Carers’ ‘phone calls at a premium

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People receiving home helps have been left out of pocket after carers used their house ‘phones to call a premium rate number.

It is claimed that residents were told the number that care workers had to call was a free rate number however it has since transpired that the calls were being charged at 23p a time.

A member of the public spoke up about the situation at a recent City of Brechin and District Community Council after he claims a member of his family was charged 23p a time when a home care worker called a supposedly ‘free’ number when the entered and left the home.

He explained: “A care-worker has to call when they arrive and use home ‘phones.

“It was explained that it would be a free number but they were charging 23p for each phone call.

“There is one person I know who get seven visits a day.”

The problem has since been rectified and residents will get a full refund for all charges incurred.

A council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately the first telephone number provided by our contractor for the new home care monitoring service was not a freephone number, as is required in the contract.

“The contractor has accepted full responsibility for this error. Residents have now received a written apology from the company and an assurance that they will be fully refunded for any charges incurred during the two weeks it was in use.

“The council is grateful to residents for their understanding and appreciates their patience while arrangements for refunds are finalised.”