List for accessibility access keys:

Using your phone

There are lots of ways to make it easier to use your home phone – from simple tips to helpful phone accessories.

  • General tips

    • If you want to store a phone number you call regularly, use your phone's memory store if it has one
    • Keep a pad and pen by the phone in case you need to take notes
    • To remember everything you want to say on the call, write down some key words to remind you before you dial
    • If you are unable to, or do not feel like talking to people, you could try sending a text message from your phone instead
    • If you want to find the right phone for you, you can visit one of our Try Before You Buy centres where you can see and touch our range of phones.
      Find out more about Try Before You Buy
  • If you dial slowly

    If you dial slowly, you may only get so far through a number before the automatic voice tells you to hang up and try again. If so, try these suggestions:

    Read more about dialing slowly
    • More about
      • Use a telephone with memory buttons where you can store numbers that you want to ring frequently
      • Try a telephone with large buttons so that you can see the button you want to press more easily
      • A telephone with a pre-dial option lets you key in the whole number and check it is correct before you press dial

      Remember, once the automatic voice cuts in you can:

      1. Ignore the message and continue dialling until you have put in all the number
      2. Put down the handset, wait a few seconds and then pick it up again
      3. Press the last number Redial button if you have one
  • If using the phone makes you anxious

    If using the phone makes you anxious, it's helpful to write down what you want to say before you dial, including what you are ringing about, any relevant reference numbers, dates or amounts of money paid.

    Read more about if using the phone makes you anxious
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      Don't be afraid to:

      • Ask for the name of the person you are talking to
      • Ask the other person to repeat what they said
      • Ask the other person to explain anything they have said if you didn't understand it (especially if they have used any jargon or special words)
      • Repeat what the other person has said to make sure you heard it correctly
  • Making a call to a big company

    If you are calling a big company or shop, your call may be answered by a recorded message asking you to make a choice on your telephone keypad. This is a system used to make sure you get through to the right person, but it can sometimes be confusing.

    Read more about making a call to a big company
    • More about


      • The message may be repeated if you wait a short time
      • You may be connected to an operator if you don't press a button before a certain time has gone by
      • You may be able to press a button which will connect you to an operator

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Understanding speech impairments

If you know someone living with a speech impairment, it's important to understand what factors can affect their ability to speak and communicate with ease.

Understand speech impairments