FED-UP workers at a Wearside business park say trade is suffering due to mobile phone network problems.
Companies at Rainton Bridge Industrial Estate, in Houghton, say they have had been without a phone signal for a number of weeks when using their mobiles in the area.
Bosses at EE, which was created when Orange and T-Mobile merged in 2010, today told the Echo that there is a fault with providing service to phones in the area and that engineers are working to fix the issue.
David Laverick pays EE more than £1,000 a month to provide mobile phones for 30 drivers at his company, DLC Freight Express Ltd, which is based at Rainton Bridge.
But Mr Laverick says the past fortnight has been a difficult one for the business, with workers only able to make calls from the handsets once they are away from their Mercantile Road premises.
“My staff haven’t had any signal on their phones when they’ve been in this area,” he said. “When you try to ring out you get a couple of bleeps and then it doesn’t work.
“I pay £1,000 a month for the phones and I haven’t cancelled the contract because we are in it for 24 months.”
Maureen Wilson and her husband, Brian, run a company which services woodwork machines and say they have been affected for the past fortnight.
“It’s just appalling,” said Mrs Wilson. “We’ve been messed about for the past weeks and heard different things when we’ve called up the helpline.
“The attitudes of some of the people we’ve spoken to have been terrible.
“We were sent a new phone out by a member of staff but that hasn’t worked either.”
Both Mr Laverick and Mr and Mrs Wilson have complained about poor customer service and slow response times from EE in trying to fix the problems.
A spokeswoman for EE said: “We’re aware of a technical fault affecting service in the Rainton Bridge area, and we’re working to fix this as quickly as possible.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”