Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Ill Robert's phoneline lifeline gets reconnected

Switching your phone company shouldn't be a matter of life and death, but try telling that to Robert John Cromie from east Belfast.

The disabled pensioner, who is recovering from a heart attack, must wear a cardiac monitor which is hooked up to his phone.

Or, at least it was – until he decided to change his TV, broadband and phone services to Sky, away from his previous provider Virgin.

His Sky TV was subsequently installed on April 16, followed by his phone services three days later, on April 19 – which is when the problems began, according to his granddaughter Samantha.

"They moved the phone from the living room into the hallway where my granddad can no longer hear it," Miss Cromie said.

"But the worst thing is that his heart monitor is now disconnected and I'm really worried about something happening to him."

Samantha (20) said she had tried to contact Sky for several days but to no avail.

"I just don't know what else to do. I haven't been sleeping because I'm so worried about my grandad," she added. When the Belfast Telegraph contacted the company on her behalf, a Sky spokeswoman said that it was unaware that Mr Cromie required a specific location for his home phone due to his health condition.

"Subsequently we were advised that Mr Cromie suffers from ill-health and needs to be close to his landline phone, and that the new site is therefore not suitable," she said. "We arranged for a BT Openreach engineer to attend Mr Cromie's property to move the socket into the hallway.

"We're very sorry for Mr Cromie's recent issue with his phoneline installation, which was due to having two separate phone sockets in his house operated by different providers.

"We have arranged to have the BT Openreach socket which his Sky phone service uses moved into a location in his home accessible to him.

"We have apologised to Mr Cromie for any inconvenience he has experienced and have also offered him a goodwill gesture."

Samantha added: "I can't tell you how much it means to us that things have been sorted out."

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