Orange, Freeserve and Wanadoo email addresses to shut down

EE have announced that Orange Email will close on 31 May 2017. Find out what this means for you.
 EE have announced that Orange Email will close on 31 May 2017. Find out what this means for you and how to get set up with an alternative email address.
 
What is Orange Email? Customers on some legacy Orange Home Broadband and Orange mobile plans were given a free email address. However since then email services are now largely independent, and mostly offered by companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Orange Email addresses haven’t been given to new customers since 2012.
 
Why are they  closing Orange Email? Since Orange Email was first introduced, a wide variety of providers have launched offering free email services with more advanced functionality. As a result, the number of Orange Email users has been in decline. Therefore they have decided to close Orange Email on 31 May 2017, so you can move to a better email experience, and we can focus on providing our customers with the best possible products and services.
 
The addresses affected by the closure are:
Orange.net
Orangehome.co.uk
Wanadoo.co.uk
Freeserve.co.uk
Fsbusiness.co.uk
Fslife.co.uk 
Fsmail.net
Fsworld.co.uk
Fsnet.co.uk
  
When will the service close? The service will close on 31 May 2017. After this you will not be able to access your account, send or receive any emails from your Orange Email address, or access contacts and emails in any way.
 
Are they offering an alternative email service? Many of their users already have an alternative email address with another email provider. However if you don’t, and need to create a new address, EE recommend Google’s Gmail. Gmail offers a whole host of benefits such as access across different devices, 15GB of free storage and a simple email address format, ending with @gmail.com.
 
Does this affect the mobile or broadband services I have with Orange or EE? Other services you have with EE or any of its other brands like Orange or T-Mobile aren’t affected but you may need to update your username or contact email address for these services. See How to update your EE usernames or contact details.
 
What do I need to do? If you’ve never used Orange Email, you don’t need to do anything. If you do sometimes use it, there are a few things you need to do:
 
Make a backup of any important emails that you want to keep as you won’t be able to access them after 31 May 2017. You may have your Orange Email address listed as a username or contact address for other services, and will need to let these services know your new address. 
 
I need my Orange email address – what can I do? Unfortunately it will not be possible to retain your Orange Email address after the service closes. Many of EE users already have an alternative email address with another email provider, however if you don’t, and need to create a new address, there are plenty of options including Gmail.
 
What if I do nothing? If you do not save your emails before 31 May 2017, you won’t be able to access them anymore. They will be deleted from the EE servers. You will also no longer be able to send or receive emails from your Orange Email address.
 
More information is available here.
 
 
 

How to beat broadband price hikes.

 Broadband and phone providers are not scared of putting up prices and during the past few years there have been several inflation-busting increases.
 
Broadband and phone providers are not scared of putting up prices and during the past few years there have been several inflation-busting increases. But if you’re in the middle of a fixed contract and prices are hiked there is a way out.
 
Ofcom rules state that if a provider increases the price mid-way through your contract you are allowed to leave. You should be given 30 days in which to contact your provider to tell it you want to leave, and there should be no penalty for doing so.
 
There is one loophole to this, if you already knew about the rise before you signed up your provider may not let you leave without penalty.
 
If this is the case, it’s still worth asking to leave, and for it to waive the penalty. If it won’t, take your complaint to the Ombudsman. However do not cancel your direct debit until it agrees, as it may damage your credit score. 
 
 
 

Beat BT and Sky price hikes!

Beat BT & Sky price hikes. Switch providers mid-contract — with no penalty fee!
 
Beat BT & Sky price hikes. Switch providers mid-contract — with no penalty fee!
 
BT and Sky have announced inflation-busting price hikes.The changes range from BT’s £30 per year extra for fibre broadband, to Sky’s 9% increase in line rental for all customers.
 
But remember: you don’t have to accept it. Under Ofcom rules you’re allowed to end your contract early without paying a penalty fee if your provider bumps up the prices without warning you when you first signed up. This applies regardless of how much time is left on your contract. All you do is tell your provider that you’re leaving within 30 days of them informing you of the price increase. Don’t delay if you want to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.
 
So what’s next?
 
Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals available in your street. http://peoplesphone.co.uk/digital-compare

Problems with your Sky Q remote

Checks to make if your Sky Q remotes aren’t working correctly.

 
Checks to make if your Sky Q remotes aren’t working correctly.

 
Sky Q Touch Remote – There are various reasons your Sky Q touch remote might not be working. Things to check:
 
1. Batteries – You’ll get a low battery notification. You might notice some functions will stop before your remote stops working altogether.
2. Check your TV is tuned to Sky
3. If your Sky Q box isn’t responding, check your TV is set to the right input.
4. Bluetooth connection lost – Your Sky Q touch remote must be paired to your Sky Q box for all functions to work. It can only be paired to one box at a time. To check the remote is paired, press the Q button on the front of your Sky box: a remote paired to that box will start beeping after a few seconds. If the remote doesn’t start beeping, point it at the Sky Q box and press and hold 1 and 3 for two seconds to begin the connection process.
 
 
Sky Q Remote – There are various reasons your Sky Q remote might not be working. Things to check:
 
 1. Batteries – An on screen message will tell you the batteries are low and should be changed.
 2. Check your sensor-  Make sure there’s nothing blocking the line of sight between your Sky Q remote and your Sky Q box.
 3. Make sure your TV is tuned to Sky
4. Check that your TV is set to the right input source.
 
If you’re still having problems you will need to contact Sky.
 
 
 

Fix Sky Q’s ‘too bright’ blue light

Sky Q  customers who have complained about a blue light on their box have been advised of an effective workaround.

 
Sky Q  customers who have complained about a blue light on their box have been advised of an effective workaround.
 
Many users believe the blue light that shows when they are playing back recordings is far too bright, with one person stating on the Sky forum that it is like having a laser pen shining at them.
 
While some have considered sticking tape or light dimming stickers over the light, others have found a more high-tech but still simple solution.
 
Users can switch the light off by swiping right on their remote touchpad or pressing right on their normal remote. They must then press the BACK (or DISMISS) button on their remote.
 
While this does not permanently disable the light, it could offer some relief to those who have been dazzled or frustrated by it since switching to Sky Q.
 
 

Sky Q box is stuck on standby or slow to respond

If your Sky Q box is stuck on standby, or slow to respond, here are a few checks to carry out.
 
If your Sky Q box is stuck on standby, or slow to respond, here are a few checks to carry out.

 
1. Check for a fault with your Sky Q remote –  

Press ? on your Sky Q remote and check the light on it flashes.
2. If the remote doesn’t flash, you need to check problems with your Sky Q remote. If your remote does flash, press Home.
3. If the standby light on your Sky Q box remains on red or amber or is slow to respond, press the Standby button on the front panel of the box.
4.  If your box displays a green light, then the Sky Q remote isn’t working with the Sky Q box. Go to Restart your Sky Q box below. If your box remains on red or amber, or continues to be slow, check for ventilation issues.

5. 

To keep your box well ventilated: 

Avoid placing the Sky Q box on a carpet or in an enclosed space, such as a closed cabinet. Allow at least 10cm of space above and on all sides of the box vents. 

Don’t stack other devices on top of, underneath, or beside your Sky Q box. 

Keep the box away from heat, such as vents on TVs and electronic devices, radiators and direct sunlight.

6. Restart your Sky Q box – Switch your Sky Q box off at the mains. Check that both ends of all cables are securely connected. Switch your Sky Q box back on at the mains. Wait for the onscreen instructions to disappear then press Home on your Sky Q remote. If you’re still having problems, try the Recovery procedure.
 7. Recovery procedure – Switch your Sky Q box off at the mains. Hold down the standby button on the box, then switch it back on at the mains. Keep the standby button held down until you see alternating red and amber lights on the front of the box. This will start a software update. If the lights don’t show after 30 seconds, repeat steps 1 to 3. If it still doesn’t work, there may be a fault with your box. The update can take up to 15 minutes and once it’s complete, you’ll be prompted to press Home on your Sky Q remote to finish.
 
If you’re still having problems you will need to contact Sky.
 

 
 
 

 
 

Number Crunching – How much does a phone call really cost?

How much does a phone call really cost? 0800, 0870, 090, 020… There are so many different phone numbers that keeping tabs on how much they cost to call can be confusing. So what do they all mean?

 
How much does a phone call really cost? 0800, 0870, 090, 020… There are so many different phone numbers that keeping tabs on how much they cost to call can be confusing. So what do they all mean?
 
This is a handy guide to common phone numbers, some of the ways that they are used and the indicative costs of calling them from landlines or mobile phones. 
 
The prices below are indicative only and should not be used as a definitive list of call charges. Actual costs depend on your communication provider and a number of factors
such as individual calling plans, time of day and the exact number called. You should check with your provider before you dial. As well as a pence per minute rate, most landline providers charge a call set-up fee to connect calls, which is typically between 3p and 15p.
  
01 and 02 numbers – geographic numbers:
 
These numbers relate to specific locations in the UK and are used for homes and businesses. For example, Huddersfield is 01484, Bath is 01225, Edinburgh is 0131 and London is 020.
 
How much do calls cost? Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 10p per minute; calls from mobiles between 10p and 40p per minute. For landlines there is normally also a call set-up fee, and call charges are dependent on the time of day. Most providers offer call packages that allow calls free
of charge at certain times of the day.
 
 
03 numbers – UK-wide geographic numbers:
 
Many organisations use 03 numbers as an alternative to more expensive 08 numbers.
 
How much do calls cost? Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 10p per minute; calls from mobiles typically cost between 10p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.
 
 
 
030 numbers – not-for-profit organisations:
 
030 numbers were specially designed for not-for-profit organisations, charities and public bodies to offer consumers a single point of contact nationally. The BBC, the Met Police, the RSPCA, Oxfam, Relate, some local councils, Ofcom and a number of government departments use 030 numbers.
 
How much do calls cost? Calls cost no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 10p per minute; calls from mobiles typically cost between 10p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles
are included in free call packages.
 
 
 
07 – mobile numbers:
 
How much do calls cost? Calls to mobiles are charged between 5p and 32p per minute from BT landlines and other landline providers and are typically not included in free call packages. Call costs from mobiles vary according to the calling plan chosen. Typically they cost between 8p and 40p per minute. Calls between mobile phones are normally included in free call packages.
 
 
 
070 – personal numbers:
 
These are different from mobile numbers and calls to them are more expensive. They can be used as a “follow me” service where calls are diverted from another number. Small businesses and sole traders use them to make it easy to manage calls. Personal numbers are also sold on a one-off basis, for example when someone is buying or selling a used car and doesn’t want to advertise their private mobile or fixed line number on a website or magazine.
 
How much do calls cost? 070 numbers can cost between 4p and 52p per minute if calling from a landline (and often include a call set-up fee, sometimes of up to 51p). From a mobile phone these numbers can cost between 30p and £1.50 per minute. 
 
 
 
08 numbers:
 
0800 and 0808 Freephone – A number of businesses and organisations use Freephone numbers, including some helplines and charities such as RNID or Age UK, as well as Government services such as Jobseeker’s Allowance.
 
How much do calls cost? Calls are normally free of charge from landlines but charges may apply from mobile phones. However, the operator must make an announcement before the call is connected telling the caller that they will be charged (the announcement does not state the exact charge). Calls from mobiles typically cost between 14p and 40p per minute. 0500 numbers cost similar amounts as 0800 and 0808 numbers from a mobile.
 
 
 
Chargeable 08 Business Rate numbers – These are used by large and small businesses for sales, enquiry and customer service lines and for some pay-as-you go internet access services.
 
 
0843 and 0844 – How much do calls cost? Calls are charged between 1p and 13p per minute for landline customers. Calls from mobile phones are typically charged between 20p and 41p per minute, depending on the provider and the number called.
 
 
 
0845 – How much do calls cost? Calls are typically charged at between 1p and 11p per minute depending on the time of day for landline customers, and often include a call set-up fee of up to 14p. Calls from mobile phones generally cost between 14p and 41p per minute.
 
 
0870 – How much do calls cost? Calls from some landline providers cost no more than a geographic rate call (01 or 02, up to 10p plus a call set-up fee in some cases) and may count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way. Calls from other landline providers typically cost up to 11p per minute. From some mobile networks calls typically cost between 14p and 41p per minute. Recently some other providers have also included calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers in call packages, making them free at certain times of the day.
 
 
0871/2/3 – How much do calls cost? Calls typically cost between 11p and 15p per minute for landline customers, plus a call set-up fee. From a mobile phone, calls may cost between 20p and 41p per minute. Services provided on these numbers are regulated by PhonepayPlus* to provide additional protection for callers. You can find out more information at www.phonepayplus.org.uk.
 
 
 
118 directory enquiry numbers – How much do calls cost? Calls to directory enquiry numbers (starting 118) can vary significantly in price depending on the directory enquiry service and the phone company you call from. Typically, most calls include a one-off connection charge and then a separate per minute rate, although this also varies depending on the service.
 
From a mobile or a landline, the one-off charge can be anything between 50p and up to £4 and the additional per minute charge can be anything up to £4. Some mobile providers charge on a per minute basis only with calls costing up to £3 per minute. These numbers are also regulated by PhonepayPlus* and providers are required to state the cost of the call in their advertising.
 
 
 
Premium rate numbers:
 
09 numbers – 09 numbers are mainly used for competitions, TV voting, horoscopes, chat lines, adult lines, recorded information and professional advice services. You can bar these premium rate numbers from being dialled from your phone, as you can with other numbers. These numbers are also regulated by PhonepayPlus*.
 
How much do calls cost? Calls typically cost between 9p and £1.69 per minute or per call from a BT landline, but other landline providers can charge up to £2.60 per minute. From a mobile phone charges typically range between 50p and £2.50 per minute or per call.
 

*PhonepayPlus (previously known as ICSTIS) regulates phone-paid services in the UK. These are the premium rate goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bill and prepay account. You can find out more information at www.phonepayplus.org.uk Prices correct as at 12/08/2013

Automated phone menus – and how to survive them

“Please listen to the following options.” Does your heart drop at the sound of these words? If so, here are eight ways of surviving automated phone menus and the call charges that may be adding up as you listen to them.

 
“Please listen to the following options.” Does your heart drop at the sound of these words? If so, here are eight ways of surviving automated phone menus and the call charges that may be adding up as you listen to them.
  
1. Avoid the phone altogether – There are normally different ways of contacting a company. Often web chat facilities can get you through to an advisor within minutes. Consumer group Which? also recommends emailing or tweeting the company. It’s free and means you have a written record which could be useful if you have to challenge or prove something in the future.
  
2. Beware high call charges – Many businesses use phone numbers beginning 08 – some of which are free, but others can carry a charge significantly higher than the cost of local or national calls. Charges can also depend on your provider and call package. Communications regulator Ofcom wants companies to make it simpler. In the meantime, their guide to phone prefixes lists the charges you are likely to face for various calls.
 
3. Find a cheaper number – Which? provides advice on cheap alternatives to 0870 and 0845 calls often used by businesses, such as looking for a “calling from overseas” number. This will usually start +44 and is likely to be cheaper. Just replace +44 with 0.
 
Which? also recommends looking for sales-line numbers – these are often cheaper to encourage people to call – or searching for the company headquarters number. In both cases ask to be transferred to customer services. Once you get through to the right person, ask for the best way to call them next time. They might give you a direct line number which may be cheaper and faster.
 
 4. Avoid the mobile or get an app – Call charges can be much higher if you use a mobile phone. In particular “Freephone” 0800 numbers can be charged up to 40p per minute from a mobile. For smartphones there are a number of apps that can bypass the cost of 08 numbers.
 
5. Go off-peak – Calling 084 or 0870 numbers from a landline can be more expensive during the week. So phone at weekends.
 
6. Take a shortcut – Nigel Clarke’s website www.pleasepress1.com might shave some time off your call. He provide shortcuts through the automated menus of over 200 companies. As an example, if you wanted to call HMRC about a possible tax refund, you can dial the sequence 2,1,1 rather than listen through each menu option. However, you still need to wait for each menu recording to start before pressing the button.
  
7. Don’t hold – Which? recommends smart phone users download an app called ‘WeQ4u’. They say the app keeps your place in the queue and calls you back when an operator is available.
 
8. Learn to love them – Companies argue that automated menus benefit everyone as an efficient way of connecting you to the right service. “Automated responses help banks to filter large call volumes” – that’s according to the The British Bankers’ Association. “They also ensure customers are directed to the best person to answer their specific query as soon as possible.”
 
Some very small businesses use them to appear larger and more professional. In extreme cases, every menu option can take you through to the same person. Keeping quiet and ignoring every option will not get you through to someone faster.
  

 
Number Crunching – What do those prefixes mean?
 
01 and 02 numbers relate to locations in the UK so local or national rates apply
 
0800 and 0808 numbers are free but may be charged from mobiles
 
Charges for other 08 numbers vary widely
 
09 numbers are premium rate. Often used for chat lines, competitions and professional advice services.
 

Will your landline telephone work during a power cut?

Many of us experience power cuts from time to time, which can be caused by bad weather or problems with electricity lines. The first things we look to lay our hands on are likely to be the emergency torches or candles.
 
Many of us experience power cuts from time to time, which can be caused by bad weather or problems with electricity lines. The first things we look to lay our hands on are likely to be the emergency torches or candles.
 
But what if you need to make a phone call – to check on relatives, to report the power cut or even to contact the emergency services in the event of an accident or fire? According to Ofcom research, eight in ten homes in the UK use a cordless landline telephone – but these phones are very unlikely to work in a power cut, even if they’re fully charged.
 
That’s because the unit that plugs into the phone socket (the base station) also needs mains power to operate and rarely has a back-up battery.
 
However, you should still be able to use a traditional plug-in landline phone during a power cut as long as nothing has happened to bring the phone network down, too. This is because your telephone line takes its power from the local telephone exchange, which has back-up power available.
 
If you have a cordless phone, you could consider keeping a traditional corded phone in your house and keep it connected to the phone socket (or stored in a handy place). This will offer the greatest chance of being able to make calls during a power cut.
 
Additionally, if you don’t already have one, consider having a mobile phone as a back-up (and remember to keep it charged and use it occasionally to make sure it is still working).