1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Telephone payments for emergency lines.

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Petunia59, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    I care for my Mum who lives in her own home and has had and emergency line for about 6 years. (Before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
    Mum has a phone package that gives unlimited time on all standard calls but each month she is charged a few extra pounds on top of this for premium rate calls, so I decided to query this with the phone company. After numerous calls, getting Mum to give her permission for me to speak to them direct and having to be sent a passcode, (no way was Mum going to remember this from 24 years ago!), they were able to give me the last 4 digits of the number being called. As I suspected it might be something to do with the emergency line, I gave them a call. They confirmed it was their number and the number of calls, (about 10 each month) was due to the line "checking itself". They also told me that the phone company should not charge for this and that "most others do not". Has anyone else had experience of this?

    Also while dealing with the phone company, I decided to change to paperless bills to save a few more pounds. I gave them my email address and started getting emails from them and a notification of the next bill but I was unable to access the details. I eventually discovered that they were unable to do this as Mum doesn't have broadband, therefore I've had to go back to paper bills. I pointed out to them that, as Mum has no choice in this matter, she shouldn't be charged. They are unable to waiver the charge. Does anyone else think this is discrimination?

    In my discussions with the phone company I asked whether it would be helpful to send a copy of my POA only to be told, "We don't deal with those." I think, a not very dementia company then!!!"
     
  2. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    264
    I suggest you phone again and ask to speak to a more senior person! I have used my POA with two different telecommunications companies without problems as well as mums energy supplier. I get emails and text messages from them now, mum stil gets the paper bills but I have online access so deal with payments etc.

    My mum does not have an emergency line so cannot help you there.
     
  3. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    Thanks for your reply Lynmax.
    I may get in touch with again but it's such a nightmare getting through to them and just at the moment I'm thinking "Why did I ever start all this. Haven't I got enough on my to do list already?!"
    I might try email instead.
     
  4. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    264
    Some companies use Live Chat on their websites which I have always found helpful, it's like speaking to someone but typing rather than speaking! The person on the one often seems to understand complicated questions and have the know how to solve problems.

    I'm about to do battle with British Gas in the morning through Live Chat if their computer systems haven't updated some info I gave them today!
     
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,264
    Male
    North Manchester
    There my be some misunderstanding, it's common to get an insecure email informing that an invoice is now ready to view. To view it you have to securely log on to the site.
    Has your mother registered for internet access to her account, if not can you register for her?

    The premium number is the emergency line's way of coining in cash, they could just change to a non premium line. It's difficult to see how the phone company could make it free, the emergency line get paid when it is called.
    Use of premium numbers for service and enquiries was made illegal some time ago.
     
  6. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    715
    Male
    Kent
    We've had a lifeline type device at home for a number of years and I remember the installer saying that when it dials the monitoring centre (in an emergency or whenever you test it), although it's not a freephone number, it shouldn't show up on any bill.

    This has proved to be the case and our landline has been with firstly BT, then EE and now Virgin Media.
     
  7. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    Thanks for the replies.
    Nitram: Sorry but I'm not good with technology. Mum doesn't have broadband on her phone account. I was trying to do it through ours but cannot register as you need to put the account number which, of course doesn't tie up with us. They didn't tell me any of this when I first asked! There's no point in Mum having internet access as it would cost way more than the cost of paper bills.
    The alarm company assured me they do not get any of the cost of the calls and that it all goes to the phone company.

    Philbo: Mum's phone is with Virgin Media but perhaps it depends on the package you have.

    I have just received the latest bill and the extra charged is £1-27 inc. VAT. They are now giving a break down of all these calls so at least I can now check what they are. There were 4 calls to the alarm line and 2 when Mum had dialled 1471 and called back a number which I don't recognise. I've tried telling her not to do this as anyone who really needs to get in touch will call back if she doesn't answer in time but she hasn't a clue what I'm talking about!

    I don't feel I can be bothered to take this any further for such a small amount. It was when she had a bill with 14 calls one month and I didn't have a clue what was going on. I wanted to make sure there wasn't a fault or that Mum wasn't getting scam calls she was calling back.
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,264
    Male
    North Manchester

    You should be able to register with any internet connection.

    Go to https://my.virginmedia.com/create-profile/register?intcmpid=Link_MyVMlgdout_Register
    The details required will be on any bill your mum received .

    Then why not use an ordinary number with just an ordinary cost to the caller, why opt to give phone company money with no advantage to themselves?

    SO HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?
    When a caller dials your number, the charge of the call is added to their telephone bill.

    These charges are then shared between the network operator and the service provider – you.

    You, as the owner of the number, get a revenue share for operating the line. You earn money on every incoming call to your number and you get more the longer they are on the line.

    To make money you can offer a service which people can pay to use, or you can can just use them to get your own back on cold callers and make them pay to call you – take a look at our interview with Lee Beaumont below to find out exactly how to do this.


    https://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-money-from-premium-phone-lines-2#how
     
  9. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    Thanks for the reply Nitram and the link. This is where I tried to register but only got a message saying unable to register and "looking forward to installing your broadband" I was then told by the call centre that it has to be on Mum's account.
     
  10. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,900
    Is your POA activated? We sort out both parents finances etc & as POA can legally do this. All of Mums paperwork now comes to us either online or mail! Dads in a care home so it’s a bit different.
     
  11. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    DesperateofDevon: Yes, I do have POA's but the financial one was set up by Mum 2007. This is now being registered with courts. However, I have used it for several years and not had any problems. I get all bank/building society stuff sent to me as Mum tended to leave it lying around which I was not happy with as she has so many different carers going in. The phone company are the only people to say they "don't deal with those." although I suspect the person I was talking to didn't understand what I was talking about. I am thinking about writing to them to query this as I seem to go round in circles when I phone.
     
  12. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,900
    ring up & tell them that you are speaking on behalf of a person with dementia, if they don’t accept the POA then say sadly your Mum is no longer able to pay her bills so either deal with me- or BT are very accommodating with dementia best practices!

    it’s amazing how quickly you get answers & results!!
     
  13. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,264
    Male
    North Manchester
    I believe the phone company to be VM
    If so have a read through


    https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Virgin-TV/Logging-a-Power-of-Attorney/td-p/3686977
     
  14. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,900
  15. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    Thanks very much for the link nitram. I've put this issue on the back burner for now as I've had other stuff to deal with;
    it's been one of those weeks! Suspected UTI; sample to GP; special 16 mile round trip to deal with prescription, inform the 2 care agencies; 01:30 call out Thurs morning, Mum had fallen (out of bed?); 2 hour wait for ambulance just to pick her up and check her over; discovered another £10 note missing from Mum's purse and all whilst dealing with a succession of wet bedding. I know there are a lot of you out there with much more serious things to deal with, but all these "minor irritations" add up and make me want to hide away and hope they'll all go away!! All while I've had a bad cold myself!

    Sorry to rant.
     
  16. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    789
    Female
    cornwall
    I get dads prescriptions delivered.If need be the carers can pick them up.I no longer have a car..Bonus!
     
  17. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    TNJJ Mum's prescriptions are delivered but if they arrive while Mum is alone, heaven knows what will happen to them. I feel I can't trust the carers to deal with them until I've informed their office so they can put all the details on the system.
    Mum has eye drops for dry eyes. When I notified the agency, they took a picture of the box. As it's just over the counter stuff, I often end up with a different brand in which case some of the carers won't give them.
    I've now taken a note of the pharmacy phone number so next time I can just phone them to get the details of the meds. but I still have to hope that Mum doesn't get in a panic when she receives them.
     
  18. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,900
    No vent away- not minor at all! (((((hugs))))))
     
  19. Petunia59

    Petunia59 Registered User

    Oct 11, 2019
    22
    Thanks for the hugs DesperateofDevon. Sorry about late reply but it's been another busy week! (Aren't they all!!)
     
  20. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,900
    I actually have stepped back from the situations with both PWD

    I am resigned to the process & inevitable outcome. To survive this mentally & physically I need to make a life outside of Mum & Dad for me!

    Difficult but I’m going to apply the determination I put into sorting care into me.....
    .......I will let you know how that works out or how long! X
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.