BT customers are being warned against using the company’s wake-up call service, as they may not be aware of the whopping charge.
Customers are not told that the wake-up call will costs £7 when they ring to order, which led to one man unknowingly racking up a £118 bill for 17 alarm calls.
The customer, Ricky Reemer, 28, Managing Director of Unicorn IT, was so infuriated by the charge that he refused to pay. BT responded by cutting off his landline.
“I couldn’t believe it” said Mr. Reemer, “I was shocked when I realised how much they charged me a call. It’s so ludicrous it’s laughable. At first I was convinced they’d made a mistake.
“When I rang the BT operator and asked if they did a wake-up call they said ‘Yes, of course sir. What time for?’
“There’s no mention of the cost. But it worked so I carried on using it several times.” Ricky was horrified by the huge bill so complained to BT and Ofcom. But he was told the charge was correct and, when he refused to pay, his landline was disconnected.
He said: “I was shocked by BT’s unreasonable behaviour and furious I wasn’t told about the charge.
“There’s no way it can cost that much to make the call. It is just an example of big companies ripping off the powerless individual.” Now media regulators Ofcom are probing the tariff. The fee of £6.553 plus VAT is shown on BT’s website, but callers who dial 100 for operator service are not warned about the cost.
Bt defended the charge and pointed out they offer the cheaper automated service at 29p a time. For most people this works by dialling 55 and entering the wake-up time.
Ricky is angry he was not told about the cheaper option. He said: “If told there was a cheaper way of getting an alarm call of course I would have taken that option. I can’t help feeling that I was deliberately kept in the dark.”
A BT spokesman insisted: “Our charges are displayed on our website – we are not misleading customers.”
However, Mr Reemer’s bill is being halved. The spokesman said: “We appreciate there has been some confusion here.”