Technical fault leaves mobiles out of action

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A fault has left Vodafone mobile phone customers without reception in many parts of Berkhamsted for almost a month.

It means that some doctors have reverted to using pagers to keep in touch while out on calls.

In one case a GP could not be contacted to be informed of additional visits she needed to carry out while doing a home visit.

Practice manager at Boxwell Road Surgery Pete Lloyd said: “It caused a little bit of furore, she came back to the surgery and we still had the visits to do and as a result one was delayed by 24 hours.”

It is not the first time that Vodafone has had problems in the town – in April mobile phones were left useless for weeks because of a cable fault.

Customer Nick Holland said: “It is rather annoying. They won’t tell you why and they won’t tell you when it is going to be fixed.

“The network is very intermittent – very patchy.

“I think there are several hundred people who are affected by it.”

In April, fixing the faulty cable responsible for the reception problems was delayed because permission was needed from a landlord to access the site.

The latest cable fault has occurred at the same location, where building work is being carried out. Now Vodafone and BT are working to install another cable to the area’s base station to prevent the problem from happening again.

A Vodafone spokesman said: “We wish to apologise to our customers in Berkhamsted. We have been working with BT to repair the fault but they have tried on several occasions to gain access to the land where the damage has occurred but the landlord has refused access. We are currently working with BT, and Network Rail, to reroute the link to the site and restore service.”