Telephone line fault checking service for Lifeline customers

We regularly receive calls from individuals whose phone line is not working and they are worried that their Lifeline service won’t work properly but they are also concerned about the high engineer and repair call out charges from BT.

In working with our customers to ensure that faults reported to BT are genuinely a result of a fault in BT’s network (which will therefore be repaired for free), we hope to provide our customers with better Lifeline support and save them money by offering a free telephone line fault service.

Please note however that whilst we cannot change BT’s practices or resolve an actual telephone fault within BT’s network, we can identify whether the issue may be as a result of a faulty telephone or a wiring fault within the home.

Following are some facts to guide you when your phone line goes down…

Is it a power cut or telephone line fault?

The Lifeline unit will start beeping either because it has lost mains power or there is a disruption to the telephone line. To stop the beeping, push the green button twice in quick succession.

Then please check that your phone line and power cable are connected to the Lifeline unit correctly.

Diagram showing instructions on Lifeline connections

If the beeping has stopped and a red light continues flashing on the unit, this means that there is either a telephone line issue or there has been a power cut and mains power needs to be restored fully.

The Lifeline unit will continue to use its back-up battery which lasts up to 24 hours but in the meantime you can check if a power failure has happened by switching lights and electrical appliances off and on. If no electricity is on then please contact your electricity provider and/or call UK Power Networks on 0800 316 3105 using an alternative phone line (mobile, neighbours, phone box, etc.).

If there is no power cut and the red light is flashing on your Lifeline unit

We appreciate that call out charges from BT can be high. If your phone landline is down for an extended period of time, we can save you the expense and come to your home to check the telephone line before you call BT as well as install a temporary GSM Lifeline unit free of charge that uses a mobile SIM card.

If you believe that you have a fault with your telephone line, please contact our service booking team on 01323 644422 – option 1 for support.

If we discover that the phone line fault is with BT, then BT engineers will fix the line at no charge to you as long as the problem is with BT’s network outside the boundary of your premises.

Please be aware that BT charges customers for engineer visits to repair faults if the BT engineer decides that the fault is not with BT’s equipment or that it is as a result of damage that is not normal wear and tear. The charge for these visits is currently £129.99 including VAT.

Will a Lifeline service affect my telephone line?

Having a Lifeline unit in operation will not affect telephone services and you will be able to make and receive calls as normal. Sky and Broadband services will also not be affected as long as the unit has been connected correctly with a filter. However, please be aware that not all telephone services are the same and a small number of services may prove unreliable with automatic diallers – whether they are security alarm or care alarm systems.

When first signing up to our Lifeline service, we will ask you to notify us of your telephone service provider or if you are considering changing your telephone service provider. Please check with the future provider that they support alarm diallers and discuss this with us before signing a contract with your new telephone service provider.

Get faster BT phone line fault repair

The free BT Priority Fault Repair Scheme runs every day of the year and means that if your BT phone landline is disrupted then your request will be pushed to the top of the queue to get it repaired faster.

Once you have signed up for Welbeing’s Lifeline service, our team will check with BT whether you meet the criteria set by them, which have to be met in order for a household to qualify for this scheme:

  • You must rent your phone line from BT
  • You have accessibility requirements for a Home Renal Dialysis Machine, Home Peritoneal Dialysis Machine and/or Artificial Ventilator
  • You must be registered as Chronically Sick & Disabled by your local authority social services
  • You must be housebound due to a chronic long-term illness or disability which prevents you from leaving the house without the assistance of another person
  • You must not rent your phone line from another service provider
  • You must not live in warden-controlled premises, a residential nursing/care home or similar type of property

Please note that an application for the scheme must be countersigned by your doctor or hospital consultant and must include a copy of their official stamp and full contact details. The signatory will also need to confirm their General Medical Council (GMC) number.

Other telephone providers also offer a priority fault repair scheme, such as Talk Talk.

Extra support during a power cut

Power cuts can be worrying. Power cuts don’t happen very often but if the electricity network is damaged or develops a fault across London, the South East or East of England it’s UK Power Networks job to get your power back on. They keep the lights on in these areas regardless of your chosen energy supplier (the company that you pay your electricity bills to).

UK Power Networks offer their services free to customers who need support. If you live in London, the South East or East of England, then being on their Priority Services Register will ensure you will receive extra support if you experience a power cut.

Who can register to receive extra support?

The elderly, those dependent on medical equipment or who have a disability or young children. See a full list here.

What help should I expect to get during a power cut?

  • A priority number that you can call 24 hours a day if you have a power cut
  • Regular text messages or phone updates during a power cut
  • Extra support from our partners, such as the British Red Cross, to visit your home during an emergency (if you agree).

Click here to register

If you live outside of UK Power Networks area, contact your local electricity distribution company to see if they offer a similar service. A very useful map is here which shows the providers across the UK.

Find out more

For further information, please call our friendly team in Eastbourne on 01323 644422.