Services for customers with disabilities
Third party bill management
The easiest way to ensure you don't miss a payment is to pay your bills by Direct Debit. This way you'll never need to worry about missing a bill. However, we appreciate that some customers prefer to pay with a credit or debit card.
In exceptional circumstances, like a long stay in hospital, we know that anyone can accidentally forget to pay a bill. Therefore, we offer various ways for someone else to manage bills on your behalf if your personal circumstances change, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis.
Any customer can nominate a friend or family member to manage bills on their account. We call these people 'authorised users'.
You can add up to two authorised users on your account, and once they're set up they'll be able to discuss bills on your account and make a payment for any outstanding balances. However, authorised users are not permitted to close an account, or to make changes to an existing contract (e.g. changing the current broadband package).
If you wish to add an authorised user to your account, please contact us on 0800 432 0200 or by using our online chat service.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document which gives someone else (known as an 'attorney') legal authority to make decisions and act on your behalf. The attorney is usually a family member, friend or solicitor.
The most common type of power of attorney is known as a lasting power of attorney (LPA). An LPA allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity or if you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.
There are two types of LPA, known as 'property and financial affairs' and 'health and welfare'. Only a property and financial affairs LPA is valid for the purposes of managing a Plusnet account, and it will need to be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can take effect. Once the LPA is registered by the OPG, the attorney will have the same powers to manage your Plusnet account as you do.
Once an LPA is effective on your account, we will only be able to take instructions from the attorney and not from you. In addition, we can only remove an LPA from your account if you provide us with a valid 'Deed of Revocation' (signed by you), or a confirmation letter from the Office of the Public Guardian or the Court of Protection stating the LPA has been revoked.
Another common type of power of attorney is known as an ordinary power of attorney (OPA). An OPA is normally temporary and will only remain valid whilst you still have mental capacity to make your own decisions and can give instructions to the attorney. OPA's tend to be used for specific purposes, such as if you need someone to manage your affairs whilst on holiday. Ordinary powers of attorney don't need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
If you'd like to know more about powers of attorney, including information about other types of POA, we recommend this useful guidance published by Ofcom: Powers of attorney and third party bill management.
If you have power of attorney, please send a scanned copy to Postroom@plus.net. Alternatively you can send a photocopy to:
2 Pinfold Street
Braille, large print, and audio documents
We want to make sure you always get the information you need in a way that's easy for you to use and understand.
In certain circumstances, we can provide your monthly bill or contract details in formats that you might find easier to use. This includes:
- Braille – we use grade 2 single-sided Braille, which is quicker to read as some words are abbreviated
- large print – we provide lots of user guides, contracts and letters in large print
- audio – we provide audio information on CDs so you can hear it read out loud. The CD can be used on a CD player or a computer. We can also provide audio information that is compatible with a MP3 player.
If you would like to discuss what is available to suit your needs, please contact our customer support team on 0800 432 0200 or by using our online chat service.
Free directory enquiries service
If you find the BT phone book difficult to hold, handle or read you can apply for a free directory enquiry service.
In order to sign up for this service, you'll need to complete an application form, which will need counter signing by a medical professional. To request a form, call 0800 587 0195 and ask to speak with the registration team, whose opening hours are 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Please note: this service is not provided by Plusnet.
Once signed up, all you need to do is dial 195 and you can speak to an operator who'll find the number you require. You can also ask to be connected directly to the number you wish to call. If you are connected by the operator, you will be charged for the call in accordance with your normal Plusnet call package. In other words, you won’t be charged more than normal for using this service.
Free priority fault repair (phone service)
We do our best to keep all our services up and running at all times. However, it’s not possible to guarantee a completely fault-free service and occasionally, we know that some customers may experience problems with their phone line.
For customers who are dependent on their phone service, we operate a free priority fault repair scheme, which offers enhanced support and speedier fault resolution for eligible customers.
Who can apply?
Free priority fault repair is intended for customers whose health and wellbeing would be at serious risk if they didn’t have access to a working phone line. For this reason, the scheme is available to those who are most in need, such as:
- customers registered as ‘chronically sick and disabled’ under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970;
- customers who are incapacitated and therefore housebound due to a chronic long-term illness or disability, which stops them being able to leave the house without the assistance of another person (for example, if they’re on the National Organ Transplant waiting list);
- customers who have difficulty getting out of the house unaided.
In order to qualify for free priority fault repair you’ll also need to meet the following criteria:
- You must be a Plusnet customer.
- There must be a total loss of service on your phone line.
- You must live alone.
- Your Plusnet phone line must be your only telephone service (for example, you won’t be eligible if you have access to a working mobile phone, unless you have a Careline pendant which relies on your Plusnet service).
- You must currently be living at the address where the faulty phone line is installed.
What the scheme doesn't cover
We can't offer you the scheme if:
- your phone line is supplied by another service provider; or
- you live in warden-controlled premises, a residential nursing home, care home or similar type of property.
The scheme doesn't cover alarm monitoring stations, control rooms or any other types of alarm lines or installations.
How to apply
To apply for free priority fault repair, you (or someone calling on your behalf) must contact the call centre in order to raise the fault. If an engineer is required, we'll ask you for details of your case so we can escalate appropriately. One of our advisors will ask you a few questions to make sure you meet the criteria for priority fault repair.
Need more help?
If you have any questions about our priority fault repair scheme, please contact our customer support team on 0800 432 0200 or by using our online chat service.
Next Generation Text / Text relay services
A text relay service is designed to help customers who struggle to use a phone because they have difficulty hearing or speaking. It's effectively a translation service, which converts voice-to-text or text-to-voice.
If you struggle with hearing, a relay assistant will type what the other person is saying, so that you can read their words in real time. If you have difficulty speaking on the phone, a relay assistant will speak the words you type, so the other person can hear your words in real time.
Next Generation Text and the NGT App
Next Generation Text (NGT) is a new and improved version of the previous text relay service and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can use a text phone for NGT (like the old text relay service), but nowadays there's also a free NGT App, which works with smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs, so that you can use NGT wherever you have an internet connection.
There are different ways in which you can use Next Generation Text depending on your circumstances. These options are summarised below:
|Option||If you...||How it works|
|'Type and Read'||...can't hear and don't use your voice||You type what you want to say on a phone call, and read what the other person says.|
|'Speak and Read'||...can't hear but can use your voice||You speak directly to the other person, a relay assistant types the response back to you and stays on the call for as long as is required.|
|'Type and Hear'||...can hear but don't use your voice||You are connected to a relay assistant who reads to the other person the words you've typed, while you hear the other person speak.|
|'Speak and Hear'||...can hear, and are speaking to someone who needs to use NGT||Communicating with someone who is not able to speak on the phone, via a text relay assistant.|
Cost of NGT
The cost of a text relay call should be the same as if you made the call without text relay. We know that text relay calls can take longer than a normal voice call, so we make adjustments to your call charges to make sure that you aren’t out of pocket.
Need more help?
NGT is not a service provided directly by Plusnet. To find out lots about the options available and how to use NGT we recommend that you visit the Next Generation Text website: www.ngts.org.uk.
You can also contact our customer support team on 0800 432 0200 or by using our online chat service.
The emergency SMS service is there for people who struggle to speak on the phone, so they can alert the emergency services without needing to call them.
The emergency SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard.
How to register
Before you can use the service you need to register your mobile phone by sending the word 'register' in an SMS message to 999.
You'll then get the SMS message below about the service.
"After reading ALL this message, SEND THE WORD 'YES' TO 999 TO COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION - otherwise your phone isn't registered. In an emergency, you will know your message has been received ONLY when you get a reply from an emergency service; until then try other methods. Full details, Terms & Conditions are available at www.emergencysms.org.uk"
When you've read the message, reply by texting 'yes' to 999 and you'll then get a message telling you that your mobile phone is registered or if there is a problem with your registration.
For more details go to www.emergencySMS.org.uk