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London restaurant launch suffers BT phone line ‘nightmare'

15 March 2016 by
London restaurant launch suffers BT phone line ‘nightmare'

The launch of a prestigious London restaurant has been hampered by what its operators have called a "nightmare" trying to get a phone line installed by BT.

Savini at Criterion in Piccadilly Circus opened at the end of last year but claims still to be without a functioning phone line four months later.

The business estimated that it had made around 1,000 calls to BT, as well as having dealt with several appointments, no-shows from BT's engineers and demands for payment, despite the fact that it claims to have paid in full throughout.

Savini's chief executive Sebastian Gatto said: "It is ridiculous that one of the world's biggest telecoms companies has been unable to provide us with the most basic service.


"The effect on our business is unquantifiable, but there can be no doubt it has been very damaging. The only way that our customers can make a reservation is via our email address, reservation@saviniatcriterion.co.uk, which is not always convenient. Moreover the situation has meant we have been unable to undertake a proper marketing and communications campaign which is vital for any new undertaking."

No-one from BT was available to comment as this article was posted online.

Savini at Criterion occupies the site vacated by Vox Restaurant, trading as Criterion, after it went into administration.

Vox Restaurant hit trouble after it was hit by an unexpected £500,000 bill as a result of a 60% rent increase on the site.

The original Savini restaurant in Milan opened in 1884 and became a haunt for celebrities such as Maria Callas, Luchino Visconti and Charlie Chaplin in the 1950s. It was taken over in 2008 by the Gatto family.

A BT spokesman said: "We apologise for the delay in providing service to Savini at Criterion restaurant. We're trying to provide them with phone and broadband as quickly as possible."

Criterion administrator lifts lid on rent troubles >>
Criterion ceases trading >>
Criterion restaurant blames rent hike for administration >>

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