delays’ in restoring service in Gwynedd

North Wales news and information

People and businesses in Criccieth are being severely let down by mobile network providers, local politicians have said.

It comes as mobile signal in the area has yet to be restored five weeks after disruption began.

Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts and MS Mabon ap Gwynfor recently visited the town on the on the Llŷn Peninsula, where they heard from businesses and tradespeople about the difficulties they face trying to go about their day-to-day work.

They were also told about the barriers they encounter when trying to get information from network providers on when services will be restored.

The local Plaid Cymru politicians have urged network providers, including EE, Vodafone and O2 to ‘get on with the job’ of restoring the service, accusing them of failing in their contractual obligations to provide customers with a reliable mobile phone service.

Businesses such as the Bryn Hir Arms pub, who use card machines via mobile signal, have been unable to charge customers for food and drink.

Their situation was compounded when the town’s ATM machines stopped working – forcing the pub to issue customers with IOUs as payment guarantees.

Local tradespeople such as builders, painters and plumbers who rely on their mobile phones to negotiate jobs have been forced to drive many miles outside of Criccieth simply to make and receive business calls.

Liz Saville Roberts MP and Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said: “Having spoken to local people and businesses in Criccieth yesterday, there is a palpable sense of frustration at the substantial delay in restoring reliable mobile phone service to the area – five weeks since the signal first went off.

“Business owners and tradespeople in particular find the glacial pace at which work to restore the service is being carried out, extremely frustrating – with no proactive communication from network providers to keep customers in the loop.

“We heard of tradespeople having to drive miles out of town simply to make and receive calls and listen to voicemail messages.

“We heard of pubs unable to use their card machines to accept payment. This is bad for business at time when people can ill afford to miss out on custom.

“This ongoing disruption to is having a significant impact on local people and businesses alike. If people are trying to run a business in a rural area, clearly having a reliable signal is something that has become increasingly important. If people are paying for a service, then they should get it.’

“Local businesses and individuals in the area want and deserve a better level of service and a better deal from their mobile phone provider. This isn’t just an inconvenience – it is a very damaging barrier to business.

“Network providers are happy enough to take people’s money yet seem unwilling to fulfil their contractual obligations to provide customers with a reliable service and fix problems in a timely manner when they arise.

“We call on network providers to work collaboratively to bring this issue to a close, restore services to local communities and recompense loyal customers for weeks of disruption.”

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