Disabled woman claims she was cut off from outside world

Disabled Thorne resident Cathy Cope, 45, was distressed after her phone and emergency alarm system was cut off, after an error by Plusnet.  Picture: Liz Mockler D4173LM

Disabled Thorne resident Cathy Cope, 45, was distressed after her phone and emergency alarm system was cut off, after an error by Plusnet. Picture: Liz Mockler D4173LM

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A DISABLED Doncaster woman who claims her emergency alarm system was cut off has received an apology from her phone provider.

Plusnet has paid compensation to Cathy Cope for the distress she was caused by problems with her bill, although the company denies she was completely cut off and believes she would have been able to make emergency calls.

Today Mrs Cope, who suffers from depression and has recently undergone abdominal surgery, thanked the newspaper for helping to resolve the issue.

When we contacted Sheffield-based Plusnet about Mrs Cope’s plight the firm quickly checked its records of conversations between staff and the customer and cleared up the ‘misunderstanding’.

Mrs Cope, who lives in adapted accommodation in Thorne, received a call from Plusnet to apologise and add £50 credit to her account.

She said she was pleased the matter was resolved, adding she was happy and grateful for what The Star and Free Press did to help her.

Mrs Cope claims she had paid her last monthly bill on time but then discovered her emergency alarm pendant, which she relies on because of frequent fits, had been cut off along with her ability to make outgoing calls.

But the company says she had fallen into arrears with her bills. It says it apologised because of problems she had faced paying her bill.

“They are not allowed to cut off a disabled person’s emergency line,” she said. “I’ve never owed them a penny and when I contacted them they were so rude. They can’t treat people like this and I was thinking about changing provider.”

A spokesman for Plusnet said: “Now that we have a more detailed understanding of Mrs Cope’s circumstances we will continue to work closely with her to ensure that she doesn’t experience any further issues with her account.

Our records show that Mrs Cope was able to make outgoing calls from her phone on March 3 and 4, the period she claims she was unable to use her line. However we do acknowledge that she experienced some problems paying her bill.

“The situation that Mrs Cope has experienced is quite unique and we have taken steps to ensure that similar issues do not arise in future for Mrs Cope or for any other customer. We have apologised for any misunderstanding around the payment of Mrs Cope’s bill.

“Plusnet pride ourselves on giving great customer service and are very pleased that we have been able to resolve Mrs Cope’s issues quickly and to her satisfaction.”