Counting the costs of not spots
Mobile not spots are a serious problem for Poundfield Products in every part of their business from production to the customer.
The Creeting St Peter company makes precast, pre-stressed concrete retaining walls used in everything from agricultural storage to sea defences and its commercial director Mat Moss says not spots not only add to their costs but put their staff and their hauliers at risk.
Mr Moss explained: “It affects every stage of what we do. On site here we’ve got a not spot where we get no mobile phone signal whatsoever.
“Then a lot of what we’re doing is producing concrete walls for agriculture and they’re used on sites which are often in rural locations and often, on the journey or, more challenging, when we get there, there’s no signal.”
That means a haulier trying to find a remote location cannot call the customer for directions, to say they are delayed or simply to tell them they have arrived.
If communication problems mean delays for the haulier, they charge Poundfield.
For Poundfield’s own installation team, if they have a problem and need to call back to base, they have to drive around until they can get a signal. Even worse, if there is an accident on site, that could mean leaving the injured person to call help.
Mr Moss added: “The safety factors are a huge concern for our hauliers and the guys out on site.”
He also fears difficulties keeping customers informed or getting back to them may give them the wrong impression of the company.
At Creeting St Peter, Poundfield has installed old-style two-way radios because staff in different parts of the eight acre site cannot simply phone each other.
The the site suffers equally poor broadband services, but the lack of a mobile connection means they cannot use 4G internet instead.
Mr Moss said: "I've just had a quote to get a reasonable broadband connection which will cost us £5,000. Our competitors can do it for, say, £50 a month.
“We’re having to look at other ways round the problems. It comes down to what some people have as a given, we’re paying over the odds to get it”.
nIf you suffer being in a not spot, you can log it on Twitter with the hashtag #shareyournotspot