Maidenhead Mencap
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Mencap member George Rushton writes:


If you know of a person who has a British Telecom telephone but who only uses that telephone for a very limited amount of calls, then that person may be eligible for a British Telecom package that would reduce their costs from about £45 per quarter to £15 per quarter.

This package is not widely advertised by British Telecom, but one which they are obliged to offer it is called BT Basic.

There are a number of criteria that must be met in order for a person to be eligible:

  1. They must be on one of a limited number of benefits, one being a disabled person on the “income-related employment and support” allowance, though there are other allowances that also apply.
  2. The telephone number must be registered in their name, so they are the account holder, and it must be a British Telecom account.
  3. They must only use the telephone very infrequently, there is a small call allowance allocated each month within the £15 monthly cost, but if this is exceeded the cost per call can be very expensive.
  4. Application should be made by requesting an application form from British Telecom. There is a special team that deal with applications, so telephone the contact number on the BT bill, and ask to speak to the BT Basic team. The application form, and proof of receipt of the required benefit must be returned to BT within a limited timescale or it will lapse.

We followed the above procedure for our son who was paying over £45 per month for his BT line rental where his call charges amounted to a few pence only as he usually uses his mobile telephone for calls, but we wanted an emergency method of contact as it gave us peace of mind. Even though he met the criteria BT did not make it easy, they ‘lost’ the forms, sent out wrongly dated forms and failed to enclose the pre addressed envelope that they referred to in correspondence with us, plus we had to get the telephone changed to his name, but once we overcame the obstacles put in place by BT he is on the lower line rental rate, so it was worth the trouble.


A second saving I have discovered is my son’s electricity supplier. He uses EON to supply his duel fuel tariff. As he is disabled and in receipt of the above mentioned benefit and severe disablement allowance, I applied for him to be switched to their ‘Warm Home’ scheme, once again I believe they and other gas & electricity supply companies are required to offer a low price tariff to people with certain physical and/or mental disability. It is an annual contract so It has to be applied for each year, it has reduced his bill by £135 this year, so once again a worth while saving.

George Rushton