Billing and Rebate

How you are billed for using TextDirect

This section has been produced to help you understand how your calls are billed when using your telephone/textphone and mobile phone with TextDirect and Typetalk.

Do I have to be a BT customer to use TextDirect and Typetalk?

No — all telephone service providers should give you access to the TextDirect service or a similar system. Always check with the telephone service provider to ensure they give access to TextDirect and offer rebate for text calls before making the decision to sign up with them.

Am I charged extra for using TextDirect or the Typetalk Operator?

No — calls through Typetalk and TextDirect will not cost any more than you would normally be charged for making that call. Although you pay for the call that you make the use of the Typetalk Operator and TextDirect is free, unless you use our specially assisted service called Relay Assist when you will be charged for the time spent speaking with the Operator. Contact the Customer Service Team for more information.

Who will send me a bill for using TextDirect and Typetalk?

You will receive a telephone bill from your telephone service provider such as BT or Telewest. If you use any of the prefix numbers 18001, 18002 or 180015 before the telephone number of the person you are calling this will appear on your bill. Some telephone service providers may itemise calls made through TextDirect and others may put these calls into a separate section so that you can see how much you have spent in total on TextDirect calls. The layout of your bill will depend entirely on your service provider.

What rebate or discounts can I claim?

When you use the prefix 18001, 18002 or 180015 customers of BT will automatically receive up to 60% rebate on the part of the call where one person was in text to a geographical number or an 0845 number. This will be deducted from your bill and the figure you see on your bill will be the rebated total.

With BT there is no limit to the amount of rebate you can receive, so the more calls you make with 18001 and 18002 the more rebate you receive.

Other telephone service providers may offer a different rebate or discount scheme or even none at all. We strongly recommend that you speak to your telephone service provider about their charges for textphone calls.

Users of mobile phones may also receive varying rates of discount or rebate depending on which mobile network you are with and which package you are on.

If you use a speech synthesiser, please contact the Customer Service Team for more information.

Can I claim text rebate as well as other discounts such as BT’s Friends and Family?

Yes — BT offer a wide range of discount packages and you are able to sign up to many of them as well as receiving your text rebate. For further information on multiple discount packages please contact your telephone service provider for more information.

Will I receive a rebate for international calls?

No — when you make an international call the charging is different to that of a standard UK call as the charge goes through a third party, therefore there is no rebate on this call.

Will I receive rebate on my text calls if I do not use the 18001 prefix?

No — if you do not use the prefix numbers the telephone system will not know that you are using a textphone and therefore will not apply any rebates you may be entitled to. Even if you are calling another textphone you should always use the 18001 or 180015 prefix to receive your text rebate.

Can I use 18001, 180015 and 18002 from work?

Yes — as long as the company’s telephone system will allow you to use the 18001, 180015 and 18002 prefix numbers. Many switchboards require you to dial 9 or 0 before you can make your call and some even block calls where the telephone number begins with 1. If this is the case, speak to the Telecoms Manager within your company for further advice.

Who do I call if I have a query with something on my telephone bill?

Please call your telephone service provider. Typetalk Customer Service Team do not have access to your telephone records and will not be able to help with specific items on your bill. You should be able to find a Customer Service number for your provider on the bill itself.

How much will it cost if I use my mobile phone to make a call via TextDirect?

Calls from a mobile phone may vary in price depending on your mobile phone company’s terms and conditions. Contact your mobile service provider for further information.

Do I get a rebate if I call a mobile phone from a fixed line?

Yes — calls via 18001, 180015 and 18002 to UK mobile telephone numbers will attract a 20% rebate.

Do I get a rebate on premium and national rate calls such as 087x numbers?

No — calls that are charged through a third party or where a fixed fee is applicable, Directory Enquiries for example, are not eligible for rebate.

Text to Text only service

The ‘Text to Text only service’ from TextDirect and Typetalk is a service for textphone users who are certain they are calling another textphone user. This service guarantees a Typetalk Operator will not be involved with the call, even if one is required.

 

By using the Text to Text only service you still receive all the benefits the TextDirect system has to offer, including:

  • Service messages in text, informing you if the line is engaged, unobtainable or ringing.
  • Up to 60% rebate on your call, if one is applicable. Please check with your telephone service provider for details of text rebates available.
  • 24 hour access, including Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • Full technical support from our friendly team of Customer Service Advisors by calling the numbers below.

All you need to do is dial 180015 followed by the full textphone number of the person you wish to call, for example 1800150800 500 888. Once the call is answered in text you may begin your conversation knowing a Typetalk Operator will not be connected to your call.

International Calls

If you would like to contact someone abroad you can do so by inserting the TextDirect prefix number 18001 or 18002 in front of the number you are calling. This will bring a Typetalk operator into the call if they are needed.

 

From abroad

 

If you would like to contact someone in the UK from abroad you can do so by dialling.

 

  • + 44 151 494 1260 — for Textphone users
  • + 44 151 494 2022 — for Telephone users

You will be connected to a Typetalk Relay operator who will ask for the number you wish to call. Once the operator has connected the call the call, will proceed in the normal way.

 

Calls from outside the UK to numbers outside the UK are not permitted.

International calls will not receive a rebate.

Typetalk operators are not able to translate a foreign language.

Emergency 18000

This is the only number you need to dial to get through to the following services:

 

  • Police
  • Fire service
  • Ambulance
  • Coast Guard

When you dial 18000 you will get straight through to an Emergency Services Operator. A Typetalk Operator will be brought into the call as soon as the Emergency Services Operator answers your call.

The Emergency Services Operator will ask you which service you need. You must tell them if you want the Police, Ambulance, Fire or Coast Guard.

 

The Operator will put you straight through to your nearest station for the service you have requested.

 

Remember: If you have dialled the emergency services in error, do not hang up. Stay on the line and inform the Operator of the mistake. This will avoid the possibility of the police being called to your address.

 

The Emergency Services Operator will ask you a few questions. Try to answer them as best you can but do not worry if you are unable to answer the questions. You are asked these questions to help find out exactly what the problem is. Some of the questions you may be asked are:

  • Where is the trouble?
  • What is the trouble?
  • Where are you and the number you are calling from?

You can ring the emergency services any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.

An emergency services Operator and a Typetalk Operator will always be there to answer your call.

 

Never make a hoax call

 

You instantly put the lives of other people at risk. Imagine not being able to get through to the emergency services because they are dealing with a hoax call. Think before you dial! Hoax calls are against the law and your telephone calls may be traced.

 

An example of an emergency is a fire, burglary, assault and car crash. An example of a non emergency is a broken washing machine, car breakdown, lost keys or broken street lights.

What is Relay Assist?

Relay Assist was designed for people who may require help with their calls. For example, if you dial a number and you are unsure if the call has connected or not, by using Relay Assist the Typetalk Relay Operator will be able to tell you what is happening with the call.

 

Calls using Relay Assist will be charged at BT national rate, which will take effect as soon as you are connected to the Typetalk Operator. All call charges will appear on your service provider’s telephone bill. Calls made using Relay Assist will not be eligible for rebate.

 

How to use Relay Assist for Textphone users

How to use Relay Assist for hearing people and businesses

Relay Assist for Textphone users

Dial 0870 240 95 98 from your textphone/phone
Wait for the Relay Assist Operator to answer your call.

When the call is answered the Typetalk Operator will ask you who you would like to call and the telephone number of that person. You can either type or speak to the Operator. You can also give the operator any other information about the call you are making at this point.

The Typetalk Operator will dial the number you have requested and will keep you informed about the progress of your call, e.g. if the number is engaged or unobtainable.

When your call is connected the Typetalk Operator will confirm you are speaking to the person you have asked for.
Your can then begin your conversation.

At the end of the call the Typetalk Operator will offer one follow on call. If you do not require another call the Operator will thank you for calling Relay Assist and end the call.

 

Relay Assist for hearing people and businesses

 

Dial 0870 240 51 52

Wait for Relay Assist Operator to answer your call. Call charges will start at BT national rate as soon as you are connected to the Typetalk Operator. When the call is answered the Typetalk Operator will ask who you would like to call and the textphone number of that person. You can also give the Operator any other information about the call you are making at this point.

The Typetalk Operator will dial the number you have requested and will keep you informed about the progress of your call, e.g. if the number is engaged or unobtainable.

When your call is connected the Typetalk Operator will confirm you are speaking to the person you have asked for.
You may then continue your conversation. At the end of the call the Typetalk Operator will offer you one follow on call. If you do not want to make another call the Operator will thank you for calling Relay Assist and end the call.

Typetalk Relay and TextDirect

TextDirect supports the needs of the UK textphone users by displaying ‘rigning’ and ‘busy’ as a text message providing access to Typetalk, connecting different textphones together and allowing telephone companies to provide a text rebate.

Typetalk was introduced in 1991, since then over 21 million calls have been made from Textphone users to hearing people. Without Typetalk deaf and speech–impaired people would not be able to make telephone calls to hearing people, having to rely on friends and family to ring their bank, doctors etc. on their behalf.

 

Typetalk is the national telephone relay service for people with communication difficulties. The service is managed by RNID (The Royal National Institute for Deaf people) and funded by BT.

 

Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year the service allows Textphone users to communicate with hearing people all over the world and vice versa.

 

The service is simple and free to use. Calls are charged at standard telephone rates (please contact your telephone service provider for information about how you are billed). A Textphone user simply dials 18001 followed by the full telephone number of the person they wish to call. Once the call is answered by a hearing person a Typetalk Operator will join the line to relay the call. The text user can type or speak their conversation to the hearing person, the hearing person will speak their part of the conversation and the Typetalk Operator will type exactly what is being said.

 

The same happens in reverse. If a hearing person wishes to call a Textphone user they would dial 18002 followed by the full telephone number. Once the call is answered by a Textphone, a Typetalk Operator will join the line to help with the call.