Supporting Vulnerable Customers

Introduction and Overview

At WightFibre we take our responsibility towards vulnerable customers very seriously. 
Vulnerability could be temporary or permanent, can vary widely and might not be obvious. A vulnerable customer is someone who is especially susceptible to harm due to personal circumstances, such as:

  • Age, 
  • A physical or learning disability, 
  • Physical or mental illness, 
  • Mobility or dexterity impairments, 
  • Low literacy or numeracy, 
  • Difficulty understanding technology, 
  • Communication difficulties, 
  • Changes in circumstance such as bereavement, or financial situation. 

We understand that the way we interact with you can greatly impact the experience of using our products and services; we have a number of steps in place to help us meet your needs as well as ensuring that you are treated fairly and have a positive experience.  

WightFibre takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the services available to support vulnerable customers are available on our website. These can also be found by contacting our Customer Service Team via email, phone or via the web chat on our website. 

We understand our duty to protect the interests of vulnerable customers by: 

  • a way that they’re now considered vulnerable. 
  • Understanding individual needs and requirements. 
  • Considering any actions/adjustments necessary to provide additional services and safeguards. 

We have steps in place that help us identify vulnerable customers as soon as possible at point of sale and our staff are trained to identify those customers who need help throughout their journey with us.  

Our Staff: 

We constantly review our staff training to ensure we are able to support our customers needs. We will continue to review training so we remain up to date and can ensure we can best support all customers, especially those with additional needs.   

All of our WightFibre frontline staff receive –  

  • ‘Because We Care’ training 
  • Age Friendly training 
  • Scams prevention training 

At WightFibre we are aware of our local demographic and that many people struggle with technology. We have a dedicated employee to provide additional customer support, especially for our vulnerable customers if required.  

Ensuring we keep good records to give you the best service 

When we identify that you have specific needs, with your permission, we’ll record this on your account. This will ensure that any advisors accessing the your details are aware of your needs. We treat all your information in confidence, and only those employees who need to know will have access to your information. 

Available Services 

WightFibre operates a Priority Register Scheme which provides eligible vulnerable customers with access to additional accessibility and services. 

For any of the services highlighted below please contact our customer service team using the details in the contact section. 

Priority Fault Repair 

WightFibre provides a priority Fault Repair Service as swiftly as practicable to any vulnerable customer who has a genuine need for an urgent repair. 

WightFibre aims to repair a phone line within four hours of the fault being reported (during normal working hours). Please note that priority fault repair is only available for telephone faults and not for Internet or cable/digital TV faults. 

Charges for a priority Fault Repair Service do not exceed our standard charge for a Fault Repair Service. 

Battery Back-up for Phone Line 

Full-Fibre telephone lines will not continue to operate in the event of a local power cut to a home. Some of our most vulnerable full-fibre customers that have registered for the priority services scheme may be eligible for a free Battery Backup to maintain their phone line in the case of a power cut to the home 

  1. You are eligible if you: 
    • Are disabled or chronically sick 
    • Have a long-term medical condition 
    • Have a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs

You will need to provide proof of one of the following: 

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)  
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Attendance Allowance (AA) 
  • Blue Badge 
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment 
  • ESA 
  • Medical Evidence Letter
  • Registered as a blind person or partially sighted 

In addition, you will be eligible if you are: 

  1. Of pensionable age 
  2. A Wightcare customer. 

Customers can confirm eligibility when applying for the Priority Register Scheme. Even if you are not eligible for a free battery backup, one can be purchased for a low cost. 

Account Nominee 

WightFibre ensures that any of its Customers who are vulnerable and dependent on the services provided by WightFibre are able to participate in a scheme to safeguard their services. The scheme: 

  • enables these Customers to give prior notification of a nominee to whom their bill shall initially be sent and any enquiry to establish why a telephone bill has not been paid shall be made; 
  • permits the nominee to pay that Customer’s bill on their behalf; 
  • requires the nominee to give prior consent to act in such capacity; 
  • does not require the nominee to accept liability to pay the telephone bills of that Customer; and 
  • is provided at no cost. 
  • Support for people struggling to pay their bills through an agreed payment plans  

For any of the features listed above please contact us using any of the methods in the contact section. 

Documentation 

WightFibre makes available, free of charge, and in a format reasonably acceptable to any Customer who is blind or whose vision is impaired, upon request: 

  • any contract (or any subsequent change) with you for the provision of our services, including any publicly available terms or conditions referred to in that contract; 
  • any bill provided for those services. 

An acceptable format would consist of print large enough for such customer to read, Braille or electronic format appropriate to the reasonable needs of the customer. 

In addition, upon request, all account changes can be confirmed in writing. 

Relay Service(previously Text Relay/Next Generation Text Relay) 

This service allows customers to make calls by use of typing and the support of a Text Relay Assistant will help connect the call. There are number of ways these calls can be made and from different devices. For example, you can use a standard landline or mobile telephone for the voice part of the call, and an internet-connected device (such as a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet) to view the text. 

If you have a textphone, you can continue to use it, but you will not benefit from the enhanced features of next generation text relay, such as the ability to hear the other person’s voice and see the text at the same time. 

This will also allow access to a directory enquiries service.  

Charges for the service are the same as our standard call costs as: 

  • the calling person may be charged standard local prices for the call made to a Relay Service provider in order to make a call irrespective of whether the call is successful; and 
  • a special tariff scheme is applied designed to compensate Customers who need to make calls to which a Relay Service applies for the additional time to make telephone calls. 

In addition, WightFibre ensures that any End-Users of its services who need to make calls to which a Relay Service applies: 

  • have access to Emergency Organisations, operator assistance services and a Directory Enquiry Facility using short code numbers; and 
  • are able to receive call progress voice announcements in a suitable form. 

Temporary Financial Support 

  • WightFibre understand that personal circumstances can cause temporary financial burdens, and so we provide support for people struggling to pay their bills through agreed payment plans. 

This list is not exhaustive and we will support our customers to the best of our ability on a case by case basis. please call us so we can ensure we provide the correct services. 

Consultation 

Wightfibre consults periodically with external bodies, such as the Ofcom Consumer Panel to ensure that we meet the interests of Vulnerable Customers and are taking into consideration throughout the development and provision of services. 

Wightfibre have also partnered with expert external bodies to create a training program for customer facing staff and managers. 

Contact 

To find out more or to apply to the Priority Register Scheme please contact us via one of the following:  

  • Call us on 01983 242424  
  • Email help@wightfibre.com 
  • Talk to us using our online chat on our website – www.wightfibre.com  
  • Talk to us via our Twitter or Facebook social media 
  • Write to us – WightFibre, Communications House, 56 Love Lane, Cowes, IOW, PO31 7EU 

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