Help the Aged plans to charge callers to telephone helpline

Help the Aged is considering charging 9p a minute for its freephone advice line in a bid to help plug the £6m revenue shortfall it faces next year (Third Sector, 12 November).

Steve Jones, Help the Aged's director of communications, defended the proposal: "In a relatively short conversation, callers can increase their income by tens of pounds a week in some cases."

SeniorLine takes 70,000 calls every year from England, Scotland and Wales on issues such as benefits, council tax and housing, and costs £550,000 a year to operate. The average call lasts five minutes, and benefits-related calls can last up to 15 minutes.

Last week, the charity shed nine jobs at its Scottish office, including all five helpline advisors, and re-routed all calls to London. The redundant staff plan to take the case to an employment tribunal.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus