Hitchin pensioner left without 24-hour ‘lifeline’ after broadband goes down

Michael Mansi, 80 has been cut off from his phone and internet by Plusnet.

Michael Mansi, 80 has been cut off from his phone and internet by Plusnet. - Credit: Archant

An 80-year-old pensioner who has experienced heart problems after a double heart bypass and is partially sighted in his right eye has been left without a lifeline to medical assistance after his phone and broadband stopped working – and slammed his ‘uncaring’ provider.

Michael Mansi, who lives alone in Hitchin’s Brook View, relies on a landline telephone service called ‘24-hour lifeline’ – should he need immediate medical assistance.

Mr Mansi, who also experiences regular bouts of dizziness, first became aware his phone line and internet connectivity had failed on Saturday, March 18.

However, despite repeated calls and letters to his service provider Plusnet – which provides broadband, landline, digital television and mobile services with BT as its parent company – at the time of going to press the firm hadn’t fixed the service which Mr Mansi says could save his life in the event of a fall.

“As an old person I feel they should hang their heads in shame – as their so-called customer service has been nothing short of a disgrace,” Mr Mansi told the Comet.

“The way they have treated an old and infirm person is absolutely terrible. I’m disgusted.

“I know I am only an old man and probably very low down on their list of priorities, but my medical assistance telephone line could literally save my life.

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“For them to blatantly not show any concern in the slightest that they have caused my ‘lifeline’ not to work is not only very worrying to me but also extremely poor service. Do they not care about their reputation? They certainly don’t care about providing me with a service that works.

“I am not impressed.”

Mr Mansi is currently receiving treatment for his right eye in the form of injections to help with stabilising his sight. He also has mobility issues relating to his double heart bypass and says the stress this situation and Plusnet has caused him is not helpful to his overall health.

He has made a number of calls to the Plusnet helpline over the last ten days and was promised he was a priority case due to his age and the lack of a lifeline. He said the customer service team then filled in ‘welfare forms’ and advised him an engineer would attend as soon as possible.

However when the specialist failed to arrive, Mr Mansi, who needed an urgent injection to restore the sight in his eye last week, was again left waiting. He added sadly: “If you look at all the previous recordings and correspondence Plusnet – and by definition BT – have fed me a load of nonsense.”

No response was forthcoming from BT at the time of going to press.