Phone problems at Norwich business nearly made couple bankrupt

A couple have claimed they have lost out on �25,000 worth of income after they were unable to receive calls at their Norwich business.

Rob and Jill Wilson opened their photo printing business Rapture Photographics, in St John's Close, off Hall Road, at the end of 2007 and had inherited the telephone line from the previous occupier.

When they first moved in and received very few phone calls, they put it down to the recession, but 18 months on, they realised there must have been a fault with the line. It emerged that although people would dial their number and could hear a ringing tone at their end of the line, Mr and Mrs Wilson were completely unaware of incoming calls.

BT engineers investigated the problem and paid the couple �1,000 in compensation. The couple later discovered that their business was, unbeknown to them, registered as ex-directory and was not included in the phone book or on directory enquiries websites.

The problem has now been rectified, but the couple have said they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Mr Wilson, 47, who has been a professional wildlife photographer for more than two decades, said: 'The phone just wouldn't ring.

'It all came to head when Jill's dad rang us 16 times in one day and we just couldn't hear the phone ringing this end. The bank even tried to ring us 30 times over two days. It's been a detriment to our business.

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'People thought we had closed down. We had people who lived locally come in to make sure we had not gone out of business.

'It's caused us massive stress and strain; we nearly went bankrupt because of it. We've lost at least �25,000 worth of income.'

Mr and Mrs Wilson, who have two children, have since changed over to Virgin and have seen their sales increase by 25pc within two months since the problem was rectified.

As far as they are aware, the same telephone number has been used at the shop for many years.

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