BT denies pulling phone plug on kiddie charity

MP wades into rogue dialler row

BT has been condemned for allegedly pulling the plug on a telephone helpline used to support a children's charity.

ADHD in Suffolk - a voluntary group that supports families with children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - got clobbered with a £400 phone bill after falling victim to a rogue internet dialler scam.

The charity claims that BT refused to waive the bill and then cut off the line, something BT denies.

And now Suffolk MP Bob Blizzard, who earlier this year asked the police to investigate whether BT was in breach of the Proceeds of Crime Act for taking money from customers caught by rogue dialler fraud, has called the telco's attitude "appalling and hypocritical".

"In my initial correspondence with the Chief Executive [of BT] on this matter I was told that the company would donate any profits from such scammed calls to Childline," said Mr Blizzard."

"The company is now showing a complete lack of social conscience by terminating a telephone hotline set up to help parents affected by ADHD. This organisation is providing a vital service and I find BT's attitude appalling and hypocritical.

"Until this matter is resolved parents in need are unable to get through easily on the published numbers to obtain the advice and help they so badly need, and the organisation is finding it very difficult to operate."

But BT has rejected the allegations insisting that it did not cut off the helpline. A spokesman for the company added that BT had also agreed to write off £300 of the bill as a "goodwill gesture". ®

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