Lunches and Lanterns

Hello. Ahhh what a busy weekend I’ve had, on Saturday I double booked myself for lunch (so I ate two), one with my grandad who’s 94, he’d never had a McDonald’s⤨ before so we had cheeseburger, fries and a Sprite, he loved it! I’m not really a fan, but I do love the fries. Then I had a vegan BLT with some friends as a second lunch. And then! My favorite of all the odd festivals in Ulverston (a small town near where I live, they have many odd festivals) it was the lantern festival! I forgot to take any photos so I’ve used one my friend took on this Journal Post.

On Sunday I was at a friend’s helping them fix their broadband and one confused muddle lead to us finding out about this free feature.

My friend has MS and can’t move out of her chair. She uses the phone to keep in touch with friends and family. She has a Life Alert bracelet which she can press and it automatically dials out (using the phone line) to a company who can send help if needed. She even has an Amazon Echo linked up to the phone line so she can use the Echo as a speakerphone, “Alexa, call Mike”. So her phone service is very important to her.

I called up the phone/broadband provider Plusnet to get them to do a line check because the broadband was broken (It’d been broken for about a month! Ooops).

While Plusnet was doing the line check, something they did set off the Life Alert calling system, which caused no end of chaos while we tried to explain that there was nothing actually wrong…

Priority Phone Line Repair

Anyway, while dealing with the drama of Life Alert and broadband people all talking at the same time. And trying to explain all this to the very helpful Plusnet person. I mentioned my friend’s illness and the woman from Plusnet support said “We can put a marker on the phone line to say that this person is severely ill and relies on the phone line. That means we give priority support and will come and fix it first on any day of the year, even Christmas Day”.

A couple of questions later they had marked the account as ‘priority’ which means if there is a fault in the future they will come and fix it within 24hrs.

This got me thinking, we didn’t know about this, and maybe others don’t know about this either. Which is why I’ve written this Journal Post*.

Who qualifies for Priority Phone Line Fault Repair?

So if you/someone in your house is (in the words of BT) “registered as Chronically Sick & Disabled… [or] …housebound” then you might be able to register for free priority support for your phone line.

Each phone company seems to have its own rules for this service. For example, BT needs a signed letter from a doctor but Plusnet only had a series of questions to answer on the phone.

How do I get this service?

If you think you or someone you know might qualify for this service you can contact your phone line provider. We’ve included more info links below for the most popular phone line providers. Just click the one that matches your phone line provider.

With all these companies (and ones that we haven’t listed) it’s best to give their customer services a ring and ask about their exact requirements.

I was told this priority service doesn’t cover broadband, only the phone line bit. However, Ofcom^ says it should cover Broadband, Landline and Mobile services.

Mike =)

⥷ PS When I left my friends, their  broadband was working fine. I’d even got the Amazon Echo to play some of her favourite music (Donny Osmond!) so she was happy. “Alexa, play Donny Osmond” I shouted as I left the house, I’m fairly sure she knows how to make it stop…

⤨ PPS I’ve promised my grandad a Pizza Hut next as he’s never had this either.

* The more I think about this, the more I seem to remember that I’ve heard about this feature from somewhere… I’m just not sure where. Update: While swimming last night I realised it’s because you can do the same thing with your Electric and Gas company,

^ Ofcom’s updated rules on priority services came into effect on 1 October 2018 and can be found here for super geeky reading. ~

~ Wow, this small print is starting to look like the small print on a broadband contract 🙂