Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Blackout knocks out phones too

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MANY OF US in the general Rockley, Navy/Marine Gardens and Dayrells Road area have noticed in recent months that whenever the power goes off, our telephone lines go dead immediately – both voice and Internet/broadband, no dial tone, nothing.

So in order to check with Light & Power we have to resort to our cellphones, which mean that any unfortunate person without a cellphone has no means of communication during a blackout, which seems to be a very new development.

Everyone says that in all of their individual living memory this has never happened, unless it was a major problem and even then most are hard pressed to recall both electricity and telephone services going down (and coming back up) together.

Faulty supply The telephone lines have always been known to stay operational, even during prolonged power outages.

I would hazard an educated guess that the exchange or main junction unit in the area has a faulty back-up power supply or its batteries are bad and no one has checked it for the last four or five months.

Of course, none of us want to call LIME’s 800 Customer Service number because you are likely to start off an Abbott-and-Costello or Laurel-and-Hardy type routine (pick your old-time favourite comic combo) which may go something like this . . . (after the usual gratuities).

Customer: I would like to report that in recent months my telephone service – dial tone, everything – goes down as soon as the power goes off and only comes back when the power comes back on. LIME Rep: Could you please give me the telephone number in question.

Customer: My number is 246-XXX-XXXX. LIME Rep: Thank you, could you stay on the line while I check your account status. Customer: Yes. (Wondering why his/her account status would have anything to do with a power outage causing a telephone outage.)

LIME Rep: Sir/Madam, thanks for waiting. Everything looks in order, so could you check to make sure you telephone is plugged in properly.

Customer: Yes, I’m speaking to you on the same line now that the power is on. LIME Rep: Okay, well could you check the other extensions in the house to see that they are working?

A bit peeved Customer: (Getting a bit peeved now) Maybe you misunderstood me but I called to report that the telephone service goes dead whenever there is a power blackout and in all my life this has never happened until a few months ago and all my neighbours are complaining of the same problem.

LIME Rep: That may be so, Sir/Madam, but please allow me to do my job so that we can better serve you. Now, have you experienced any other similar outages? Customer: (Getting more peeved now) Why are you continuing with this line of questioning.

It’s not my line per se, it’s the whole neighbourhood whenever the electricity goes off. LIME Rep: Sir/Madam, please, there is no need to be irritated. I’m just trying to do my job…

How many of you out there can identify with this sort of thing? Anyway, LIME, please, come and check out the back-up power supply in the general Rockley, Navy/Marine Gardens and Dayrells Road area.  Thanks in advance.

DAVID G. BROOKS

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