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Message 1 of 6

Landline installations during coronavirus - help needed


My mother is ill and vulnerable. She has recently moved to a care home with very limited mobile phone reception. We ordered a landline with BT 2 weeks ago and an engineer was booked to install the line today. 

This afternoon at 2pm the engineer rang to say he could not install the line as he was not allowed to enter the building, even though the care home were totally happy for him to come and were expecting him.

Is this BT policy? Is it the case that no landline installations are currently taking place because of coronavirus? Why were we not told? I am confused as we received many emails and texts confirming the arrival of the engineer this week. 

Please could you let me know how BT are going to sort this out. My mother desperately needs to communicate with the outside world - with medical staff, solicitors, and friends - and many of these people or organisations cannot be contacted via email or whatsapp. The home cannot provide her with her own phone. 

On the website, BT says: "We know these are challenging times, and as the majority of the UK relies on our networks to stay in touch with friends, family and vital information, we want you to know that we’ll be here to help and do everything we can to keep the nation safely connected.  Our main priority is helping you get through this difficult time. Here’s what we’ll be doing to keep the UK connected when you need it most."

How will BT help my mother now? 


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Message 2 of 6

Re: Landline installations during coronavirus - help needed

Openreach had not published their position 2 weeks ago

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Message 3 of 6

Re: Landline installations during coronavirus - help needed

Hi @PL2,

Welcome to the Community and thanks for taking the time to post.

I'm really sorry that the connection of your mother's service was not completed. 

Openreach engineers have been advised not to enter a customer’s property unless it would leave a vulnerable customer with no form of connection, and it’s not possible to provide one another way. We’re working with Openreach to help identify these customers.

You have mentioned in your post that your mother has access to a mobile phone with limited signal and is also in a care home. The care home should have working phone lines is it possible for your mother to use the care homes phone during this period?




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Message 4 of 6

Re: Landline installations during coronavirus - help needed

Hi @Matt-S 

Thank you for your reply. 

Yes, my mother is in a care home. She is in a care home precisely because she is vulnerable: she has a chronic, terminal illness, recently diagnosed, which has disabled her to the point she cannot walk. 

She can ring the bell and ask to borrow a phone for a limited period, but one is not always available. When she does have it, it receives all incoming calls from the reception desk, so is not appropriate. 

Our mother has missed important calls from her doctor and palliative care nurse because care home staff are often too busy to answer the phone and take it through to her. The reality is that care homes are severely understaffed.

As you can imagine, this is a serious risk to her physical and mental heath. 

How can we register my mother as vulnerable with Openreach?

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Best wishes, 


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Message 5 of 6

Re: Landline installations during coronavirus - help needed


Thanks for getting back to me.

I'm really sorry to hear how unwell your mother is and in normal circumstances, it wouldn't be a problem to get an engineer out to get the line fitted as soon as possible. 

It's not possible to register your mother as vulnerable with Openreach. The best we can do is explain to Openreach the situation and maybe they will be able to arrange another engineer or for a temporary line to be installed. I've sent you a Private Message with details on how you can get in contact with the mod team.



Message 6 of 6

Re: Landline installations during coronavirus - help needed


Thank you for recognising how difficult the situation is. I will reply to your message now.


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