Dear Simon, my mother is on the BT Light User Scheme, which is ending soon. She is not eligible for BT Basic and will be automatically transferred to BTís Unlimited Weekend Plan.
Because she only uses the phone in the day to make hospital or doctorís appointments and when absolutely necessary, which deal would be the cheapest for her to switch to? The BT Unlimited Weekend Plan is more expensive than what she is currently paying and I want to find a provider that would best meet her needs.
Can you help?
Lisa Vizard, Kent, via email, Updated: Tuesday 17 January, 2012
Hi Lisa, thanks for your email about your mothersí home phone service. Finding the cheapest tariff for someone else can be confusing. Hereís some information and advice on switching home suppliers if you, or someone you know, is on the BT Light User SchemeÖ
Both the BT Light User Scheme and the BT In Contact Plus call plan are being replaced by the new BT Basic package.
Designed for customers who receive certain benefits and also retired people who receive the Guaranteed Pensions Credit, BT Basic combines line rental and a select amount of calls for just £13.80 every quarter. This includes a call allowance of up to £4.50 every three months to spend on anytime calls to local and national numbers, calls to international landlines, and line rental for the three months.
Not all calls are included in the £4.50 allowance though, and calls made to mobiles, calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers, calls to premium numbers (chatlines and TV shows for example), and calls to the Channel Islands will all be charged for at the standard BT rate. Your home phone bills will dramatically increase if you regularly make these calls, so you need to decide if the BT Basic package is right for you.
BT Basic isnít available to everyone, and even those who find they are eligible for the package may discover it isnít a cost effective solution for them.
You must be receiving at least one of the following benefits to qualify for BT Basic:
Even if you are getting one of these benefits you may still not be able to get the BT Basic packages, as certain exclusions apply. You may not be able to get BT Basic, if you have a second line in your property or arenít currently a BT customer for example.
If you do meet BTís eligibility criteria though, and rarely use your home phone, the Basic call plan may be an ideal way for you to save money on your home phone bills. It is also a good option for those who want to budget, as itís easier to save money to pay your bills when you know exactly how much youíll be paying every quarter.
However, if you feel that youíre going to regularly exceed the £4.50 limit of calls per quarter, it may be worth signing up to a different call plan that covers all the calls youíre going to make. This will save you money on your home phone bills in the long-term.
If youíre a light phone user but youíre not eligible for BT Basic donít panic. There are several alternatives that could help you cut the cost of your home phone service.
Consider signing up to a call plan that includes free evening and weekend calls and discounted line rental, such as Primusí Home Phone Saver package or the YourCalls.net Leisure Saver call plan. Line rental costs less than £10 with these suppliers, so you customers can make large savings compared to BTís standard plan.
Hope this gives you a bit more information Lisa, and helps you decide which sort of home phone deal is right for your mother.
If you have a general switching or provider query please get in touch with us here