Takeaway owner’s anger over phone line mix-up

Umar Zaheer, manager of Caspian Charcoal Cuisine in Morley Street with unsold food

Umar Zaheer, manager of Caspian Charcoal Cuisine in Morley Street with unsold food

First published in News by

A Bradford takeaway owner has been left counting the cost of a phone line mix-up.

Parvez Iqbal says he has lost around £2,000 this week since his business number was disconnected.

He has also had to throw away meat and other food items which have gone out of date as customers have been unable to ring through orders to the city centre business.

And he is worried people were starting to think his Caspian Charcoal Cuisine shop in Morley Street had closed for good.

“It has been a nightmare,” said Mr Iqbal, who was without a phone line from the beginning of the week.

Problems began when he wanted to change the shop’s phone provider from Talk Talk – used by the previous owner – to Virgin Media, while keeping the existing number.

“Various promises were made about a new line being installed,” said Mr Iqbal. “But we got nowhere.”

He said three utilities – Talk Talk, Virgin Media and BT – have all been blaming each other.

Mr Iqbal said he arrived at work on Monday evening to find the phone line dead. “I spent three hours on the mobile to Virgin and Talk Talk,” he said. “BT and Talk Talk both blamed Virgin for the situation, but Virgin said BT should not have disconnected the line. They were just passing the buck all the time.

“I had to close up but still pay staff wages. Almost all my business comes via the phone, so there was no point staying open.”

He said on Tuesday he was told Virgin would ask BT to restore the line and that if there were problems, Talk Talk would restore the service. “I waited for four hours only to be told eventually that nothing could happen until Wednesday,” said Mr Iqbal.

“I have lost about £2,000. It is really frustrating. And I have been told that people were starting to think I have closed for good.”

Virgin Media engineers eventually arrived yesterday afternoon and installed the phone service. But Mr Iqbal soon found problems with internet provision.

“So they are having to come back for a fourth time to put this right,” he said, adding he was finally able to reopen his shop yesterday teatime.

A BT spokesman said Talk Talk asked for the line to be disconnected on March 31. “So we did,” he said.

“Virgin Media is a company with a separate network and it would not be straightforward to change provider but keep the number. It would take a while.”

A Talk Talk spokesman said it is possible for Talk Talk numbers to be retained when providers are switched.

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