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Special tariffs for text relay calls

All subscribers are entitled to access to an approved text relay service at no additional charge to the cost of the call. Disabled subscribers are entitled to a special tariff in addition to this – this reflects the fact that all, rather than a proportion, of their calls are likely to be made via the relay service.

Both these requirements are set out in General Condition 15 (the General Conditions can be found here.) The precise form of the special tariff is not set out, but it is clear that it should compensate disabled subscribers for the additional time taken by relay calls.

Fixed line providers tend to offer rebates on chargeable relay calls

Fixed line providers usually meet the requirement for a special tariff by applying a rebate to chargeable calls on which text relay is used.

Calls that are included in an unlimited bundle are not rebated (because they are already zero-rated). Bundles are very common in the fixed line market: around 85% of fixed line customers have some kind of unlimited calls package to UK landlines.

Calls that do not attract a rebate typically include directory enquiries, international directory enquiries, international calls and calls to revenue sharing numbers (i.e. where the communications provider will be passing most of the cost of the call to another party).

Users should contact the providers directly. It is entirely the users’ responsibility to ensure that the provider, their terms and conditions for providing services are appropriate and meet their requirements.

Mobile providers generally zero-rate relay calls

In mobile, applying a rebate to a mobile call that is in-bundle is technically difficult, because the text relay prefix is an indirect access code. Some mobile network operators have dealt with this by zero-rating some or all of the calls made using the prefix.

Set out below are the policies of the main UK fixed and mobile providers at August 2014.

BT

BT applies a 60% rebate to direct dialled calls to fixed line numbers (including 0870) and a 20% rebate to direct dialled calls to mobile numbers.

Calls that do not attract a rebate include premium rate numbers, personal numbers, international calls, most non-geographic numbers (e.g. 0844 and 0871), directory enquiries, international directory enquiries, calls to operator services and charge card options.

BT tariffs

Sky

Sky applies a 60% rebate to direct dialled calls to UK inland numbers and 20% to direct dialled calls to mobile numbers.

Calls that do not attract a rebate include directory enquiries, international directory enquiries, international calls, premium rate numbers and personal numbers.

Sky tariffs

TalkTalk

TalkTalk customers are not charged separately for relay calls that would otherwise be in-bundle and are not required to register in order to receive rebates.

TalkTalk applies a 30% rebate to direct dialled text relay calls (whether to or from a text relay service user) that are not included as part of a package, plan or bundle.

TalkTalk tariffs

Virgin

The rebate for geographic calls is 80% and for mobile calls 20%. 0870 calls are included in Talkplan bundles.

Calls that do not attract a rebate include premium rate, personal numbers, international calls, most non-geographic numbers (e.g. 0844 and 0871), directory enquiries, international directory enquiries, calls to operator services and charge card options.

Virgin tariffs

O2

Text Relay calls made by disabled consumers (i.e. using the 18001 prefix) are zero-rated.

Text relay calls made by non-disabled customers are charged at standard rates and are included in the minutes allowance on tariffs.

O2 tariffs

Three

Text relay calls to standard UK mobiles and landlines are zero-rated. This includes all calls to numbers that would be included within the customer’s inclusive bundle.

Three applies a 25% discount to any calls made to numbers not included as part of the customer’s inclusive allowance.

Three tariffs

Vodafone

Text Relay calls made by disabled consumers (i.e. using the 18001 prefix) are zero-rated.

Vodafone tariffs

Everything Everywhere (including Orange and T-Mobile)

Mobile text Relay calls made by disabled consumers (i.e. using the 18001 prefix) are zero-rated.

Text relay calls made by non-disabled customers are charged at standard rates and are included in the minutes allowance on tariffs.

EE tariffs

Orange tariffs

T-Mobile tariffs

 

Special Tariffs

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