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to be furious on her behalf

(11 Posts)
playpen80 Sun 21-Apr-13 19:51:17

I have a sibling who is really struggling. After working for 20 years she was made redundant. Several years later redundancy pay has run out as has only been able to work on and off. Currently on jsa. Takes home approx £ 62 after paying council tax and fares to sign on. She is not workshy and currently volunteers 3 days a week in a charity shop.
So that's the background. Added to that she has had eating disorders in the past so I am worried this will tip her over the edge.
So I have been helping her get the cost of her bills down. Found out about a service called bt basic. Sounded perfect. We applied and she completed at returned form immediately. Told form must be back within 14 days from date of letter. She received it on day 10.
So she now has letter saying she doesn't qualify either because not on correct benefit or forms not received back in time. Also tells her she can't reapply.
AIBU to be really cross with bt.

playpen80 Sun 21-Apr-13 19:52:33

Sorry can't reapply for 6 months.

MelanieCheeks Sun 21-Apr-13 19:55:36

Which is it - not on correct benefit or the time of reply form?

I'd like to think if it was the date of the form that you could talk to someone with some common sense....

playpen80 Sun 21-Apr-13 22:40:43

Letter doesn't say. She is ringing them tomorrow. Only assuming date as definately on qualifying benefit.

MrsBertMacklin Sun 21-Apr-13 22:47:07

That's rubbish OP, no surprise from BT though. I've just looked this up & see that you can download a PDF of the guidance notes for this service, so why can't you download the application form?

I take it that it took ten days for the form to arrive because it was sent via a 2nd class franked envelope?

If she doesn't get anywhere, you might want to see if one of the newspapers' consumer rights champions can look into why BT are making it so difficult for this service to be taken up by people who qualify.

simplesusan Sun 21-Apr-13 22:51:15


Don't know what you can do though.

1Catherine1 Sun 21-Apr-13 23:00:50

I know I'm a bit off topic here, but... Should she be paying council tax if she is on jsa? I don't actually mean for you to answer that ofc, but perhaps if she is struggling then she should look into the benefits she can claim to help her through?

Unami Sun 21-Apr-13 23:25:52

BT basic can actually work out to be much the same price as normal phone packages if you plan to use it to make phone calls. The line rental is very cheap, but phone calls are charged at a standard rate, and it doesn't include any free call periods such as the evening or weekends. It's really there to give people the security of having a landline, and the ability to receive calls. My question would be a) does she intend to use the phone to make regular outgoing calls - or does she just want to be able to receive them? b) does she need a landline at all? A lot of people find that being able to receive calls on a payg mobile meets just the same need.

Unami Sun 21-Apr-13 23:32:26

Also, if she receives contribution based Jobseekers Allowance then she won't qualify.

Contribution based Jobseekers Allowance is usually paid for a maximum of six months, after which you are switched to Income based Jobseekers Allowance if you are still looking for work and your saving (and now certain assets) are under a certain threshold. If this is the case, she'd be able to reapply for the BT basic package once her JA is switched in 6 months.

playpen80 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:48:55

Sadly she now has to pay council tax as govt have removed funding. Apparently everyone of working age now has to pay something except those with dc under T or the disabled.
Defo on income based.
Also bt confirmed will defo be cheaper based on current usage.

playpen80 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:49:25

That was under 5

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