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Message 1 of 6

Smart Talk service discontinuation - this is not acceptable

BT have recently given notice that the calling feature, BT Smart Talk, is to be withdrawn in a month's time, i.e. January 2019.  This is not acceptable.  I will be seeking professional advice about whether it is legitimate to withdraw a Service at such short notice as a Service is not the same as a Term or Condition which may be varied at notice.

BT Smart Talk is a Service which is still appearing as available to new and existing customers and is promoted as a FREE helpful facility in particular to those of us who choose to pay £9.99 per month for the Unlimited Anytime Calls add-on.  (It is also helpful to anyone who pays for similar call plans with BT, eg an inclusive plan such as the broadband packages which include periods of free calls like Evenings/Weekends Calling Plan.)

Within Unlimited Anytime Calls calling plan (etc) we can expect FREE calls, not only to geographic numbers, but also to those beginning 0845 or 0870.  There are normally charges to 0845 or 0870 numbers according to BT.  

Phoning 0845 or 0870 numbers from a landline obviously is therefore free and if you have signed up to use the FREE SERVICE CALLED BT SMART TALK you can use WIFI to access your home calling plan, such as Unlimited Anytime Calls, from your mobile phone.

To make this quite clear, I therefore expect to use BT Smart Talk app on my mobile to phone 0845 or 0870 numbers FREE at ANYTIME when I can't get to my landline.  

The unexpected news of the SUDDEN WITHDRAWAL OF THE SMART TALK SERVICE is most unwelcome and not justified.  BT say few use it.  That's not good enough, in my opinion; BT have FAILED TO PROMOTE it well enough to encourage take-up, if that is truly the case.  

Now, BT are making sweeping statements that other provisions are available eg Roam Like Home and Wi-Fi calling for BT mobile customers, and "similar apps in the market" for non-BT-mobile-customers.

This is a cynical move to try to drum up more custom for BT's own mobiles.  It is at the expense of those of us who do not currently have a BT mobile.

I happen to have a mobile contract with TescoMobile and they charge quite a lot for setting up a call to 0845/0870 numbers (25p minimum, and 25p per minute).  I am therefore unhappy at being dumped by BT (especially as I recently renewed Line Rental Saver and for an 18 month Broadband & Calls package and have stuck loyally with them despite 15 years of annually being promised our WiFi speeds would catch up with the rest of the country "soon") and being forced to shop around for a replacement for the prospective loss of BT Smart Talk Service.

I therefore think that cutting this service is yet another cynical nail in the coffin for the expectation that Customer Loyalty has any value in the modern economy.  I expected better of BT.  Unless BT withdraws this proposal to withdraw Smart Talk I will consider it VERY SHABBY of BT and there will be even less incentive to remain with BT in the future.  It's a rod for your own back, BT!

Oh and if one challenges BT on Twitter (politely) they apparently just say like it or lump it - it's happening and expect to be charged for dialling 0845 or 0870 numbers.  So much for customer "care" or "service".  Customers are the modern-day cannon-fodder, i.e. expendable.  Hmmph to put it politely.  I can think of a phrase I'd rather use just now.

I can only hope this may **bleep** some consciences amidst the BT big cheeses and they will review the position and retract the withdrawal in the spirit of seasonal goodwill, so we can all cheer them as "Jolly Good Fellows".  They ought to have more confidence in their Calling Plans, after all!!!  You need better marketing mateys!  Try reducing your Anytime Calling Plan charge instead of putting it up year after year.  You've been shooting yourselves in the foot doing that!!  Drop the price back to a fiver and you'll be surprised at the take up.

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Message 2 of 6

Re: Smart Talk service discontinuation - this is not acceptable

The expression "to **bleep** my conscience" does not include an obscenity.
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Message 3 of 6

Re: Smart Talk service discontinuation - this is not acceptable

I object to a valid polite expression being bleeped out and would spell the apparently offending word as follows: ***Edited***

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Message 4 of 6

Re: Smart Talk service discontinuation - this is not acceptable

BT is a commercial organisation and they have made a commercial decision to withdraw the Smart Talk Service. I am not privy to the statistics of the service usage but in my own experience, I have had the Smart Talk app since inception and previously used the service frequently. However, it is now over 18 months since I have made use of the service. So, based on my experience and as a customer of BT, I would rather BT spend money on keeping the services used up to scratch rather than wasting money on a service that is in decline so that they can be regarded as “jolly good fellows”.

Tesco have also made a commercial decision about their pricing structure for their mobile, it is up to you to make your decision who you place your business with.


Message 5 of 6

Re: Smart Talk service discontinuation - this is not acceptable

@windyshore wrote:
I object to a valid polite expression being bleeped out and would spell the apparently offending word as follows: ***Edited***

Then you'd better not use any words here that can alternatively describe a male appendage. As well as not being able to have your conscience pricked, you have to call a male hen a rooster, open a door with a handle, and if your name is Richard be careful not to abbreviate it. The forum's bleepometer is a long-standing nonsense.

@StewM is spot on as regards SmartTalk.

EDIT:  By the way, if you want to avoid 0845/0870 and other premium numbers, bookmark SayNoTo0870

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Message 6 of 6

Re: Smart Talk service discontinuation - this is not acceptable

BT keep on increasing prices and discontinuing services such as disposable email address and now BT. Smart talk. Also it was unclear that only 11 email addresses could be CREATED. In the event of changing needs email addresses are deleted, there seems to be no way to be able to create new addresses beyond 11. All very stressful and indicating I should change provider when our contract comes up for renewal, having been BT customers for over 50 years.

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