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reducing call costs for elderly person who has no email etc

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
6 replies 949 views
ashworthmashworthm Forumite
24 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
i am helping my mum look through her monthly outgoing to see where she can save money using tips etc. from this website.

i am currently looking at her telephone bill. she is with BT and wants to reduce cost of outbound calls. She is at present a BT Option 1 customer and they are to be given free uk weekend calls (plan name to change to unlimited weekend plan from 1/04/08). i have recommended that she signs up to the BT together option 2 plan where she will get free evening and weekend calls (plan name changing to unlimited evenign and weekend plan from 1/04/08)

my mum doesnt have email access or a computer and i'm looking for the most effective method by which she can reduce outbound call costs further without having these things? it appears that the override providers require such things as email to use as part of their process? whilst i could set up an email in her name and check it etc. she would prefer something that she controls / monitors direct herself

hope you have some suggestions. cheers

Mike Ashworth

Replies

  • HeinzHeinz Forumite
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    Welcome to the MSE forums Mike.

    Despite being on BT Together Option 1, my very elderly Mother has been using 1899 and 18185 for a couple of years (with her permission and authority, I set up a googlemail.com e-mail address for her and opened accounts with 1899 and 18185 in her name using her bank account details for Direct Debit payments).

    Most of her contacts were then programmed into her DECT handsets with the appropriate prefix and, when she wanted to call a number not in memory, she (with remarkable accuracy) just referred to a small crib sheet I'd prepared for her about which prefix to use for a particular type of call.

    That was fine while BT's evening and weekend calls were 5½p for up to an hour because, using 1899, her calls were 5p each at all times. It became less worthwhile when BT reduced the cost of those evening and weekend calls to 4½p each but the swings or cheap daytime calls more than compensated for the roundabouts of paying ½p 'too much' each for evening and weekend calls.

    No, she has no access to a computer so, if she wants a check on her calls, has to ask me to download her latest calls onto an Excel spreadsheet. Her bills are so small though (about £3/month for each), she rarely asks me to do anything except to let her know how much her bi-monthly bills are for 1899 and 18185 so she can check them off on her bank statement when it arrives.

    BT's recent/imminent changes mean I've now advised her to change to BT's Unlimited Evening & Weekend Plan (BT Together Option 2) AND I have programmed and installed an Orchid V4+ for her to make routing automatic. In fact, she now delights in telling me, "This is a free call" when she phones just after 6pm some evenings.

    OK, it means work for me keeping an eye on her accounts occasionally and ensuring the Orchid has a suitable program but I take the view that it's my turn now.
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
  • You could go onto the BT website for her and set up friends and family for her if you already haven't, I went on to change a couple of our numbers a few weeks ago and they've added an auto-update feature where they automatically update your friends and family number before each quarterly bill so the numbers you use most in that quarter are the ones you get the discount off, but you have to set it to do this BT, it's not automatically on.
  • ashworthm wrote: »
    i am helping my mum look through her monthly outgoing to see where she can save money using tips etc. from this website.

    i am currently looking at her telephone bill. she is with BT and wants to reduce cost of outbound calls. She is at present a BT Option 1 customer and they are to be given free uk weekend calls (plan name to change to unlimited weekend plan from 1/04/08). i have recommended that she signs up to the BT together option 2 plan where she will get free evening and weekend calls (plan name changing to unlimited evenign and weekend plan from 1/04/08)

    my mum doesnt have email access or a computer and i'm looking for the most effective method by which she can reduce outbound call costs further without having these things? it appears that the override providers require such things as email to use as part of their process? whilst i could set up an email in her name and check it etc. she would prefer something that she controls / monitors direct herself

    hope you have some suggestions. cheers

    Mike Ashworth

    If your mum wants to retain control without internet access that rather limits her opportunity for reducing her monthly outgoings. She can sign up for BT's Option 2 for 12 months over the phone so that's her weekend and evening calls covered. But if a paper bill is important to her she will have to forgo the £1.25 discount from April 1st.

    Because they operate exclusively via the internet daytime calls with 18866, 1899 etc are out. She will want phone, and maybe postal, access to a company and I'm not aware of one which comes close to offering the value the Betamax group does. This isn't a recommendation, but would the Saver 2 package at first:telecom be a possible jumping off point for your research?

    Brian.
  • gt94sss2gt94sss2 Forumite
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    ashworthm wrote: »
    i am helping my mum look through her monthly outgoing to see where she can save money using tips etc. from this website.

    i am currently looking at her telephone bill. she is with BT and wants to reduce cost of outbound calls. She is at present a BT Option 1 customer and they are to be given free uk weekend calls (plan name to change to unlimited weekend plan from 1/04/08). i have recommended that she signs up to the BT together option 2 plan where she will get free evening and weekend calls (plan name changing to unlimited evenign and weekend plan from 1/04/08)

    Can you give any indication as to the size of your mothers monthly phone/call bill and if calls are made during the day/evening/weekend?

    Also, how many calls/much of the bill is due to mobile phones or 0845/0870 numbers as opposed to landlines?

    Regards
    Sunil
  • ashworthmashworthm Forumite
    24 Posts
    Thanks for the welcome to the forums and the posts.

    I'll obtain some data on when and what types of calls she makes. to be honest I think most are likely to be uk landlines, maybe some calls occasionally to Sweden, and occasional mobile phone. I'll get the data and post back.

    I'll have to remember to tell her to let me know if there are any 0845/0870 numbers she uses regularly and i'll find alternatives on the saynoto0870 site

    that orchid v4+ device is very smarrt, just had a quick nose at the orchid website
  • HeinzHeinz Forumite
    11.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Car Insurance Carver!
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    If you PM me with an e-mail address, I can send you an Excel spread sheet showing how I've programmed my Mother's V4+ (as I said, she has BT Together Option 2 with 1899 and 18185 accounts).

    N.B. Calls to Swedish landlines are 1p/minute on 18185 and 3p/minute on 1899 and 18185 is still the cheapest way to call UK mobiles.

    EDIT.

    During the day on 1-3-08, it was reported that 18185's weekend price for calling UK mobiles had increased from 3p/minute to 3.5p/minute and their tariff announcement confirmed that (but their website did not).

    However, despite 1899's 10p/minute and 18866's 12p/minute weekday rates are both more than 18185's 6p/minute, but their weekend rates appear still to be 3p/minute.
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
This discussion has been closed.