BUSINESSES across Padstow were hit when their BT phones and internet connections went out of action for more than three days.
The services were lost for many from Thursday, June 14, until the morning of Monday, June 18, resulting in disruption to their work and ability to serve customers.
Kathryn Nicholls, who works at Old Ship Hotel in Mill Square, said: "It was horrific really. We couldn't take food transactions or reservations.
"We contacted BT who said they would get back to us, but they didn't phone back until six hours later.
"We didn't know at the time if it was just the hotel which didn't have internet access, so we paid for a computer chap to come out and have a look at it, but then we discovered other businesses didn't have phone lines or internet either."
She said it was impossible to say how much business the hotel lost, but it may have been considerable.
The Old Custom House Hotel on South Quay was affected, as was Padstow Town Council which has its office on Station Road.
A BT spokesman said there was a fault in the telephone exchange which affected relatively few customers. "It would not have affected the vast majority of Padstow homes and businesses," he said.
"The problem occurred shortly before midnight on Thursday and the service was restored by 10.40am on the Monday."
The spokesman said compensation would depend on the maintenance agreement each customer had with the communications company which provided the services, which he said would not necessarily be BT.
He said The Old Custom House Hotel could be eligible for compensation because they had a Promptcare agreement with BT.
"They could either claim actual financial loss, if they could prove the losses they have incurred, or they could claim a daily rate, which would be the equivalent of two days' line rental," he said.