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Hedone claims BT line problems cost £5,000-£10,000 in lost business

05 July 2013 by

The manager of Michelin-starred Hedone restaurant in Chiswick demanded an apology from telecoms provider BT, as she claimed that a catalogue of problems with the business's phone line had cost it £5,000-£10,000 in lost business.

Aurelie Jean-Marie-Flore, front-of-house manager at the restaurant, said that she had not been happy with the phone line at the restaurant since it opened in 2011.

Originally, the restaurant planned to have two lines, arriving at the same phone, that staff could then direct to either the kitchen or reception. Instead, Hedone ended up with four lines on two phones.

So when BT offered to fix the problems in February this year, quoting £1,700, Jean-Marie-Flore took the firm up on its offer. But, according to her, this led to even more problems.

At first, an engineer turned up to fix the lines but the equipment required did not arrive, and then when an engineer finally revisited the site to start work again, he claimed that the upgrade quoted for the restaurant was not the right one for the business. Hedone was then presented with a new quote for £3,400.

Jean-Marie-Flore decided that this was too high a price for an independent business to pay and cancelled the upgrade. But a week after that, the restaurant's phone line was cut off. And then when it was reconnected, staff realised that while they could receive calls, they could not make any. Once that was fixed, one of the lines "disappeared", according to the Jean-Marie-Flore.

"We are in Chiswick. People who want to come to the restaurant, come from central London. They are not going to come all the way on the district line without calling us. We have had some nights and especially lunches where we have had fewer customers than we usually have. It is heart breaking since it has been out of our hands to do anything about this," she said.

The problem has been resolved since last Friday, although Jean-Marie-Flore said the business was now still being charged £130 for a new line.

A BT spokeswoman said: "BT would like to apologise to Hedone for this situation. There was an initial delay and as the customer was not satisfied they cancelled the phone line the day it was due to be installed, resulting in the disconnection. We apologise profusely and will be in touch to arrange suitable redress."

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