WATCH: Thetis Island residents are calling for faster phone service restoration following the major storm earlier this month. Some residents were told their phone and internet service wouldn’t be fixed until early February, a service they call essential. Kendall Hanson reports.
It’s been a challenging week for Elisabeth Bond. She helps run a farm at two locations and she has a marketing business on Thetis Island.
The farm didn’t lose any animals to falling trees during the Dec. 20 storm but there were many broken fences and structures and animals scattered. Communications with farm workers suddenly required face to face encounters instead of phone calls or messages.
“Being cut off from them and then the stress of and build up of all the other stuff happening with the animals,” said Bond of Jollity Farm. “It just made it really impossible for us and added to the workload.”
Power was restored here Christmas Day but when Bond contacted TELUS about restoring phone and internet service she wasn’t expecting the response.
“I was informed on the phone that the earliest appointment I could get would be February 7th,” said Bond. “That was shocking to be told I’d be waiting over a month for what for me is an essential service.”
Those on Thetis say B.C. Hydro crews came over, assessed the damage and gave them timelines and assurances they are working hard to restore power quickly.
“The opposite was that we heard nothing from TELUS. We got no assurance that we were being attended to. Nobody came to check on the situation here to record lines. There was just absolutely no communication,” said Bond.
Not what she was expecting from a company specializing in communications.
“It’s a real shock when you hear that another service that shouldn’t be nearly as complicated or dangerous as the hydro is going to take so much longer and it’s a service we all pay for,” said Stephanie Cottell, a Thetis Island resident.
In a statement, Telus says it must wait for hydro lines to be fixed before it can restore phone lines.
“TELUS is committed to restoring our customers’ service as quickly as possible. In fact, we are relocating nearly two dozen technicians to the region to ensure that residents’ services are restored earlier than originally estimated. We hope to have all services up and running by January 15…”
It’s an assurance those waiting for phone service to be restored have been wanting to hear though their phone and internet service may not be repaired as quickly as hoped.