Charge for Belco outage line upsets caller
A Digicel customer has sounded the alarm over the Belco outage hotline, 955, after his phone was drained in the aftermath of this month’s storm damage, which knocked out power across the island.
The Warwick resident, who asked not to be named, emphasised that Digicel had refunded him after he raised the issue.
He said: “I didn’t have lights and decided to call the Belco 955 number to check when power was coming back in.
“That was the Friday after the hurricane, and the person I spoke with was very nice — I was on the line maybe seven minutes, when my phone said I was out of minutes.
“I thought that was crazy for an emergency number. When I called Digicel, I was told it’s not treated as a local number and that you’re charged. It’s in their policy.”
According to the power company, the 955 number is to be used after a storm has passed to report an outage.
The customer added: “I spoke with a manager at Digicel and I admit, they refunded me, but that’s the policy. I just wanted to let it be known, especially for seniors, that you’re charged for using that emergency Belco number.”
A Digicel spokesman confirmed this week: “We do indeed charge for that number. This agreement has been in place with Belco for many, many years. It is a service that was provided by the Bermuda Telephone Company and now BTC Digicel.”
But he added: “After this, we will look to meet with Belco and work on this with them in partnership with the community.”
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