A HOMEOWNER was left nine months with a 'pathetic' broadband connection despite numerous visits by engineers to install a faster connection.

The required connection had been installed in a grey box on the outside of Colin Boylett's house, near Kington months before the process was complete.

Mr Boylett, who owns Pound Farm in Kingswood, has seen four of his neighbours receive the faster connection during his nine months wait.

After contacting the Hereford Times last week BT have since connected him to the faster broadband.

He says that despite numerous phone calls and visits by engineers fitting extra poles and equipment the connection was still not completed for months.

"It's incredible that Open Reach cannot simply telephone the engineer who came here to confirm that our box was 'live'," said Mr Boylett.

"Instead it continued to show on their system that work needed to be done when in fact it didn't.

"I think we have had visits from twelve BT or Open Reach personnel or their subcontractors.

"Many calls have been received from both BT and Open Reach making appointments that have not been kept. There have also been appointments made that were subsequently cancelled.

"Workmen have come from Worcester, Shrewsbury and Brecon only to depart leaving work for others.

"The level of incompetence is staggering and the fact that I was within a few feet of the box that BT Open Reach would not connect was a daily frustration.

"The connection that I was left with was pathetic and I couldn't upload anything."

Mr Boylett also criticised BT for cancelling his orders and opening a new one in order to avoid criticism of lengthy delays.

He says that five orders were made over the nine months which hadn't been cancelled by Open Reach delaying his connection.

He added: "Open Reach still show these contracts as open and until they were cancelled they couldn't complete the process.

"It became evident that this practice of cancelling contracts was used routinely by BT to avoid criticism of lengthy delays and so they meet targets.

"BT cancel the order and open a new one as they don't want the order flashing up as taking so long.

"The procedures whereby BT interact with Open Reach, which they own, could almost be designed to encourage mistakes and thwart 'customer care', which seems to be an alien concept altogether."

In response a spokesman for BT said: "Extensive engineering work has been required in order to provide new services for Mr Boylett.

"Most of the work has been completed now, with the final part due to be finished at the start of next week.

"BT is very sorry it’s taken longer than expected to connect Mr Boylett due to the scale of the work needed."