Hotel loses out on broadband users as locals begin phone campaign

Local internet and mobile phone users have hit out at the poor broadband and telecommunication service in the area.

Vodafone users in and around the town have this month suffered more than two weeks without being able to send and receive text messages and phone calls, and the issues surrounding communication in the area extend to troublesome broadband connections.

Karen Massey’s hotel business has suffered a recent drop in custom due to a faulty wireless service at the Cross Keys Hotel in Denholm.

The hotel was plagued by frequent losses of BT broadband signal last month and in recent years. Ms Massey, who runs the hotel with partner Dave Bennett, was forced to withdraw the broadband facility, a significant selling point at the hotel, after guests began to experience losses of signal.

“Because we couldn’t respond promptly to emails about bookings some people went elsewhere,” said Ms Massey.

“We have had intermittent problems over the years with broadband but decided not to provide it to guests because if you’re offering a service, you can’t offer it intermittently. They can access it now, but we were three weeks without it last month.

“I lost a lot of business from that. Guests who we had booked to stay were phoning ahead and asking if we had the internet back up and running. When I said no, they would book elsewhere.

“There’s obviously a problem in Denholm, because we’ve had people coming in for internet when it’s down in their house.”

Local MSP John Lamont will meet Vodafone and Ofcom representatives in the coming days to discuss the mobile provider’s recent blackout in the area.

“We will be looking to ensure that measures are put in place so that this cannot be allowed to happen again,” said Mr Lamont.

A Vodafone spokesman today told the Hawick News: “We would again like to apologise to our customers that were recently affected by the loss of coverage. The sites have remained stable for the last five days.”

Meanwhile, a Facebook campaign called Signal as Standard for UK Citizens (SAS4UK) has been launched by Denholm man Mark Fulcher.