Frustration as hundreds hit by TV problems in Exmouth

Jenny Budden at home with her tv. Ref exe 14-16TI 8433. Picture: Terry Ife

Jenny Budden at home with her tv. Ref exe 14-16TI 8433. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of viewers across Exmouth are said to have faced TV disruption for several days, due to a transmitter fault.

Jenny Budden, of Cranford Avenue, lost some channels between Wednesday and Sunday - and has criticised the difficulty of getting the issue rectified.

It was subsequently revealed that there had been a fault with the Budleigh Salterton relay transmitter, which has now been corrected.

An Exmouth TV engineer, who asked not to be named, said he had received more than 300 calls over the course of five days, concerning BBC channels, ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five, with some viewers only losing some channels, some losing all. Calls were said to have come from areas including Littleham, Brixington, and the area near the River Exe.

Jenny has criticised the process for reporting faults, and says the ensuing delays left people without a vital service.

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She said: “You’ve got all these elderly, infirm people who rely on television. It connects them with the world. I think everybody would say if it’s out for a day because of wind or something, that’s one thing, but when it goes from Wednesday to Sunday, I just don’t think it’s good enough.”

Jenny says she was forced to call several organisations as she tried to solve the problem, and was frustrated that there was no clear way to deal with signal issues.

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“What frustrates me, as an ordinary TV user, is that there doesn’t seem to be one organisation where you go if you have a problem which isn’t to do with your set or aerial.

“If I have a problem with my water supply, I go to South West Water and regardless of whether it is due to their actions or some third party, we both know that it is their responsibility to fix the problem.

“That doesn’t happen with TV, so the consumer who isn’t technical ends up phoning around to try, often unsuccessfully, to try to identify where the fault is so they get their transmissions back.

“Why isn’t there a totally transparent process with proper publicity so that when these issues occur, they are sorted out quickly and everyone knows what is going on?”

Commenting on the transmitter fault, a Freeview spokesperson said: “We have been advised by the transmitter operator that a fault was discovered at the Budleigh Salterton relay transmitter.

“This has been corrected and signals should now be broadcasting as expected.

“Any viewers still in need of advice on reception can call the Freeview advice line on 03456 505050 or visit our website at Details for the advice line are also available on channel 100.”

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