The UK government has teamed up with the UK regulator Ofcom and all the country’s telecoms providers to promise support for their most financially vulnerable customers in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
BT/EE, Openreach, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, Three, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, and KCOM have all agreed that:
- All providers have committed to working with customers who find it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19 to ensure that they are treated fairly and appropriately supported.
- All providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services.
- All providers have agreed to offer some new, generous mobile and landline packages to ensure people are connected and the most vulnerable continue to be supported. For example, some of these packages include data boosts at low prices and free calls from their landline or mobile.
- All providers will ensure that vulnerable customers or those self-isolating receive alternative methods of communication wherever possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out.
"It's fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this difficult time,” said Oliver Dowden, Digital Secretary.
"It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home."
Some companies have specifically said what they will do, including Vodafone who said it would offer 500,000 of its customers unlimited data and O2 who is scrapping data fees for 23 support and advice websites during the coronavirus crisis.
The details provided to press did not make it clear how all the companies and organisations would identify people struggling to pay their bill. If you feel you may find it difficult to pay your telecoms bill at this time, we recommend reaching out to the customer services teams of your providers in confidence.