A SALON owner is furious that a fault on her phone line has cost her hundreds of pounds in lost trade.

Tracey Hornby, of Colorz in Middlewich, said customers have even thought that she had gone out of business due to the line being dead when they tried to book an appointment.

The phone line has been cutting out since Friday and it is the fifth time the Hightown salon has been affected since December.

Tracey, of Wardle Mews, has asked for help from BT but instead has had to pay around £100 for an engineer to fix the line.

“As a business, your phone is a lifeline as it’s the only way people can get through to you,” said the mum-of-two.

“Someone put a letter through my door saying they needed to rearrange an appointment which isn’t very professional at all.

“Another two clients said they were trying to get through for days and thought we had closed down.”

Tracey’s phone line went down for about a week between Christmas and New Year, four days in March and it also cut out on August 18 and 22.

During the Christmas period, Tracey relied on her friends to spread the word that she was still open and posted messages on Facebook.

In March, BT agreed to cut her line rental for a week and arranged for calls to be transferred to her mobile.

She added: “Obviously Christmas is the busiest time of year so I lost a lot of money to that.

“If they can’t get through to me they think the business has gone belly up or I’ve gone on holiday. It’s very annoying.

“There’s a lot of competition in Middlewich so it’s been really tough.”

BT had not commented as the Guardian went to press.