Some BT customers have been without a landline telephone for about two weeks due to a fault.
The company said a faulty underground cable had affected 56 households in Braintree.
Customer David Grice, of Queenborough Lane, said he was told 200 had been affected.
“It seems crazy to me in this day and age we need to wait two weeks,” he said.
A BT spokesman said engineers could only work on the fault at night due to the location, thought to be in London Road.
The repairs were due to be completed this weekend.