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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 March 2007, 03:14 GMT
BT payment charges 'unjustified'
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BT says processing payments other than direct debits costs more
British Telecom has been criticised by Trading Standards for charging customers 4.50 extra each quarter if they do not pay by direct debit.

Trading Standards called the charge affecting about five million customers "outrageous" and "unjustified".

But the telecoms giant said it cost more to process non-direct debit payments and that those customers were also more likely to forget to pay.

BT also said it would soften the blow to customers by giving more discounts.

Trend

The BBC's Sumant Bhatia said other companies, including Virgin Media, the Post Office and Telecom Plus, also charged more to those who do not pay by direct debit.

HAVE YOUR SAY
My account has been paid regularly by cheque on time for more 50 years. BT now wants to penalise us for this good record.
Agnes Farries, Castle Douglas

Last month BT revealed the number of people signing up to its home phone services grew for the first time in four years during the last three months of 2006.

In the final quarter of 2006, 37,000 more users signed up for the phone service after BT cut prices in August.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
What BT has said about the charge



SEE ALSO
BT's profits boosted by broadband
09 Nov 06 |  Business
BT broadband hits key milestone
08 Nov 06 |  Technology
BT raises pay phone charge to 40p
26 Sep 06 |  Business
BT eyes ringing up China profits
06 Sep 06 |  Business

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