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Message 1 of 8

Home Essentials... again

Hi guys,

I can see this subject has been covered but not it seems the situation I have found myself in and one that leaves just a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about the way BT are handling this.

Helping out those on benefit? I don't think so.

My husband and I are in receipt in Pension Credit but because the account we opened with BT last year was in my name and that Pension Credit is received for the both of us in his name, BT say we do not qualify for the Home Essentials deal as they cannot confirm eligibility by using my National Insurance number.

Being younger than my husband I was supposed to receive a state pension in my own right in the July of this year but because of Covid 'staff shortages' I'll not see a penny of it until October at the earliest.

Great eh, the government makes me wait six extra years for it - and then it's delayed. 

It just seems wrong, certainly not in the spirit of helping those on "means tested benefits" BT had led us to believe having been told the only option is to close the account and reopen in my husbands name - but then we will incur a penalty of over £100 for ending the contract early!

Any suggestions of a way out of this nonsensical impasse? 


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Message 2 of 8

Re: Home Essentials... again

The information provided appears to be correct, for BT Home Essentials the BT account holder must be in receipt of the qualifying benefits, verified by national insurance number, there's no way round this requirement.

You would have to cease and incur the early termination fee or wait until the minimum term ends and have then reopen a new account in the new account holders name.

I'm sorry if that wasn't the news you wanted.

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Message 3 of 8

Re: Home Essentials... again

None of what you say has anything to do with or is the fault of BT. I think BT like most businesses have been doing their very best.

I read about those pension delays and it's disgusting and mind-boggling that money you're due and the government knew about for decades is not being paid. I'm not sure there's many excuses they can get away with because evn DVLA have been functioning. New pensioners should have been right at the front of the queue and I can't imagine how people are coping without their money -I mean that literally I've not seen much on people who've not been or being paid. Are they getting emergency funds?

Again though, that's not BT's fault. I've contacted BT (and moved to HE) several times in the last 20+ months and they've been very good.

You're a victim of COVID except you're living to tell the tale so just be patient and then try again for HE.

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Message 4 of 8

Re: Home Essentials... again

It might not be there fault but it does sound a but like "the computer says no" to me.

We are finding it difficult to pay for our broadband and BT offering to help and then not help, at least by treating customers fairly and sympathetically comes nowhere near Ofcom's best practice guide for telecoms providers.

My pension delay might not be their fault as said, but they are part of the problem as the very least they could do is allow me to transfer the contract to my husband without charging me over a £100 to do so.

Why don't they many would ask, to which I would reply, you tell me.

Not good enough BT, not good enough at all, and certainly no help - so will I go to another provider at the end of my contract? Well almost certainly, so who is the loser in the end.



If you’re experiencing difficult circumstances that could affect your ability to pay for your broadband or phone services, it’s worth letting your provider know – last year, Ofcom introduced best practice guidance for telecoms providers, calling on them to ensure vulnerable customers are treated fairly and sympathetically.

Read more: - Which?

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Message 5 of 8

Re: Home Essentials... again

Stick with BT for now the HE is a fantastic deal which you will get albeit delayed.

I think you could maybe make a complaint to BT or hopefully one of the Mods here can maybe look into it for you but I'd imagine that will still take time. An exception SHOULD be made in your case I feel.

Like I said you situation is not fair and I'd consider also contacting your MP because you're losing money and services not being able to take advantage of HE.

I hope it all gets sorted for you soon.

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Message 6 of 8

Re: Home Essentials... again

Thanks for your understanding, and I had written to the head honcho at BT after the initial press release pointing out the discrepancy of what he was reported as saying and what was being done.

Had a hand wringing 'so sorry but...' reply from one of his minions and that was as far as it went. 

Ah well. 🙄 

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Message 7 of 8

Re: Home Essentials... again

The whole fact it needs to be in the name of the person receiving the benefits is to stop abuse of the system, I'm certain there's people out there on the old BT basic who are no longer eligible & haven't been for a while but are still getting it, this new system is a much fairer way of looking after those who are entitled to it

Message 8 of 8

Re: Home Essentials... again

Seems to me from what you saying that BT's failure to put their own house in order when it comes to people abusing the system should be no reason and should not provide an excuse for couples like us who (on the face of it) and in the spirit intended not to be entitled to that benefit. 

Bit of a cop-out if you ask me,  but there you go I'm just a customer handcuffed to a contract which BT will only unlock if we them some of our subsidised pension.

I guess they need the money more that we do, after all they 'only' made  a profit before taxation of £1,804m this year according to


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