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Richard49
Beginner
11,142 Views
Message 1 of 31

Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

Hi all
I am new to the community, forgive me if this post is in the wrong place and too long!
After being “bombarded” by emails in November 2019 offering me a personalised package to upgrade to Halo, for a similar cost but with additional data to our mobiles, I did so online. The new contract was scheduled to start at the end of our old one and kicked in on 24/01/2020, all good so far!

After checking a few days later in MyBT I discovered I had been charged for a call on a Saturday and checking the package realised I was now on Pay as You Go at 20p per minute.

This means that an hour talking to my elderly P costs me £12 whereas on the free evening and weekend it was nothing.
On calling BT the person I spoke to (in the UK) wasn't aware as I, this had happened as he attempted to reinstate the free evening and weekend call plan.

Other than reverting to my old plan until that is completely discontinued (soon no doubt), the option is to pay £5.00 for 500 minutes anytime.  

Lets be clear although it is in the T's & C's I didn't see it, its not in small print, its not prominent but also just not what I expected from BT.

When I contacted customer service the only option in reality was to pay the £5.00 per month for minutes I may or may not use, no "roll-over" and no compromise from BT other than to refund the 20p I had been charged!

My question to all who read this is, are you aware that free evenings and weekend calls have been discontinued?

If not then you need to change your habit of spending an hour speaking to a loved one or friend, pay the £5.00 for 500 minutes or pay £12.00 per hour to continue to do so

Really BT not what I expected from you ….. a personalised package? I don't think so.

 

 

To be honest

 

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30 REPLIES 30
Dode
Recognised Expert
11,119 Views
Message 2 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

Would a better option now be to use Mobile minutes rather than pay the £5 for something you may not fully use.

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Richard49
Beginner
11,093 Views
Message 3 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

I agree but both my better half and I have elderly parents (in their 90s) and when you are at home, used to using that service it's easy just to pick up the house phone etc. The main point is that if you are not fully aware of this change, you could run up a big bill in the first month, just want to make sure all know about it.
pottyperson
Distinguished Guru
Distinguished Guru
11,080 Views
Message 4 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?


@Richard49 wrote:
I agree but both my better half and I have elderly parents (in their 90s) and when you are at home, used to using that service it's easy just to pick up the house phone etc. The main point is that if you are not fully aware of this change, you could run up a big bill in the first month, just want to make sure all know about it.

True. It's generally preferable to make service changes by phoning 0800 800 030, where you can go through your package bit by bit and may even get a better deal. Listen carefully though as it's still possible for things to slip through unnoticed.

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Richard49
Beginner
11,070 Views
Message 5 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

Yeah I agree the only thing I would add is that generally we are all "pushed" towards doing it ourselves, signing up for these things on the web seems to allow some to then tell us "oh well its your fault you didn't read it properly!" somewhat true but that really depends what is presented to you, its format and how far up the scale the seller puts the information, maybe they should put it right next to the bit that says "Upgrade to Halo from as little as £3 extra a month" and add by the way we have stopped giving you free weekend and evening calls, adding 500 minutes will cost you £5.00, therefore it'll be £2.00 more to have Halo?
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gg30340
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
11,063 Views
Message 6 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

As far as I am aware none of the broadband packages come with a phone call allowance.

It is now a paid for add on. This is no doubt due to most people having a mobile phone with either unlimited "free" calls or at least some sort of an allowance for "free" calls and as a result the landline phone is being used less and less.

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-Richie-
Guru
11,052 Views
Message 7 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

Evening and weekend calls was never free, It was £4.50 per month.

Broadband packages came with unlimited weekend calls, most people on that plan who used the landline and incurred phone charges were upgraded to My Anytime Calls (MAC) at a discounted rate that reflected average costs, MAC can be kept during any new broadband renewal.

The new calling plans in my opinion are far better, no more inclusive periods, if you're a light user then PAYG, If you use less than 8 and a half hours per month, the £5 for 500 minute calls are ideal, heavy users can have unlimited calls for £12 unless they have the old unlimited anytime calls, they will pay the same rate.
Finally calls to UK mobiles are included, previously there was a 50% discount at most.

Dode
Recognised Expert
11,023 Views
Message 8 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

We stopped using the landline for calls a while back and just used the mobile, PAYG at 3p a minute. We hardly use the phone anyway. However, because we would be classed as a light/none user we got the offer of My Anytime Calls for £1 PM. Even at that it was touch and go whether it was worth it, how ever we stretched the budget and took the offer. 😉

Richard49
Beginner
10,963 Views
Message 9 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

Well Richie, regarding
"Evening and weekend calls was never free, It was £4.50 per month"
whilst I cannot speak for all BT customers, I can say that if your previous deal included a credit/discount/refund against your package, that matched or exceeded this amount (as mine did at £10 per month), then I would consider this as free, as I have not paid for it.
"The new calling plans in my opinion are far better, …….."
This is an opinion goes back to my issue in that the promotion of Halo and the benefit of moving to it, should also display in equal terms that if you take this package in order to use your house phone, you will need to pay £5.00 for 500 minutes, £12 for unlimited calls or 20p per minute on top of that total package price.
I have a very large family, many of whom are with BT, many are not that young and have been using the evenings and weekend call plan for some time, disconnecting after an hour etc.
My point in putting this forward into the community was to give awareness of the potential cost to BT customers of continuing that practice, in ignorance of the change, which has not been advertised or broadcast with the same gusto as "Upgrade to Halo from as little as £3 extra a month"
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AlisonM
Aspiring Contributor
10,939 Views
Message 10 of 31

Re: Free evenings and weekend calls discontinued?

@Richard49  - I agree with you.

I think there is an appalling lack of transparency on the part of BT over how existing customers are affected by the new calling plans, how they are changed over to these when they renew, upgrade or regrade and precisely what they will be charged.

It is quite clear to potential new customers investigating the BT site that their contract will be for broadband only and that all calling plans are optional add-ons.  However, for customers who have been with BT for many years and have always had and are therefore used to having free calls included as part of their package, this represents a fundamental change.  I don’t see how they can be expected to just somehow know about this change if they are not told - they are not psychic.  As you discovered, the BT staff don’t all know about it yet either.  Yours is not the first case I have heard of where the staff initially think a mistake has been made.

My own contract ends in 10 days time and I do know about the new calling plans.  However, I only found out by accident from a comment on one of the forums here and then investigated further for myself.  It’s not easy to find anything very detailed, but there is this link.

What are the BT Calling Plans and how can I change to a new one?

Under I’m an existing customer, we get

If you signed up for a landline with us before late October 2019, you’ll probably be one our three calling plans: Unlimited Weekend Calls, Unlimited Evening & Weekend Calls and Unlimited Anytime Calls. These include free calls at certain times of the day - it says on your bill what Calling Plan you're on.

You won’t be affected by our new plans unless you choose to upgrade or amend your package.

https://www.bt.com/help/landline/manage-service/i-want-to-change-or-cancel-my-services/what-are-the-...

As I currently have free weekend calls as part of my broadband package, make good use of these and pay less than £1 per month on chargeable calls, all of the new options will mean increased overall costs for me:

  1. PAYG at 20p per minute with my usual weekend calls then costing £12 each
  2. Go out of contract to retain the free weekend calls, but lose my £12.50 discount
  3. 500 minutes at £5 per month (clearly my only realistic option, limiting the increase to just over £4 a month compared to my current plan)

But these are the things that BT do not mention AT ALL when they send me offers to upgrade to Halo for only £3 extra or Fibre at no extra charge.

@-Richie-  "Evening and weekend calls was never free, It was £4.50 per month"

I can assure you that evening and weekend calls were indeed free as part of my original broadband package in around 2006.  This evening calls element was removed a couple of renewals ago at the time they introduced the £4.50 charge and wouldn’t allow you to carry your original free evening and weekend calls through if you renewed, upgraded or regraded or wanted to keep any discount.  Sounds quite familiar …