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orange5
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 1 of 7

No longer applicable for Home Essentials Package... but my situation has not changed!

I was put on the Essentials Package a few months ago. I'm disabled and am as a result in receipt of the benefits needed to be able to be on the package. 

However, today -literally at 2am, I've just had an email from BT informing me that I am no longer able to be on the package as my situation has changed. But my situation has not changed! I'm still in receipt of the very same benefits I was on in April (I think? Could have been earlier) when I was first put on the package and am not sure why I've been removed. I remember being called to be informed they'd need to check to ensure I was still correctly able to be on the package, but as my situation was the same I didn't think anything more about it. 

I'm really not good with calling up and am really worried now, I don't know what to do and don't know what I need to do to get the package put back to what it was. I've been told the new package starts on the 15th of August which is the same date I'd been emailed. I'm worried now and don't know what to do!

Is anyone able to help or advise? 

Thank you. 

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6 REPLIES 6
imjolly
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 7

Re: No longer applicable for Home Essentials Package... but my situation has not changed!

I have asked a mod to see if they can help you and clarify what is happening.   they will post here



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DanielS
Moderator
Moderator
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Message 3 of 7

Re: No longer applicable for Home Essentials Package... but my situation has not changed!

Hi @orange5,

Thanks for reaching out to us.

I am so sorry to hear that your package has changed. As you have said none of your benefits have changed something has clearly gone wrong at our end. We have two different BT Home Essential plans. The Unlimited Fibre Essential Plan at £15 per month and the Unlimited Fibre Plan at £20 per month. Apart from connection speed, the main difference is the Essential Plan has an allowance of 700 minutes each month and the Unlimited Fibre Plan for Home Essentials has unlimited minutes a month to call UK landlines and mobiles. For more info on each plan and their terms go to https://www.bt.com/broadband/home-essentials.

I'll need to get this sorted out for you. I'm sending you a private message with some details that I need to get started.

Thanks
DanielS

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granpalee
Beginner
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Message 4 of 7

Re: No longer applicable for Home Essentials Package... but my situation has not changed!

Hello, first post so sorry for the hijack. 

I have the same problem in that I received a similar email today saying that my eligibility has changed , which is news to me!  So I’m told I no longer qualify.  I have tried calling but gave up after 30 minutes waiting.  

Could a moderator help resolve this for me please?

Much appreciated. 

Thanks

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granpalee
Beginner
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Message 5 of 7

Re: No longer applicable for Home Essentials Package... but my situation has not changed!

It's weird!  Panic over!

I managed to sign up again via the sign up page using my existing BT account; contract commencing tomorrow. 

I was offered a digital landline and phone which I opted out of.   My conclusion is that BT wants their customers to move over to the digital landline. 

It is most disconcerning that BT unilaterally ruled that I was illegible on the annual contract renewal check.

 

 

 

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orange5
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 6 of 7

Re: No longer applicable for Home Essentials Package... but my situation has not changed!

I did manage to get this sorted out but I wanted to reply to ask BT to please deal with this a little differently.

I understand the tarriff qualification needs to be checked every now and then, and that I don't have an issue with. But to get an email drop into my inbox in the early hours of the morning, and tell me my situation has changed is really poor taste.

If you have ever watched any of the programmes on the DWP, read any of the personal experiences and heard anything of those that rely on the income from benefits, you'll understand how brutal and faceless they can be. How a mistake can be made and getting this resolved is very difficult. When I saw that email arriving at 2am myself, I was knocked sideways.

I have managed to resolve something which for me, I was lucky; it was a mistake on BT's end it appeared and not with the DWP. I was able to (after nearly 2 hours on hold, one being a result of waiting for 40 mins...then the phone was picked up, didn't speak, breathed a little, and hung up. I had to start again; unfortunate? Nope, this is just what happens with calling them.) They assured me- and wrote to me to confirm I am in the same position I was in to be applicable to be on the tarriff. I was that worried about it, I needed to repeat the same steps a few days later, asking for another letter of confirmation just to be sure that *that* information wasn't the mistake. I had to sit on my hands to not do that a third time... I don't have Obsessional Compulsive Disorder, I do have bad experiences previously of the DWP- but then so do most people. They are not at all easy to deal with is my very general summary of my experiences. I don't get help with dealing with them (I'd like help, but just because you'd like something or even need something, doesn't mean it is granted).

As a result of that experience (the email at 2am, being too worried to sleep and reliving previous experiences in my head, worst case scenarios and the fall out of things had everything with the DWP changed without reason like the email seemed to suggest) the fall out for me has since resulted in a lot of health issues resurfacing. I've been back and forth to hospital as an emergency several times now.  I have a great many health conditions I manage on a very carefully managed balance. I manage this with extreme amounts of efforts, between medical health checks, treatment waiting lists and a hope a prayer and a dream. In an ideal world, I would have support to help me manage things, but like I've said; just because you feel you need help, just because your consultants would argue for you to get that help, doesn't mean that help exists or enough of it exists to go around. So I manage a lot of things on my own, with a very delicate and careful balance. It's not ideal, it's what I have. And I am most likely far from on my own.

BT need to be aware of this. I have many friends, some in a similar situation others not, but those who are in receipt of anything from the DWP (be that Universal Credit, ESA, PIP, Pension Credit....anything at all) everyone of those I've spoken with is a little afraid and initmidated by the DWP, most have bad experiences to share some worse than others. My fear, and the fall out from what I'm sure BT would think to themselves is a small mistake (it really isn't "small"!) it's a shared fear. BT need to keep this in mind when dealing with situations like this, and anything similar to this, because to say I've been knocked sideways...some how doesn't get close enough to the reality.

If it helps you understand the fall out:

The anxiety and lack of sleep had a knock on effect on my eating disorder (anorexia) and I lost weight. I didn't loose a lot of weight, but I lost some which triggered other physical health issues. My weight is already low, and I manage this carefully, but the anxiety plus the drop in nutrition resulted in stomach and chest pain which triggered a health alert  and I had to go on to medication. That medication carried side effects, which again resulted in emergency care and living day to day on my own, caused accidents, one of which resulted in me accidentally cutting myself whilst trying to cut food which due to dizziness caused bleeding which didn't stop, more emergency care. The emergency experience itself causing more anxiety and now previous stomach related issues have resurfaced causing very debilitating pain (unable to eat, drink or walk)....I'm now back and forth between my GP and A&E on the strong advice of my GP/111/A&E Doctors due to those very issues and we're not over yet. I'm now on the waiting list to see if conditions I have and am at risk of have worsened or if in fact there are more. All this as a result of the balance I managed being "knocked sideways".... 

If I had the level of health required and surplus energy required (because let's face it, this reply has taken me a while to create, I've had to rest between paragraphs and I'm going to need to rest afterwards and I'd rather not feel that way to be honest!); I'd be making a formal complaint to those at BT not because I am angry or anything that personal, but because this was so easily avoided. No my health conditions were not caused by BT; like I've said. I have health conditions which I carefully manage and BT upset the balance. But I am in a situation that many others are also in. The careful balance shouldn't be a thing now, but help and support should be available for everyone and it's not. Families and the government and people in general could be less judgemental and again; just because you want or need something does not mean it exists. This is not a new thing. And in the past 10 years or so it has gotten a lot worse and you just have to learn to make it work. 

BT, please, if you do need to inform people of changes; not at 2am please. And ideally not on a Monday morning when calling the DWP or any help (the CAB for example) is the hardest (and ideally not on a friday afternoon, evening or weekend day either for obvious reasons!) When you (I) see an email in cold hard type telling me my situation has changed- even if I know it not to be the case in reality, it is all too common that the DWP can make mistakes and so there is a risk that information could be correct from the DWP -even though in your reality it is not. But to hear that in this case, it was actually BT's own mistake, that the DWP had not even made the mistake here.... I'm both speechless, and angry and shocked. And the way that was all handled- the email at 2am telling me in type (rather than a phone call). It was very cold, it was really brutal and it was thoughtless. It resulted in a tail or spiral of health issues and not to forget the experience of it being as overwhelming and frightening and like I've said; we're not over yet and I'm still awaiting the checks to see what actual damage has been done (and I'm hoping no actual damage but if I'm honest I'm being unrealistic here).

I hope the above has made sense. I hope it's not TMI but wanted to add some personal details so you get the idea. You may want to write off my experience as an abnormality- not everyone in receipt of benefits has a health condition, but many of us do and even those that don't will still not react well to being scared witless at 2am. Just because my spiral of events were in turn physical (as well as mental) I'd say the emotional/mental health distress was just as bad as the physical, were just as debilitating and will in time have affected me in my future fears when opening BT related emails and should be taken seriously. 

BT; please take a look at this if you care at all about the level of customer service  you turn out. Customer service isn't just about call time waits and those at the other end of the phone, it's also about 2am emails and properly carried out checks. 

 

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granpalee
Beginner
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Message 7 of 7

Re: No longer applicable for Home Essentials Package... but my situation has not changed!

I feel your pain, orange5

It is not nice at all, when like you say BT unilaterally decide that your situation has changed, when you know it hasn’t.  This is especially galling as I applied again and was accepted, during which BT do an online check with  the DWP as part of the sign up process.  So why put the customer is distress when the contract ought to have renewed uninterrupted?

And as to the self proclaimed world class award winning Customer Service......pull the other one

Rant over.........

 

 

 

 

 

 

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