Signal problems in Selsey have angered Vodafone users in the area, but now the company have said the problem is down to overgrown trees.
Selsey has had no Vodafone signal for nearly five weeks, with businesses and families paying for a service that they are not getting.
Spokesman for Vodafone Jane Frapwell said: “We have been able to confirm that the growth of the trees over the past rainy season has been causing a break in transmission. The radio link needs a “line of sight” for transmission. We are in the process of contacting the landowner to ask if we can arrange to trim the trees.”
Users have been given various excuses and Selsey resident Kirsty Whitfield whose family has six phones with the company, said: “I have been in contact with Vodafone numerous times and have been told various things: that a mast is down due to the bad weather; we are upgrading and this is for your benefit; a mast has been vandalised, have patience, it will be fixed in a few days; we can refund you 50 per cent of your line rental; because you are able to travel to Chichester to use your phone you are unable to cancel your contract as it is a fault that we are trying to fix. This is a complete joke.”
An email to Angela Keates, of Grafton Road, from Vodafone about the problem informed her the problem was to do with trees around the mast that needed lopping, but she was unsure of the validity of this claim as the mast is in a football field. She runs a business on Chichester Road, and is unhappy with the service she has received in the past month.
Vodafone has offered to send disgruntled users new sim cards, but it is unclear how this will help.
The Observer has had nearly 30 Selsey residents contact them about the signal failure, with many prepared to quit their contract if the problem is not resolved.