Confusion as neighbours' phone numbers are swapped

A pinch point on Drayton Wood Road in Hellesdon appears to have been installed backwards. Neighbours

Paul Bell, whose phone line has been crossed with his neighbour Picture: ELLA WILKINSON - Credit: ELLA WILKINSON

People living in a suburb of Norwich have been faced with confusion after a landline fault left them receiving each other's phone calls.

On Friday, June 18, a number of landlines in Hellesdon dropped out of action in a fault reported to Openreach, which is responsible for the lines.

However, when the drop-out was addressed it created a second, unexpected problem - people's phone numbers were swapped.

Paul Bell, who lives on Drayton Wood Road, first noticed the problem when somebody rang his home asking to speak to Jan - a name that is not associated with anybody living in his home.

He said: "I didn't think much of it to begin with because wrong numbers do happen, but then it also turned out members of my family were trying to call me and just couldn't get through.

"I thought I'd then try and dial my own number from a mobile and it just didn't work.

"I then rang the number that tells you what number you called from and it was completely different from my own."

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Mr Bell then learned that a number of his neighbours had also been receiving calls for wrong numbers - and that he had temporarily ended up with the number of somebody living on the very same road.

He added: "I put a post on social media and I think quite a few others have been affected by the same thing. 

"It's just amusing that in this day and age, phone lines can still get crossed."

A spokesperson for Openreach said: " Last week, a fault in the Hellesdon area resulted in our engineers having to replace a major underground cable.

"After a cable replacement we do occasionally get crossed lines and we currently have a very small number of people reporting crossed lines in the area which we’re working through as quickly as possible.

"We’re very sorry for any inconvenience caused and would ask that anyone still experiencing problems contact their service provider to report a fault if they haven’t done so already.”

Anyone with issues to report can do so either on the Openreach website or by calling  0800 023 2023.