MICHAEL Wilson was shocked when he opened his mother’s phone bill and saw one phone call to directory enquiries had lasted three hours - and cost £309.
Gloria Wilson, aged 71, is bedridden after a stroke which left her with poor short term memory and concentration. Michael thinks she must have nodded off, or forgotten to replace the handset.
But when he contacted BT he was told they were not prepared to cancel the charge. And there was no mechanism they could set up to limit the length of calls.
Michael, of Linaker Road, Hillsborough, lives next door to his mum and manages her financial affairs, although she still has her own phone number.
He said: “They said there was nothing to stop this happening and she would be charged again.
“I think this is exploitation of a vulnerable elderly person who relies on the phoneline as her only means of communicating with others. Her total bill is £457.”
A BT spokeswoman said they had cancelled the call charge as it was the right thing to do in the circumstances.
She added: “We are sorry for any distress caused.”