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When I got home this afternoon about three I found that vehicular access to my property had been coned off by BT. This was not emergency work as they have been working at various points in the road all week.
When I asked them to move a cone (it would have been about four feet) to allow me access (the actual access was clear of the work taking place) I was told to "park round the corner and walk back". I pointed out my wife was disabled and this as not an option and was then told to "park up and wait until we finish". I told him my wife was in some discomfort and needed to get indoors.
He turned his back and ignored me. When I got out of the car and moved the cone myself he stood four square in the entrance so that I could not get in.
I said that I didn't think that he could deny me access and he told me to take it up with the police. I didn't really think it was a police matter, but as we live opposite a police station anyway I went over to ask advice.
A very nice policewoman came out, listened, and then went across to "see what she could do". Miraculously, the work had just finished and my access was quickly cleared.
By what right does BT, or any other utility, deny an occupant, particularly one with special needs who is registered with the council, BT, the water, gas and electricity as a vulnerable person, access with no warning or notice?
I could understand it for a gas leak or some similar danger but this, I find out, is fairly routine cable replacement.
Yes. As luck would have it I'm a shareholder, so perhaps I can be very firm, but always polite!
Utilities do not have the right to block access unless it's emergency work.
I doubt what you experienced is BT Openreach policy, what you encountered was an everyday arrogant idiot, and with hindsight you should have contacted the police immediately as you were being denied access to your house unnecessarily...
Make sure you send the letter to the right company.
BT Openreach are not the same company as British Telecom, and as luck would have it,one of the contact us options is headed I want to report rude, unhelpful or unsavoury behaviour displayed by an Openreach employee
Thanks for that. Noted.
Possibly just another one of those stroppy workperson's on a bonus system.
We had the same with a gas utility company a few years back, when they failed to reinstate (as per promise) back to the original 'landscaping' specifications.
A telephone call to management soon resolved the issues!.
Would perhaps point out, that the law as changed regarding utility companies digging up and taking over etc. Local council's can now fine culprits for wrong practices?.
Unfortunately you will, from time to time, encounter someone who lives in a different world in terms of understanding how to relate to others.
It's a pity, but it's a fact, and no amount of complaining to BT is going to undo what was done on that occasion. It might, however, prevent this individual from repeating his bad behaviour in future, although I very much doubt it.
Well, partial result already.
Because I knew they would have needed council permission to partially close the road, I sough advice from them, the council, on whether BT were permitted to act in this way.
Less than twelve hours later I had a personal visit, this morning, Saturday, with a promise that BT would be reminded of their responsibilities to vulnerable residents when they block accesses.
Its alright reminding BT about their responsibilities, but will BT remind their staff or sub-contractors?.
Perhaps BT might offer a personal apology, and a bunch of flowers for the good lady?.
As regards to vulnerable residents, I have had a recent tiff with Royal Mail customer services and what appears to be apparent their lack of understanding about Disability Discrimination or the Act applied to that!.
"a personal apology, and a bunch of flowers for the good lady"
It would be a nice gesture, but it would take more than that to erase the look of humiliation on my wife's face as she sat on the stairlift with a towel pressed against herself, and urine trickling down her legs, or to make me forget her sobs, as I spent two hours disinfecting the stairlift and scrubbing the stair carpet, because "of the extra work she caused me" when such work was entirely the fault of a crass and insensitive BT employee.
Disability is about more than being able to get into Tesco for a loaf of bread.
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