cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

FIXED
Zebra7
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎27-02-2019

** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

Over the past month or so, we have been bombarded two or three times a day by what we presume to be scam calls from  scumbags spoofing "international" numbers.

 

It's getting beyond a joke, so I went online to my British telecom account -- because we have a BT landline -- to see if there was some BT facility I could use to blacklist calls from such numbers (Caller Display shows them to be nearly all the same international STD code and exchange, as does our phone's calls record log).

 

To my surprise, I discovered that BT has no record of me as a customer. And that I left it more than 2 years ago.

What actually happened  was that in January 2019 I packed in BT Internet and came to Plusnet instead. Obviously, I still needed a landline to get any Internet service and so my original BT landline remained ujndisturbed.

 

I pay Plusnet a monthly sum which includes the extortionate landline monthly rental sum  that I always thought was due to  British Telecom . .

 

I understand from what I've read on the 'Net that BT customers can opt to have all kinds of anti-scam services and facilities, either free or paid-for, from BT as part of their rental. But of course, if one is NOT a BT customer, then no such customer facilities are available.

 

When I quit BT Internet for Plusnet broadband, I had no idea that BT would then treat me as having ceased to be a BT customer altogether. I never cancelled the landline, merely the substandard BT Internet service.

 

Since January 2019, every Plusnet bill I get is for "Unlimited Fibre" at such and such a price, plus "LINE RENTAL"  at a (disgraceful )£19.99 per month. (I did actually pre-pay for 12 months back in January 2019, but haven't bothered since as we've had our home up for sale and would be moving to a different part of the UK and obviously, a different phone number.)

 

On the basis that Plusnet is part of BT, I assumed Plusnet was acting as collection  agent for the BT monthly rental charge.

 

However, if as BT tells me, I'm no longer a BT customer  the conclusion has to be that British Telecom isn't receiving the £19.99p paid each month.

And If that's the case, who is?

Meantime, my wife and I seem doomed to have to continue being besieged by scammers using spoofed fake numbers.

18 REPLIES 18
Mustrum
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,150
Thanks: 829
Fixes: 73
Registered: ‎13-08-2015

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

Really ? https://community.plus.net/t5/Home-Phone/How-to-cancel-an-add-on-feature/m-p/1686807#M30017 

You could just take the equivalent PN service.

jab1
Aspiring Legend
Posts: 12,295
Thanks: 3,909
Fixes: 153
Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

Fix

Simple answer, @Zebra7 , is that when you changed from BT Internet, as your documentation will tell you, your phone service moved to PN - that is how the system has worked for a number of years - your ISP is also your voice service provider, which is why there is a phone-line rental element on your monthly PN invoice.

Plusnet is a BT Group company, but is not BT as a legal entity. Plusnet are receiving the £19.99 as your voice service provider.

 

With regard to the spoofed/fake calls, although I have the pared-down version of BT Call Protect which is used by PN (as the 'bargain' BT brand, I have found the best way of almost eliminating them is to not answer unknown numbers - I used to easily get 9 or 10 a day, now I consider myself unlucky if I get 5 a month. If you don't answer, you get ignored by the autodiallers.

John
Zebra7
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎27-02-2019

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

@John: Thanks for that, much appreciated. We don;t answer any of the calls but let the phone ring a few times before the answer machine kicks in, at which point the remote dialler predictably disconnects.That said though, having never answered any of these calls, our phone number continues to be rung by the same scammers every day (though thankfully, never at night).. It's hugely frustrating / irritating.

 

As to the documentation received when we became Plusnet customers, I don't recall anything about Plusnet 'voice service' (i.e., telephone) responsibility. We were instead assured that switching would be quick and trouble free and that we could keep our existing phone number.

 

That said, thanks to your message, it seems to me I'd best stop regarding Plusnet as a BT collection agent, and address my concerns about nuisance calls to Plusnet via my Plusnet customer account.

Zebra7
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎27-02-2019

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

Thanks Mustrum for taking the time and trouble to help. I hadn't realized my landline service was actually in Plusnet's tender care until reading John's response on this thread, so I haven't looked at any anti-scam anti-nuisance call facilities that Plusnet may be offering.

 

I'll go investigate now if Plusnet has the equivalent kind of protections that BT offers its customers.

Mustrum
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,150
Thanks: 829
Fixes: 73
Registered: ‎13-08-2015

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

@Zebra7  I used to have the same issue with scammers calls, thankfully during the first lock down they all but stopped. Like @jab1  mentions, I never used to answer them, but when they started up again at the back end of last year, I got myself a call blocker phone. So for a one off payment, I now have a phone that screens calls, those numbers I know I enter in the address book which allows calls to ring the phone, all others have to press a number to get through - none of the scammers do that, so my peace is restored. 

The PN call blocker is a simpler version of the BT one, some say less effective - but at least now you have an option, oh and know you get phone and broadband from PN 😉

Zebra7
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎27-02-2019

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

QUICK UPDATE: Now that I'm aware of being a Plusnet voice service customer, and that the landline service is indeed provided by plusnet and not British Telecom, I've hithered to my online Plusnet account/Telephone to see what is included in the monthly £19.99 fee that I'm currently paying.

 

I'm advised on-screen that I have Plusnet Call protect at £00.00 a month. The check box next to this item  is ticked.

 

What that actually means isn't immediately obvious. Just a green tick in a box -- not exactly communicative.  I cannot find any  section of the Plusnet website of how to actually manage the Plusnet Call Protect Service.

 

By comparison, British Telecom advises that its Call Protect service is similarly is free of charge to all customers and that it incorporates a BT Blacklist which automatically diverts known nuisance calls to junk voicemail. It also offers the facility to establish a personal blacklist created by the BT customer of specific numbers to divert. Thisto be easily and quickly achieved by dialling 1572.

 

 If a similar 1572 facility exists at Plusnet, then it's not publicised in the section I'm reading in reference to what my £19.99p line rental includes.

 

Perhaps someone else on here knows of  the existence of  further information about a Plusnet equivalent 1572 facility -- and if a 1572 equivalent isn't included in the Plusnet price, why not?Huh

jab1
Aspiring Legend
Posts: 12,295
Thanks: 3,909
Fixes: 153
Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

Quick answer, as I have my dinner in the oven - 1572 is available with PN- try it and see - but it is a cut down version.

I have a guide (unfortunately on my other machine), but I'll try and post the link later, unless anyone beats me to it.

John
jgb
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 690
Thanks: 455
Fixes: 19
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

@jab1 @Zebra7 

Here is the Plusnet 1572 guide. Unfortunately, unlike the BT version which can be managed on line, the Plusnet version is managed only via your telephone keypad.

 

jab1
Aspiring Legend
Posts: 12,295
Thanks: 3,909
Fixes: 153
Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

Cheers, @jgb . I ran out of time to find it yesterday. 👍

John
198kHz
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,636
Thanks: 2,651
Fixes: 38
Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

@Zebra7 

Details of other features available can be seen here .

Murphy was an optimist
FTTC 40/10   Billion 8800NL
BT technician (Retired)
Zebra7
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎27-02-2019

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

Unintentionally, I've not been able to re-visit the forum until tonight (Tuesday) to see if any further help has been forthcoming.

 

Yet indeed it has -- and I'm somewhat mortified at the inadvertent delay in recognizing that help and thanking those responsible for making the effort and taking the time to provide it.

 

Sincere thanks then, even if somewhat late, to John, jgb, Mostrum and Don't Panic.

 

The links provided are incredibly useful as we contend with these scamming scumbags from who-knows-where, and we'll make immediate use of the info therein .

 

Once again, from Mrs Z and myself, multitudinous thanks for the kindness and consideration shown -- it's greatly appreciated.😀

Robo2PNForum
Hooked
Posts: 8
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎07-05-2021

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

@Zebra7 My top tip is to buy a BT answering machine + phone combination which has TrueCall built in. There are few models that do, in various styles, bundled with 1, 2 or 3 handsets, that sort of thing.

 

Someone calls you (your phone does NOT ring). The caller is asked to say who they are. In my experience, 99.99% of the time the scammers will hang up at this point.

 

If they are friend rather than foe, they will say their name, e.g. "Bob the builder." 

 

Only at this point does your phone ring and when you answer their introduction "Bob the builder" is played to you. 

 

You can then speak to them, speak to them and mark them as a friend (so they don't have to go through that process next time), ignore them, or block their number and you will never hear from them again. In the case of ignoring them, they can choose to leave a message on your answering machine.

 

TrueCall -- which can also be purchased as a standalone unit -- is the best investment we've ever made. Unwelcome calls trouble us no more. 

mrmitch85
Rising Star
Posts: 75
Thanks: 16
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎27-01-2020

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

I entirely agree with this.

Most 'Cold callers' / scammers etc. will just hang straight up and not leave their name. Your phone won't even ring.

Genuine calls who actually want to speak to you will leave their name. Your phone will then ring and when you answer it will say "You have a new call from [Person's name]. Press 1 to allow the call, 2 to always allow the caller, 3 to block or 4 to send to answerphone".

You never need to speak to anyone you don't want to. And the phone will only ring if it's a 'real' call.

I think prices for these phones start at £35 for a standard corded desk phone version.

P.s. I do not work for True Call. Lol!

Robo2PNForum
Hooked
Posts: 8
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎07-05-2021

Re: ** Baffled over to whom I'm paying out monthly fee for phone rental**

I have no affiliation with TrueCall either! 😉

 

For full disclosure however ... we had the TrueCall box (circa £100) which is very good, but the audio quality was lacking -- so voice passed through it seemed duller and more 1970s than a modern phone -- plus you needed to pay a small (£20?) per year subscription. The biggest drawback for us was its lack of network (Internet) connectivity, i.e. it needed to phone home to TrueCall all the time to sync settings with their server. If you aren't on a free call package with your ISP ... Well a simple call is around 40p these days. Granted, I set it to only sync once a week, but that lack of Internet connectivity was a major downside.

 

NB: You could *view* your settings via their web portal as part of your subscription, but to keep everything in sync and their servers and your phone updated, the TrueCall box has to phone home. 

 

Used that for five years or so, but for the above reasons we got a twin pack of TrueCall enabled BT phones.  

 

A TrueCall enabled phone on the other hand has the disadvantage of a much paired down functionality and no web interface at all. Everything has to be administered via the handset(s), but your set up stored locally is not entirely a bad thing. So it's pay your money and make your choice.