Pensioner’s fury after BT refuse to take cash because of no e-mail

Alan Clark
Alan Clark
Diane Newsham,left,  owner of Gracie-Ann's Tea Rooms, in Port Solent, with her colleague Jayne Rose who died suddenly last year.

Port Solent tea room holds bake-off in memory of much-loved colleague

Have your say

OFFERING to pay in advance is normally snapped up by companies.

But Alan Clark’s money was not good enough for BT – because he didn’t have an email address.

The 77-year-old is fuming after BT told him he could not pay for a year’s line rental because he did not have an email address to send a receipt to.

Mr Clark, a former Royal Navy sailor and semi-retired sound engineer, got rid of his computer when he decided to wind down into his retirement.

He got rid of his broadband package, but wanted to continue paying his line rental.

He normally pays £15 a month for the rental – adding up to £180-a-year.

BT was offering customers a discount if he paid £159.84 up front.

But Mr Clark was shocked by the response he got when he rang the call centre.

‘I said to them just stick it on my monthly bill saying that the money has been paid,’ said Mr Clark, of Dell Close, Widley. The lady said “I’m sorry, unless we can send you an email, we can’t take your money”.

‘She said “Can we take your email address?” I said that I was sorry but I don’t use computers.

‘I told her I didn’t have an email address. I said this is paying my line rental, it’s nothing to do with computers. 
 ‘She went away and came back with the same statement.’

Mr Clark said: ‘I am annoyed.

‘It’s pathetic. I told them don’t bother sending me a receipt, but they said they had to.

‘They are refusing to take my money.’

Ian Read, a BT spokesman, said: ‘Customers can get 12 months line rental for the price of 10, when you pay for 12 months in advance rather than monthly. This discount offer is for customers who have an email address.

‘Line Rental Saver customers need to receive their bills monthly and have a monthly direct debit in place to pay any additional charges, such as calls.

Customers also need to have paper-free billing.

‘This means that customers need to have a current email address so we can forward their bills as soon as they are produced. The reason for this is because line rental saver offers a significant discount from the standard line rental.

‘It’s important to make sure the cost of serving these customers is kept as low as possible.

‘Sending bills by email and taking payments by direct debit is more cost-efficient than sending bills by post and processing payments that we receive by card or cash.’