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BT overcharge the vulnerable – Leonard

28 August, 2007


Sinn Féin councillor Billy Leonard has said that BT has once again been exposed as willing to overcharge their most vulnerable customers'.

It has been confirmed that they charge those people who do not pay their bill by Direct Debit an extra £4.50 each quarter. Leonard says that this practice is bound to affect their poorer and more elderly customers.

He added:

"Many people still save their stamps to pay their bills. By doing so they and many more are being charged extra. This is in general terms discriminatory but especially so when the charge will be levied against the poorer and more elderly in our society.

By the economy of scale BT would gross millions each year through this one measure as there are bound to be thousands of people subject to the additional £18.00 each year. I think it is a disgrace that the big Corporation can treat their customers in this way. It is indefensible to say that this covers extra costs of paying bills in a different way given the numbers the charge is applied to.

Our Sinn Féin office has been in touch with the Consumer Council and OFCOM about this. OFCOM are encouraging members of the public to register their feelings against this charge and they will feed all the comments into a body that is reviewing such costs charged by the telecommunications companies.

I would encourage people to do exactly that and contact OFCOM. Alternatively if they wish to contact our office we will gladly pass on their comments. People should remember that while campaigns of this nature are hard fights they sometimes do produce results." ENDS

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