BT Telephony service terms
These terms and conditions were last updated on 7th October 2015.
What we provide
- The service we agree to give you includes:
- installation or takeover and rental of a fixed BT telephone line that may be provided using copper or fibre technology depending on where you live;
- the facility to make or receive phone calls including the ability to send or receive information for example, from computers using your telephone line;
- any one of a range of calling plans that enable you to make discounted telephone calls; you are normally provided with Unlimited Weekend Calls as standard with your telephone line rental;
- where the service is provided using fibre technology we will provide you with a battery back-up unit which will allow you to continue to make and receive calls for up to one hour during a power cut, provided your batteries are fully charged;
- any other facilities such as caller display that we agree to give you; and
- one phone number for each fixed telephone line that you rent from us, which we will publish (with your details) in your local BT Phone Book and make available from our Directory Enquiries Service unless you tell us not to.
- If the service we provide allows you to make calls over your BT telephone line with another pre-selected call provider, you may not have the option to make calls with BT and have them charged to your BT bill. Depending on how that provider's service works, or the way in which we provide the telephony service to you, dialling the prefix 1280 before the full telephone number may not result in that call being chargeable by BT. 1280 calls may instead be chargeable by your pre-selected call provider, at their current rates. If any 1280 call does result in the call being chargeable by BT you agree to pay any charges that we may raise for such calls.
When the service starts
- We will agree a date with you for installation or takeover of your telephone line. If you cancel any appointment for the installation of your service after 12.00pm on the day before we agree to install your telephone line, you may be liable to pay a missed appointment charge. Except where we replace your old telephone service with a new service provided by fibre technology, we will begin the service once any work we need to do is completed on that date (service start date). The service start date where we replace your old telephone service with a new service provided by fibre technology, will be from when we tell you to switch from the old service to the new service after the BT engineer has left your premises. We will send you instructions on how and when to switch the service over after the installation. The minimum period for a line is 12 months. The minimum periods for calling plans vary between 1 and 18 months. To qualify for certain offers or deals, you may need to take a calling plan for a minimum period of between 12 and 18 months.
- If you ask us to change your calling plan or you take any other feature or service with your existing telephone line, we can usually do this straight away. If not, we will tell you when the change will take place.
Cancelling Your Agreement
- Except as stated in paragraph 4 above, you may cancel your agreement for the service without charge by contacting us at any time up until the service start date. You have certain rights to cancel after we have started to provide the service. These rights are detailed in paragraphs 10 – 15 of the Residential Standard Terms.
Quality of service
- We aim to provide a continuous, high-quality service.
- If something goes wrong, we will work on any problem that is reported to us in line with the level of repair service that you have chosen. Not all levels of repair service may be available with your service. We offer a guarantee if we delay the installation or repair of your telephone line. See the section "Our responsibility to you" below for more details.
- Depending on the technology we use to provide the service, the main repair services that may be available are:
- Standardcare – operates between 8am and 6pm on weekdays (Monday to Friday, not including public and bank holidays). We aim to repair a fault by midnight on the second weekday following the day you report the fault to us – unless a specific appointment date is agreed. We will treat a fault reported after 9pm on a weekday, or anytime at weekends or on public or bank holidays, as if you reported the fault at 8am on the next weekday after the day you actually reported the fault to us.
- Promptcare – operates between 8am and 6pm on weekdays and Saturdays. We aim to repair a fault by midnight on the next weekday or Saturday after the day you report the fault to us unless a specific appointment date is agreed. We will treat a fault reported after 9pm on a weekday or a Saturday, or anytime on Sundays or on public or bank holidays, as if you reported the fault at 8am on the next weekday or Saturday after the day you actually reported the fault to us. Promptcare is not available on telephone lines provided using fibre technology.
- Totalcare – operates between 7am and 9pm on weekdays and between 8am and 6pm at all other times. We aim to repair a fault within 24 hours of you reporting it to us.
- Priority Fault Repair Service – operates all day every day. This free service is only available on telephone lines of chronically sick and severely disabled customers registered with their Local Authority. Customers with a long-term illness or disability whose telephone is vital in an emergency may also be eligible but registration is required. We aim to repair a fault within 6 hours of it being reported to us.
Our engineers will only carry out work during the relevant operating hours for the repair service you have chosen.
Using the service
- If you use any inclusive Calling Plan in a different way to how it should be used (for example, you use a Calling Plan for telemarketing), we may suspend or end the service immediately.
Our responsibility to you
- In addition to your legal rights as set out in the Residential Standard Terms, we offer a guarantee that covers Calling Plans on BT Telephony services, BT Basic, Light User Scheme and Payphone Lines with some exceptions and variations as set out in paragraph 22 below.
- We guarantee:
- to provide the service by the date we agree with you;
- to repair a service failure in line with the repair service you have chosen, with Standardcare this means by midnight on the third weekday (not including public and bank holidays) after the day you report the fault to us unless a specific appointment date is agreed. We will treat a fault reported after 9pm on a weekday, or anytime at weekends or on public or bank holidays, as if you reported the fault at 8am on the next weekday after the day you reported the fault to us.
- not to disconnect the service by mistake; and
- to keep any appointment we make with you under this agreement.
By service failure, we mean the continuous total loss of the facility to make or receive a phone call, or of any other facility we provide to you, due to a fault in any part of BT's network up to and including the main telephone socket for your property.
- The guarantee does not apply if:
- someone other than BT has caused the fault;
- we ask to come onto your property and you do not allow us to; or
- we reasonably ask for other help and you do not give it.
- Except where you have not switched over your service as set out in paragraph 3 above, if we are late in providing the service (including transferring a telephone number from another service provider where we have agreed to do this) or repairing a service failure, you may request the following.
- Daily-rate rental credit or actual financial loss, which is described in paragraph 18 below. You may choose either daily-rate rental credit or actual financial loss (or both).
- Call diversion, which is described in paragraph 16 below. This is only available if it is reasonably practical, and sometimes technical restrictions may prevent us from offering you this option. Call Diversion is not available as an option where only a number transfer is delayed. If you make calls with another calls provider and you choose call diversion under this customer service guarantee scheme, you may be charged by your pre-selected call provider for the diverted leg of calls at that provider's current rates.
- If we disconnect the service by mistake, you may claim daily rate rental credit or actual financial loss (or both) from the date we disconnect it.
- If we do not keep an appointment, you may claim a fixed amount of £10.
- Call diversion
If we are late supplying or repairing your service and you request call diversion, we will divert your incoming calls to another fixed line or mobile phone number that you choose. Once we have provided the service or repaired the service failure, we will cancel your call diversion.
The number you choose must be a UK number, but there are some numbers which we will not divert your calls to (for example, 0800 and 0870 numbers). The full list is shown in paragraph 21 below.
If we divert your calls to a mobile number, the person calling you will not have to pay any extra costs for making that call.
You may also claim actual financial loss, as described in paragraph 17 below. However, this does not apply to any extra mobile call charges you run up within five days of us not keeping to our guarantee.
- Daily rate rental credit or actual financial loss
Daily-rate rental credit is the amount we will credit you for each whole or part day we are late in providing the service or repairing a service failure and for each line affected. It is equal to the daily charge of your rentals for each day that applies. The daily charge is four times the rental charge for three months (including VAT) divided by 365. Payment for extra care packages is not included in this. If you claim this, you will not have to prove your loss. If you suffer extra losses, you may also claim actual financial loss as described below.
Actual financial loss is the amount you lose that could reasonably be foreseen (expected) as a result of us not keeping to our guarantee. If you claim this, you will have to show us proof of your loss. The amount we agree that is due to you will not include or be subject to VAT.
- The limits
The maximum amount we will credit or pay you is £1000 for each line affected in any 12-month period. This does not affect your legal rights or include our responsibilities to you if you die, suffer personal injury or suffer loss or damage to physical property as a result of our negligence, as set out in the Residential Standard Terms.
- How we will pay you
We will normally take any amounts that we owe you off your next phone bill. However, we may agree to pay actual financial loss payments by cheque if you ask.
- How to make a claim
To make a claim under the terms of the guarantee set out in these telephone service terms, you must make your claim within four months of us putting things right. For actual financial loss, you must claim in writing. Please ask for a claim form. This does not limit your additional legal rights as set out in the Residential Standard Terms to make a claim for compensation after four months have lapsed, where BT is liable under the terms of the guarantee.
In cases where only the number transfer is delayed, daily rate rental credit is payable up to a maximum of 1 month. This does not apply where you have not switched over your service as set out in paragraph 3 above.
Call diversion will not be provided for BT calling features and network features and to numbers beginning with 00, 08, 09, 070, 076, 0500 or 07744.
Daily-rate rental credit will not apply to any BT calling feature that is provided free of charge and fails. This includes BT calling features that are provided as part of the BT Working Together and BT Working Together Talk packages.
If you take a BT calling feature as part of a line-rental package and there is a service failure, we will not pay daily-rate rental credit on the BT calling feature part of the package.
If a BT calling feature is part of a calling features package and one or more services experience a service failure, we will work out the daily-rate rental credit using the BT calling features package rental.
We will not pay any daily-rate rental credit on any pay-per-use BT calling features.
Payphone lines are not supported where your service is provided using fibre technology.
Changing your BT service
Changes we may make
- Occasionally, we may have to interrupt the service. If we do so, we will restore it as quickly as we can. We may also from time to time need to change your area code or phone number, or access numbers.
Changes you can make
- You can add Friends & Family International to an existing calling plan at any time (additional rental charge may apply).
- If you take a calling plan as part of a special offer or deal, then during minimum period, you cannot downgrade to a lower level calling plan. Once the minimum period for your chosen offer or deal has ended, you may downgrade to a lower level calling plan without penalty.
- If you upgrade from the Unlimited Weekend plan to the standard Unlimited Evening and Weekend Plan, your existing contract – including any remaining minimum period – will continue to apply but we will charge you the fee that applies to the new level of calling plan that you have chosen.
- If, at any time, you take a calling plan as part of a promotion, you must begin a new contract with a new minimum period for that calling plan.
- If you move home and want us to provide you with telephone service at your new address, you must begin a new contract with a 12 month minimum period for the new telephone line. If you paid for 12 months line rental in advance at your old address, you can carry over any unused rental period to your new address. If you have not reached the end of the minimum period for your existing calling plan contract when you move, you can carry the remainder of that contract over to your new address, but you may only upgrade or downgrade your calling plan as set out in paragraphs 24 to 26 above.
Ending the Service
- If you have any additional BT services that rely on your telephone line they will also end when you end your agreement for telephone service.
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