Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Phone line priority for Senior Citizens

28 February, 2007


Sinn Féin Foyle assembly election candidate Raymond McCartney has called on phone companies to give priority to customers who are senior citizens when phone lines are down and to the review the cost of call out charges for faulty phone lines.

Mr McCartney said:

"I am calling on all phone companies to give priority to customers who are senior citizens when phone lines are down.

"I have met a number of older people whose phone lines are connected to vital helpline services such as Help the Aged and Good Morning North West. They are worried about what happens if the phone lines go down unexpectedly and the risk that they could lose for what many is their only contact outside the home and that they could be put to the back of the queue for repairs.

"There needs to be some form of system put in place where pensioners are given priority for faulty phone lines.

"I would particularly call on BT to review their call out charges for faulty lines which is over £100 if it is found that it's the customers equipment is at fault and not the line.

"These charges are excessive and we can't have a situation where an older person is left without a phone because they are afraid they are going to be hit with such a high call out charge. In reality most people don't know the cause of the fault until an engineer has visited their home so a more affordable and realistic call out charge has to be found." ENDS

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