Vodafone restores call handling following theft-induced outage

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Hundreds of call handling clients reverted to virtual receptionist services when theft of Vodafone equipment cut off hundreds of thousands of customers.

Vodafone suffered widespread loss of coverage after a break in at its facility in Basingstoke, some time between 1am and 2am on Monday morning. The outage disrupted call handling as well as data and other mobile services.

While no official update was available on the Vodafone website, according to an administrator on the Vodafone forum, the theft of “specialist network equipment and IT hardware” denied hundreds of thousands of customers proper communication for most of the business day. Although the administrator reported that the loss of service was “mainly confined to parts of the M4 corridor and some areas either side,” customers as far as Cornwall reported loss of call handling capabilities.

Businesses across the country fell back on disaster recovery and business continuity plans, invoking virtual receptionist services to co-ordinate mobile workers and remote staff who rely on mobile network coverage to keep in touch. Call handling staff rerouted calls to home or office landlines within minutes, or moved entire departments across to the virtual receptionist service with order taking capabilities and appointment booking services.

Meanwhile sole traders who rely exclusively on their mobile phone as a single point of contact were crippled by the blackout. Without the backup of a virtual receptionist service, callers were greeted with the recorded message ‘the number you have dialled is not in service,’ leaving potential customers floundering in the dark.

Business continuity packages available include reroutable virtual phone numbers and remote virtual reception desks from as little as £13.50 per month.

For more information on disaster recovery and business continuity call handling or virtual receptionist services call 01273 741 400.

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