A word of warning to phone users in hospitals

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On checking my telephone account, I found four calls, for which I seemed to have paid an excessive amount.

At the side of the calls was written Pn2 rate, which obviously had some meaning. By checking on my computer I found that this signified a premium rate and one of the highest of these special rates, which can be charged by private companies. The number had an 070 prefix.

After looking at the dates when the calls had been made, I realised that they were to a friend who was in hospital. None of the calls would have lasted more than five minutes and the charges were,£4.72, £5.74, £5.77 and £1.68. This last call was extremely brief, as I had only just begun to speak when she said she could not talk as the doctor was with her.

I assumed that I must have been speaking to her on her mobile, as I did not know that she also had use of some sort of hospital telephone. I asked her about this and she said that she had hired a television set, whilst in the hospital and the telephone came with this set. So the number I had used was the one belonging to this hire package. I know the cost of hiring a television in hospital is very high, I did not know anything about the telephone.

This may have been publicised by the paper previously but if not, I hope this letter will act as a warning to others. Do not make use of these telephones unless cost is of no consequence.

P Parkin