Kent

Kent firm to close after months of TalkTalk faults

Mark Taylor in his warehouse
Image caption Mark Taylor has already had to lay-off five members of staff because of the issue

A family-run business has been forced into administration following months of problems with its telephone system, its owner has said.

Mark Taylor said phone lines at Anglefix in Goudhurst, Kent, went dead in November and were not properly restored until mid-January.

Customers were unable to place orders resulting in losses of £40,000 a month.

Provider TalkTalk apologised "unreservedly" and said it was discussing appropriate compensation.

Anglefix creates architectural ironmongery and customers were able to call and order supplies, which they would receive the same day.

'Crushed'

But when the phone lines went dead, no-one was able to place orders.

"We contacted our supplier and they said the phones would be up again within a few hours," Mr Taylor said.

"Unfortunately Thursday went by, and Friday went by, and the following week went by, and we still had no phone service."

The service was not properly restored until mid-January, Mr Taylor said.

Image caption The value of the formerly profitable firm has dropped by three quarters, according to Mr Taylor

"I employ my wife and my son, along with another five members of staff," he added.

"They have had to be let go because with no phones ringing there are no jobs."

Two of the company's three sites, in Tonbridge and Forest Row, closed at the end of January.

Mr Taylor's son Richard had been planning to take on the business with his brother, when their parents retired.

He said they feel "crushed" by the situation.

In 2017 Mr Taylor paid around £8,000 for a five-year phone contract.

TalkTalk has said it was experiencing some issues with "a legacy solution", and has offered to transfer Mr Taylor's business to a more reliable system at no extra cost.

A TalkTalk spokesperson said: "We apologise unreservedly for the service Mr Taylor received which fell well below our expected standards.

"We have been in contact to discuss his situation and will continue to liaise with him over an appropriate level of compensation."

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