Lamont demands talks over Vodafone signal issue

MOBILE phone giants Vodafone have been forced to apologise again after its Hawick signal was lost once more last weekend.

It means customers in the Teviotdale town have endured either limited or no access to calls or texts for the best part of the last three weeks.

And the latest communications blackout has prompted local MSP John Lamont – who has accused Vodafone of “total incompetence” – to demand a meeting with the firm’s UK chief executive Guy Lawrence.

The result of Vodafone’s signal failure throughout most of April is estimated to have cost businesses to the tune of thousands of pounds.

But the multi-national firm have now promised a full review of its mast site in an attempt to solve the issue.

A Vodafone spokesman said: “We apologise again to our customers in some parts of Hawick that have experienced another loss of coverage.

“We monitor the network 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we noticed late on Friday evening a further alarm at the site where the mast at Hawick links into.

“An engineer visited the site on Saturday and found that there is water leaking into our antenna system and the relevant parts were replaced on Sunday morning and coverage restored.”

Mr Lamont has arranged a meeting with communications regulators Ofcom to raise concerns with Vodafone’s Hawick service.

The Roxburgh, Berwickshire and Ettrick MSP said: “It has been yet another weekend where many customers of Vodafone have been left without mobile services. “They seem totally unable to provide a reliable service and I have received many complaints from constituents who are all fed-up with the situation.

“What makes matters worse is that their customer services are providing little or no help. It is unsurprising that many Vodafone customers in the area are trying to switch providers, but Vodafone are even refusing to hand out the PAC codes they need to make the switch.”

The Vodafone spokesman replied: “We would be happy to meet with John Lamont MSP to discuss our future plans to ensure a continuity of service.”