At a recent TSA (Telecare Services Association) forum, Ofcom presented some vital information for users of careline alarms. This related to Telephone Service Providers and the suite of services they must provide for older or disabled people.
Ofcom expects all Service Providers including BT, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin Media to take reasonable steps to make sure these services are widely publicised. It would appear that many users are unaware that they can access these free services:
Free Services from Telephine Providers for the Elderly and Disabled.
- Priority Fault Repair on Fixed Landline Services
- Third Party Bill Management
- Bills sent in large print and Braille
- Free Directory Enquiries
Whilst most of the above services are hugely beneficial to all elderly people, the first two are an essential requirement for all Careline or Telecare users.
Priority Fault Repair for Careline Alarm Users
The successful operation of your careline alarm is dependent on the landline service it is connected to. Generally most people are unaware that they have a fault on their landline until they go to make a call. Elderly people tend to make very few calls, therefore careline users maybe unaware they have a fault.
Test Your Landline
One great way to test your landline is to activate your careline pendant alarm once a month to ensure everything is working properly. When you press your pendant you will be connected to an operator within the TeleCare24 care team – you can just tell the Operator you are performing a test call. This way you have tested both your landline and your alarm. If it connects OK then thats perfect!
But what do you do if you test your careline alarm and it fails to connect to our Operator? Your first port of call should be to make a call using a conventional telephone. If this fails to work then contact your Telephone Service Provider to see if there is a fault on your telephone line. Obviously you will need to do this from a mobile phone or from a friend or relatives landline number. If a call using a normal phone works OK but your alarm isnt working, then contact your Careline Operator’s Customer Service Department and ask them to test your careline alarm as they can normally do this remotely.
But here’s the thing – if you have a fault on your landline but are not on your Service Providers Priority Fault Repair list, you will just be allocated a standard response time to correct the fault. Depending on the schedule of their local engineers, this could be some time. The important thing to think about is that as a careline alarm user, this could present a real problem because if you need to use your alarm during this downtime, it will not work which puts you at risk. Being allocated to the Priority Fault Repair list ensures your landline is repaired in the quickest time possible.
Why Use Third Party Bill Management?
Third Party Bill Management can also be helpful in managing your telephone bill and account, making sure everything is managed correctly. You can nominate a friend or relative to receive copies of bills and correspondence without them becoming liable for the bill. This service is also free of charge and can be valuable in helping prevent people from being cut off due to the fact they have misplaced any letters or bills from the Service Provider. This will also ensure your careline alarm is able to function correctly.
So if you have not already contacted your Telephone Service Provider, contact their Customer Services Department without delay. Explain to the representative that as a Careline or Telecare alarm user you need to be put on their Priority Fault Repair List as you depend on the telephone because of ill-health or disability.
If you need to, you can also request a third party to manage your account as well as requesting large print bills and access to Free Directory Enquiries. All of these services are available for free to all users of careline alarms.
If you have trouble accessing any of these services from your Telephone Service Provider, then contact Ofcom as it is a condition of them being a Telecom Service Provider in the UK.
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