JAG Communications has accused BT of ‘putting 250 jobs at risk’ with its refusal to provide an internet connection for five days.
The disagreement follows JAG’s name change, after going into prepack administration (where a company moves its valuable assets into a separate company) in February.
The retailer changed its name from JAG Communications Plymouth to JAG Communications South-West, but did not change the billing address. The new company was asked by BT to pay a deposit for its phone lines, which were closed for two days of testing.
BT has now told JAG it will need to close the internet connection, which piggybacks the telephone line, for five days, due to an Ofcom ruling on competition.
JAG’s owner and founder, John George (pictured), said: ‘We’ve been trying to reason with them; we are devastated that they can’t act on it. BT won’t even come back to us in two working days, despite the fact that we’ve underlined what’s at stake, and how important it is.’
He added that JAG will have to close for those five days, as all of its credit checks, invoicing, PDQ and top-ups are done via the internet.
A BT spokesman said: ‘Because JAG went into insolvency we have to treat them as a new business customer, and carry out credit checks. The process to set up a new customer takes between five and 10 working days.’
He added that ‘it is reasonably standard practice’ for accounts to take up to five days to be established because of competition, or ‘industry equivalent’.
However, an Ofcom spokeswoman said: ‘If you are not changing companies, there is no five day rule.’
JAG averted a collapse by going into prepack administration in February 2009. Problems were understood to have arisen after the retailer’s bank,
Lloyds TSB, withdrew its £2m overdraft, preventing the business from paying
It is understood that the old company owed between £10,000 and £15,000 to BT.