A Moray businesswoman has been offered just £10 compensation by BT after being left without a phone line or internet link for more than a fortnight.
Moira Proctor said the money was just a fraction of the trade her chip shop lost as people in the village of Portknockie faced a communications “nightmare” in the wake of severe flooding.
Other angry residents last night criticised the deals they had been offered by the telecoms giant – which range from a month’s free broadband to no recompense at all.
Retired electrician George Innes was one of many who went without a working phone from early August, when the line was washed away by heavy flooding.
The 71-year-old said he would be contacting BT to voice his concerns over its treatment of customers.
“I hope we get something back,” he said.
“They should be compensating the whole village. Everyone is out of pocket.”
And the local chip shop, which was unable to take orders by phone for 17 days and had no internet for 15, has been offered just £10.57.
Portknockie Chip Shop owner Miss Proctor said the £10.57 she had been offered did not come close to making up for the disruption to her trade.
“It has been a nightmare,” the 41-year-old said.
“We were without internet for 15 days and telephone for 17 days.
“It has certainly hit the business. We get a lot of orders over the phone and not just from customers in the village but from surrounding areas too.
“If BT had simply explained from the very beginning that they were encountering problems and it was going to take a while to fix, it would’ve been far better than getting a different answer every time you phoned.”
The Victoria Hotel was unable to take card payments until it was reconnected – to the wrong line.
Owner John Scott said he definitely noticed a downturn in trade at the venue.
He added: “I don’t think BT have taken any account whatsoever of how important being connected to the phone and internet is for businesses around here.”
A spokesman for BT said anyone with outstanding faults should report it to their service provider.
“The problem with Portknockie was the line was washed away with heavy flooding,” he said.
“We did all we could to protect it, but BT would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by these crossed lines.”
Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said businesses relied on phones and the internet for their livelihoods and he hoped BT would do everything possible to prevent a repeat of the situation.
“I appreciate that severe weather can cause disruption to services, and BT have now confirmed to me that they have resolved all issues brought to their attention, including ones which I raised on behalf of constituents,” he said.
“The key point now is that the repair work needs to be able to withstand future such weather events and provide resilience for the local community.”