Poor mobile phone and broadband signal is costing Shropshire businesses tens of thousands of pounds in lost business every year, a computer expert warned today as he gave his backing to the Shropshire Star campaign.

Chris Pallett, director of Bespoke Computing in Telford, threw his support behind the Star’s Get Us Connected campaign as he revealed the nightmare faced by his clients on a daily basis.

“Keith Barrow is spot on when he says it is not just EE which is causing the problem. I have clients county-wide and beyond who are facing this daily nightmare of trying to take calls from important clients with limited signal or missing crucial calls which then forces the client to leave an answerphone message when in fact the company was waiting for that call,” Mr Pallett said.

“The rural Shropshire clients are the most affected and deserve so much more. Those business owners who work so hard to make their business a success are often the lifeblood of the rural, local economy and those people need to be able to continue their day to day business.”

The IT expert based on Stafford Park said he understood Connecting Shropshire was rolling out broadband to rural areas to help ease the situation but that alone was not enough and was too slow of a process.

“We need action now – we need to put pressure on all of the network providers. EE have certainly faced the most criticism but I have a construction client in Shrewsbury on Vodafone and every day he deals with extremely limited or even non existent signal.

“Clients say they know they lose out on business and spend so much time carrying out tasks such as replying to emails with poor broadband signal that their turnover is affected.

“The team at Bespoke Computing work extremely hard to get the best service for the clients but we now need that support from the network providers.

“If companies such as myself provided the poor customer service the big network providers are currently offering we wouldn’t be in business.

“We shouldn’t let them get away with it and it is now time the business community and council leaders from whatever party stood together to ensure the network providers give us what we deserve.

“Perhaps we could even invite some of the leading figures from these businesses to Shropshire to ask them why they think it is acceptable to treat us as they are doing.”