BT charges Strood pensioner Molly Martin £99 to plug phone in
Molly Martin suffers from
arthritis and is unable to bend down
by Lynn Cox
Pensioner Molly Martin received a bumper bill from BT – just for
plugging her phone back in.
The company sent an engineer to the 80-year-old's Strood home
when she reported her phone was not working.
The pensioner, who suffers from arthritis and has great
difficulty bending down, used a neighbour's mobile to report the
When the engineer arrived, he found the telephone plug had
slipped out of the socket on the wall.
He plugged it back in and left. A
"I've been with BT since I got a phone some 50 years ago, but not any more…” – pensioner Molly Martin
week later, Mrs Martin
received a bill from BT charging her £99.
Mrs Martin said: "He was here less than 10 minutes. I was
astonished to get my bill a week or so later. It is outrageous how
they can charge that much just for that.
"I've been with BT since I got a phone some 50 years ago, but
not any more. I have now changed and will be going with Virgin from
Mrs Martin said when she called to report the fault, she was
asked a series of questions about how much of a priority she was -
and stated she had some disabilities and would need an engineer to
After receiving the bill, Mrs Martin called BT's customer
services but was told she would have to pay the £99 as she had
asked for an engineer to come out and the fault was with her
equipment not a fault on their line.
Mrs Martin said: "It made me feel ill - it's just incompetence
all round. They knew I had disabilities and can't bend down. I
would not have been able to plug it back in myself."
the telecoms group reported a sharp rise in annual pre-tax profits
which were up 42% to £2.4 billion. This means the company made a
profit of more than £6.5 million a day and more than £4,566 a
Mrs Martin added: "I was staggered by how much they charged for
just a few minutes, no wonder they make so much profit."
After we approached BT, the company said it would no longer be
charging Mrs Martin the £99 fee.
A spokesman said: "BT does charge for an engineering visit when
the fault is not on BT’s network. This is explained fully to the
customer before the visit is booked.
"However, we are now aware that Mrs Martin was unable to do
these checks herself, and we have refunded the charge. We apologise
for any stress caused."
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