It’s Friday 13th for telephone users as 01296 lines go down

Phones haven't been working
Phones haven't been working

An eerie computer fault on Friday the 13th left residents with crossed lines and a telephone exchange in ‘chaos’.

The outage on the Cheddington exchange left many on the 01296 area code without either phone or internet services for up to seven days – but for others it meant they began getting phone calls intended for someone else.

For a week Margaret Kelland, who lives near Long Marston, was unable to receive her own calls or ring out.

However she did start receiving phone calls meant for a different BT customer.

Margaret said: “It was annoying at first but then it was amusing that we became linked to someone else.

“My neighbour actually got to know her neighbour as he runs a business and she was getting all of his calls.

“She could still make calls out but we lost our internet and phone for a week.”

After getting in touch with BT, Margaret managed to get an engineer to check on the fault.

He fixed her line last Tuesday (May 17), but within 30 minutes it failed and left Margaret with the same problem.

She added: “We heard from our Openreach engineer that the exchange was in chaos, with dozens of lines affected.

“It seemed pretty significant at the time that the exchange went down on Friday the 13th!”

A spokesperson for BT was unavailable at the time of going to press.