OWNERS of a scrap metal business fear they are losing money after the phone number they have used for decades was cut off.

Paxton Scrap Metals has been trading for 27 years at its base at East Fortune.

However, it has been left without a landline after work was carried out by BT.

Business owner Amanda Paxton said the issue started last year, when the telecommunications company got in touch to tell them their contract was set to expire.

Upon renewing their contract, changes were to be made to their broadband package – but they have now been left without a phone number for six weeks.

Amanda said that they had to rely on customers to contact their mobile number if they wanted to attract business.

She said: “We had both the landline and mobile number listed on the adverts.

“We have had customers coming in and asking if we were shut because they presumed we were shut [because the phone number was not working]. They were travelling past and saw the gate was open and nipped in to find out.

“I know we are losing business.”

Discussions have been ongoing with BT for a number of weeks but so far no resolution has been found.

And, according to Amanda, because the phone number – which dates back to 1956 – has not been used in more than 30 days, it can no longer be retrieved.

BT has offered to give Amanda and husband Brian a new number but they fear that the business will continue to be affected if they cannot use their long-standing phone number. Currently, if people call that number, they cannot get through to the business.

A BT Group spokesperson offered an apology to the Paxtons.

They said: “We are working closely with Mr Paxton to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.

“An error occurred while we were moving Mr Paxton’s existing landline telephone number to our digital phone service.

“We understand the frustration that this will have caused and we would like to apologise to Mr Paxton for any inconvenience as we work to rectify this situation.”