Phone line woes put MS sufferer in panic

thisisoxfordshire: Mary-Jayne Allen with her alarm button Buy this photo Mary-Jayne Allen with her alarm button

FOR Mary-Jayne Allen the small button worn around her wrist is her lifeline.

The 26-year-old, who has cerebral palsy which affects her mobility, wears the panic button at all times to ensure that help can get to her if needed.

But the potential life saver needs to be connected to a phone line, which Miss Allen says she has been forced to live without since moving to her Kennington home in August, despite requesting the installation of a line more than four months ago from Sky.

Miss Allen said: “I live as independently as I can. I have cerebral palsy which means I pretty much need someone with me during the day.

“I have an alarm so if I fall at home and there is no carer I can call them. It does concern me. What would happen if I fell?

“It would be my only lifeline if I needed help in an emergency. I wouldn’t be able to live on my own without it.”

Miss Allen relies on a wheelchair and carers during the day to help her with every day activities such as washing and shopping.

She has been using a mobile phone since moving to keep in contact with her family.

She said: “It is really ridiculous it has taken months for something so simple.”

A Sky spokeswoman said the installation of the phone line relied on cabling that was due to be installed by BT Openreach.

She said: “We were very sorry that Miss Allen experienced delays with getting a phone line installed at her new property, and have apologised to her for the inconvenience caused. Recent poor weather and the festive period have delayed Openreach’s lead times for provisioning new lines.

“We are working with Openreach and the rest of the industry to see how we can help bring service times back to more acceptable levels.”

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A BT spokesman said: “There does appear to have been some breakdown in communications on this order.

“There has needed to be an amount of additional works to install new ducting and cabling required to serve this premises.

“We will be urgently liaising with Sky to progress this further to enable Openreach to complete the installation as quickly as possible.”

Despite the company’s promises Miss Allen has decided to cancel her order from Sky and has ordered a phone line from Virgin.

Comments (6)

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8:20pm Mon 7 Jan 13

fred68 says...

Does she suffer from MS or cerebral palsy.. There is a huge different.... Hopefully they will sort this out soon..
Does she suffer from MS or cerebral palsy.. There is a huge different.... Hopefully they will sort this out soon.. fred68
  • Score: 0

7:38am Tue 8 Jan 13

Feelingsmatter says...

Sloppy reporting.
Sloppy reporting. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 0

8:27am Tue 8 Jan 13

Myron Blatz says...

What's even more amazing is just how quickly BT (and the likes of City and County Councils!) can suddenly get off ther backsides and do something after dragging their heels for so long, once either the tv and newspapers get involved, or a letter appears in the Oxford Mail.
What's even more amazing is just how quickly BT (and the likes of City and County Councils!) can suddenly get off ther backsides and do something after dragging their heels for so long, once either the tv and newspapers get involved, or a letter appears in the Oxford Mail. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

11:18am Tue 8 Jan 13

arthur50 says...

miss Allen has cerible palsey not ms miss allen tryed without any luck with sky just kept getting fobbed off with excusess and virgin came and done the job in less than two weeks so yes bad publicity for the big companeys soon get the job done
miss Allen has cerible palsey not ms miss allen tryed without any luck with sky just kept getting fobbed off with excusess and virgin came and done the job in less than two weeks so yes bad publicity for the big companeys soon get the job done arthur50
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Myron Blatz says...

Indeed - remember that woman a few years ago (?) who tried and tried to get Oxford City Council to deal with rat infestation, and in the end got so desperate she wrote for help to the Oxford Mail? Needless to say, City Council finally responded - though it then tried to 'spin' the scenario for it's own benefit - not unlike famous 'volte farce' on closing public toilets, then getting the threat of potential Labour voters to abstain, and suddenly as if by a miracle, deciding to keep toilets and have them tarted-up! Dare say 'comrade rats' would have also been relieved at the decision! As for BT, the sad news is that even if you make a protest and change to supposed 'competitors' you'll almost invariably still be tied-up with the line (read the smallprint) being from monoply line supplier, BT - though think I read that Virgin may use it's own combined tv/broadband/phone cable, not BT.
Indeed - remember that woman a few years ago (?) who tried and tried to get Oxford City Council to deal with rat infestation, and in the end got so desperate she wrote for help to the Oxford Mail? Needless to say, City Council finally responded - though it then tried to 'spin' the scenario for it's own benefit - not unlike famous 'volte farce' on closing public toilets, then getting the threat of potential Labour voters to abstain, and suddenly as if by a miracle, deciding to keep toilets and have them tarted-up! Dare say 'comrade rats' would have also been relieved at the decision! As for BT, the sad news is that even if you make a protest and change to supposed 'competitors' you'll almost invariably still be tied-up with the line (read the smallprint) being from monoply line supplier, BT - though think I read that Virgin may use it's own combined tv/broadband/phone cable, not BT. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sun 13 Jan 13

tasha61 says...

The newspaper needs to get their details correct as MS has totally different effects on a person's ability. I would add that Mary-Jayne's condition is severe which seriously affects her motor abilities. I would add well-one to Virgin for responding to Mary-Jayne's needs promptly.
The newspaper needs to get their details correct as MS has totally different effects on a person's ability. I would add that Mary-Jayne's condition is severe which seriously affects her motor abilities. I would add well-one to Virgin for responding to Mary-Jayne's needs promptly. tasha61
  • Score: 0

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