BT customers dealt five-word warning if they want to keep landline

Older woman on phone
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BT customers have been informed they need to voice five specific words to the telecoms giant if they wish to retain their existing landline service. The company is currently in the process of streamlining its UK telephone infrastructure, transitioning analogue lines to digital due to the excessive upkeep costs of the former.

They are working on a schedule that aims to modify their whole network by 27 January, with firms such as Virgin Media and O2 expected to follow suit soon after. While upgrading to digital should not disrupt the connection for households currently using analogue, the new systems dependence on electricity means it won't work during power shortages or unexpected cut-offs.

Vulnerable Britons who require constant access to their landlines may prefer to hold onto their existing connections, which can be arranged if they communicate this directly to BT. Any individuals considered vulnerable who would like to remain linked to an analogue network - separate from an internet connection - must make this known to BT.

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Vulnerable individuals typically include those receiving disability allowance, those struggling with mental health conditions, or those feeling uncertain and nervous about the impending digital transition. Isolated folks grappling with frequent power cut-off issues or limited mobile phone reception may also want to hold onto their current service.

Anyone who falls within these vulnerable categories must dial BT on 0330 1234 150 and press "one", "one" and then "five" when they reach the automated reply. Next, they need to verbalise "I am a vulnerable customer", followed by a brief clarification explaining why they'd prefer to avoid the changeover to digital, reports the Express.

Residents will be notified in advance if they reside in an area transitioning to the digital service, typically via letter correspondence.

Those who opt for the switch will receive a date for the transition and a compact adapter through the post, which can be plugged into an electrical socket. This socket is fitted with a remote signal that facilitates phone calls over the internet using wifi.