The Hull and East Yorkshire region is the birthplace of our business and we are proud to play our part in local life in the area. Unemployment rates in Hull are high in comparison to England as a whole so this has strengthened our resolve to support the local economy wherever we can.
Tackling digital exclusion
The government has highlighted 'digital exclusion' as a key risk facing the UK at the current time. People may be digitally excluded due to a lack of internet access or a lack of digital skills. Digital inclusion results in people feeling more connected with their families and communities, increases the job opportunities available and even enables people to save money through shopping online, and to access government services that are increasingly moving online.
We are looking to help tackle digital exclusion in a number of ways:
- We are making a significant investment in the provision of superfast broadband, to enable people to communicate and do business online
- We have introduced new products and packages that provide low cost PCs, tablets or laptops to new customers
- We have launched our cheapest ever broadband package to encourage more people to get online
- We are working with local councils and other organisations to provide equipment and volunteers to run courses and drop-in sessions to teach digital skills, including in local community centres
Supporting vulnerable customers
We make sure that vulnerable residential customers can get access to affordable phone services, and we’re committed to helping all our customers keep in touch more easily. We provide products and services for our vulnerable customers .
- For customers who have difficulty reading our standard printed material, we offer large print or Braille contracts, bills and manuals
- We offer a free directory enquiry service and a text phone service for customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech-impaired or blind
- Customers who receive unwanted calls - especially silent, malicious or nuisance calls - can register for help in dealing with these types of calls
- If a customer is unable to leave their house due to disability or illness, a telephone becomes a vital lifeline so we offer a free priority repair service for customers who may be at risk in the unlikely event of a fault occurring on their line
- We offer an online video service that allows customers who are deaf to communicate with our customer service team using British Sign Language (BSL) via a fully qualified interpreter.
- We want to make sure that customers on a limited budget can afford a phone service. Our social access package light user scheme gives low-cost line rental and inclusive calls for customers who receive certain benefits
Helping customers stay safe on-line
We want our customers and their families to be safe when using the internet so we encourage our new and existing customers to sign up to our free parental control service. The service means families can decide whether or not to filter certain categories of content. If they wish to, they can choose from a number of profile suggestions that give the option to block adult websites and other content they consider inappropriate.
We have also provided funding to a local theatre group to develop and perform plays addressing cyber bullying and online grooming. These plays have been performed to primary schools across the Hull and East Yorkshire region to teach children about the importance of online safety.
We expect the partners and suppliers we work with to share the same ethics and standards as us. This means our customers can be confident that goods and services they buy from us have been developed responsibly; lawfully; in decent working conditions; without exploiting the people who make or deliver them and without damaging the environment.
We have a Supplier Code of Conduct which all of our suppliers and partners are required to follow. We have regular meetings with our key suppliers and work closely with them to ensure that we understand the way in which their business operates and their approach to sustainability and their own corporate responsibility.