I have not held discussions with British Telecom on this issue. However, I have raised the matter with the chief executive officer of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom). Ofcom is considering whether any of the changes BT has recently made raise any regulatory issues and is coming back to me on this in May.
I understand that, BT has applied a price differential between customers who pay their accounts by direct debit and those who pay by other means for a number of years. This reflects the increased processing and debt management costs associated with payments not made by direct debit. Such differentials are common practice among communications providers and utility service providers.
The Light User Scheme and In Contact Plus will not be affected by the increased charge. These are the special tariff schemes offered to vulnerable customers by BT as a result of the Universal Service Obligation placed on the company.