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BT - 530 bill dialling talking clock!!!
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# 1
pikkakard
Old 21-06-2008, 6:10 PM
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Default BT - 530 bill dialling talking clock!!!

I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else and what they did about it...

I pay for my calls through Sky but my line rental is still with BT. The usual quarterly bill is around £30. However, I was alarmed to receive a bill for £530. It listed 1,657 calls to the talking clock. Bt have investigated the problem and have written to me stating that the bill is correct and the numbers have been dialed.... every 8 or 9 minutes, for exactly 27 seconds for 1 month. I don't know what else I'm supposed to do as I have no way of arguing against BT.

It seems like this has happened to other people because I found this: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....ing_clock.html

Please, please, please help.
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# 2
weegie.geek
Old 21-06-2008, 6:18 PM
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If there's documented evidence of this happening because of the sky box (and there definitely seems to be) then you should scour the internet for more examples of it happening, and get in contact with those people.

Sky might deny responsibility, but if it's happening that much...

As an aside, why in the hell do calls to the talking clock cost so much? 17p to be told the time?

And who uses it? Is there anyone anywhere with no method to tell the time apart from ringing the talking clock?

Once upon a time it might've been useful for setting your clocks to the right time, but since at least the inception of teletext it seems a bit redundant. Even more so now, with computers and the internet, where we can find out the correct time to within a fraction of a second.
They say it's genetic, they say he can't help it, they say you can catch it - but sometimes you're born with it
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# 3
irrelevant
Old 21-06-2008, 7:38 PM
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It sounds a bit odd for sure..

Do you have a Sky box, for a start, or anything else connected to the phone line?

Are you signed up with BT.com to view your bills, and recent calls, online? If not, do so immediately. Are the calls still happening?

If they are.. Check your bill, then unplug the sky box from the phone line. Leave it out for a day or two. (don't worry about Sky insisting things stay plugged in, they won't care for this amount time.) Watch your bill. If there are still calls coming through, then it's not the sky box, and you need to repeat this for anything else, phones included, that is connected to your line.

(Some of the newer landline phones with text message capability will dial out automatically to register theselves. This shouldn't be a call you'd notice, but if somehow the service number got altered to 123anything then it would reach the speaking clock and charge you.)

HTH
Rob
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# 4
Tallymanjohn
Old 22-06-2008, 8:44 AM
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You can unplug your sky box & leave it unplugged - it's only used for interactive TV (you can plug it back in if you need to) but I was originally told the box also 'dials home' with info on what's been watched. Ours hasn't been plugged in for the last 4-5 years since we've had Sky & there's been no issues with it.
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# 5
Heinz
Old 22-06-2008, 9:43 AM
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If you want to leave the line connected to the Sky box (for Box Office ordering or whatever), use your Sky remote control to do this:

Services
401
Select
3 (TELEPHONE SETTINGS).

I think you'll find some bright spark has inserted a Dialling Prefix of 123 in there* - delete it or change it to 1470. Don't forget to scroll down to Save New Settings to confirm the new prefix.

* This would result in the Sky box dialling Time Line (the Speaking Clock) every time it tries to phone home - and it will try repeatedly after it has failed to get through a few times.
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Last edited by Heinz; 22-06-2008 at 9:48 AM.
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# 6
pikkakard
Old 22-06-2008, 9:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinz View Post
If you want to leave the line connected to the Sky box (for Box Office ordering or whatever), do this:

Services
401
Select
3 (TELEPHONE SETTINGS).

I think you'll find some bright spark has inserted a Dialling Prefix of 123 in there - delete it or change it to 1470.
Just checked and it's already on 1470, so it doesn't look like that's the problem. Thanks
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# 7
pikkakard
Old 22-06-2008, 9:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irrelevant View Post
It sounds a bit odd for sure..

Do you have a Sky box, for a start, or anything else connected to the phone line?

Are you signed up with BT.com to view your bills, and recent calls, online? If not, do so immediately. Are the calls still happening?

If they are.. Check your bill, then unplug the sky box from the phone line. Leave it out for a day or two. (don't worry about Sky insisting things stay plugged in, they won't care for this amount time.) Watch your bill. If there are still calls coming through, then it's not the sky box, and you need to repeat this for anything else, phones included, that is connected to your line.

(Some of the newer landline phones with text message capability will dial out automatically to register theselves. This shouldn't be a call you'd notice, but if somehow the service number got altered to 123anything then it would reach the speaking clock and charge you.)

HTH
Rob
I've got a sky box, but it's not plugged in (actually the dog chewed through the wire about a week after it was installed).

I think the first suggestion is probably my best bet. Do some more research and find other people in this situation. I guess I could also try Citizens Advice Bureau too.

One thing's for sure, I am not paying this bill. I'd rather be prosecuted that pay for something I didn't do...

Thank you all for your advice. Very much appreciated
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# 8
normanmark
Old 22-06-2008, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikkakard View Post
One thing's for sure, I am not paying this bill. I'd rather be prosecuted that pay for something I didn't do...

Thank you all for your advice. Very much appreciated
My advice is don't leave it too long, chase this up & talk to someone at BT tomorrow to get some form of resolution. As there would be nothing worse on your credit rating than an unpaid bill in the long run!
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# 9
meester
Old 22-06-2008, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikkakard View Post
I've got a sky box, but it's not plugged in (actually the dog chewed through the wire about a week after it was installed).

I think the first suggestion is probably my best bet. Do some more research and find other people in this situation. I guess I could also try Citizens Advice Bureau too.

One thing's for sure, I am not paying this bill. I'd rather be prosecuted that pay for something I didn't do...

Thank you all for your advice. Very much appreciated
You should pay the bill, or get Sky to pay it. It is not BT's fault your Sky box is doing something stupid. Why should they lose out because of something that is nothing to do with them? You are liable to pay your phone bill, and Sky are liable for their faulty equipment

I would insist Sky pay it, and if they refuse, take them to court.
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# 10
deklan99
Old 22-06-2008, 10:34 AM
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Just to clarify something I might have missed, if the OP has CPS with sky talk and just dials 123 that would appear on a BT bill, no need for 1280 bypass? Sorry if appear dim, just off nights.
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# 11
pikkakard
Old 23-06-2008, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meester View Post
You should pay the bill, or get Sky to pay it. It is not BT's fault your Sky box is doing something stupid. Why should they lose out because of something that is nothing to do with them? You are liable to pay your phone bill, and Sky are liable for their faulty equipment

I would insist Sky pay it, and if they refuse, take them to court.
I wish I could afford to take a company as big as BSKYB to court. Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think this would be possible
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# 12
pikkakard
Old 23-06-2008, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deklan99 View Post
Just to clarify something I might have missed, if the OP has CPS with sky talk and just dials 123 that would appear on a BT bill, no need for 1280 bypass? Sorry if appear dim, just off nights.
I think I may be the dim one because I don't know what that means, sorry.
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# 13
olly300
Old 23-06-2008, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikkakard View Post
I wish I could afford to take a company as big as BSKYB to court. Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think this would be possible
You can take anyone to the small claims court without a solicitor or any legal help.

However to win your case you need to be able to present your case logically and have basic knowledge of the consumer law or contract that has been breached.

Small claims court cases are ruled on the balance of probabilities.

So if you write to Sky using special delivery with evidence from an expert that it is possible for the sky box to dial the speaking clock and they should pay your bill plus the cost of the expert. Give them 21 days to reply. If they refute the evidence, you then send them a "Letter Before Action" giving them 14 days to sort the matter out before you take them to court. In the letter list the costs involved i.e. telephone bill, cost of the expert and that they will be liable for all court costs plus interest, you can then take them to court.

In the meantime you need to sort out a payment method with BT to pay them back.

BTW I have threaten various large companies with the small claims court and they have all sorted the issue out before it's got there. Mainly because they are afraid of bad publicity.
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# 14
Mancunian
Old 23-06-2008, 4:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallymanjohn View Post
You can unplug your sky box & leave it unplugged - it's only used for interactive TV (you can plug it back in if you need to) but I was originally told the box also 'dials home' with info on what's been watched. Ours hasn't been plugged in for the last 4-5 years since we've had Sky & there's been no issues with it.

only unplug if you're NOT in your 1st year... or have NOT signed up for another contract - ie cos u changed from sky - sky+

they should write to you to warn you to plug it back in but be aware..they can claim back Subsidy fee's
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# 15
Mancunian
Old 23-06-2008, 4:22 PM
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oh yeah,,,and this was on BBC Watchdog.... so not an isolated case
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# 16
irrelevant
Old 23-06-2008, 5:03 PM
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... and always keep both boxes plugged in, and into the same phone line, if you are on a multiroom sub, otherwise they'll charge you full sub for each. (This is to stop you using one sub for two locations..)
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# 17
pikkakard
Old 14-12-2009, 6:33 PM
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Thought I'd give an update...
BT paid half the bill because of the awful bullying tactics they used and Sky paid the other half after admitting that their box might be at fault.

Result! Thanks guys.
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# 18
brewerdave
Old 15-12-2009, 8:06 AM
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PIKKAKARD, I'm maybe being dim but in post #7 you said that your Sky box was NOT connected because the dog had chewed thru the cable - how come Sky accepted responsibility when the box can't be at fault???
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