Known telecoms-related scams

Your lines are being ceased soon

The truth behind the scam

Openreach are planning to cease all ISDN services by 2025. This is true and we have an article about the ISDN switch-off.

How the ISDN switch-off becomes a scam

The scam is that some sales people are using this to claim that the switch-off is imminent, perhaps in the next 3 months or maybe 6 months, and to claim that if the customer does not move to a new service very soon, they will lose their lines and numbers.

This is not true because the traditional products will continue to work until 2025, because it is possible to use traditional telecoms kit with adapters that convert from the internet-based system to traditional telephony, and because most modern telephone systems can be made to work with internet-based telephony. While it is true that your telephone services need to change by 2025, it is not true that this is urgent. Your existing line provider will tell you when it becomes urgent for your lines. If someone not connected to your provider contacts you, don't trust what they tell you, they are just trying to get a sale, and certainly don't trust them if they say they are from BT if you are not a BT customer.


Below is an example of an email received by one of our customers in an attempt to sell internet-based telephony when there is no need.

Further to my conversation with one of your colleagues, I have recently been passed your details from BT in regards to your current phone lines. I believe you currently have 4 lines of ISDN 2. The reason for my direct approach is as of 2020 all ISDN lines are being pulled from the market by BT in order to take all channels of ISDN to the cloud. As we're a local-based company and a trusted partner of BT Openreach, I wondered if it was possible to call over and have a chat with yourself in order to explain the procedure going forward.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The lies in this email are:

  • that ISDN 2 is being pulled in 2020. It is not. Our best information is that services will be phased out by 2025, your existing provider will tell you when.
  • that BT passed on the details. If BT were doing this, they would be in breach of data protection rules. If the company that sent the above email got them through their relationship with Openreach and their access to Openreach, they are abusing their relationship with Openreach.
  • the suggestion that they are a 'trusted partner' of BT Openreach. Any company wanting to sell Openreach products can have a relationship with Openreach; trust doesn't come into it. Clearly the company sending the email above cannot be trusted as they are abusing their relationship.

Another example of high-pressure sales based on lies

Are you available for a quick call this week?

Are you aware that ISDN lines are being switched off in the very near future?

Pace Cloud is a clever replacement for the traditional phone system and with ISDN coming to an end, it's the ideal opportunity not only to upgrade, but to improve your business' functionality.

Unless you think 2025 is 'the very near future', this is clearly marketing of telephone services based on lies.

BT are putting their prices up and you have 1 month to find an alternative supplier

Below is an email from one of our customers. We think this is a variation of the above scam, perhaps because people are becoming aware of it.

I am having a few calls from other telecom companies regarding BT. They are saying that BT are going to be putting their prices up without our knowledge and we have 1 month to terminate our contract and find an alternative supplier. Apparently, in 1 month's time, BT contracts will be void. Openreach have just called to say that they will give us a quote and pay any penalties that we may have with BT if we opt to go with them. Openreach are calling back after lunch. Please advise how best to deal with this. Apparently, emails should have been sent advising us of this but I haven't seen any.

There is a lot wrong with this.

  • BT doing what is suggested would be commercial suicide. In any case, how long you have to terminate your contract with BT (or anyone else) depends on the terms of the contract and when it was taken out.
  • Openreach do not contact end customers directly, other than in regard to site visits for installation and maintenance that have already been arranged through your service provider. Anyone contacting you claiming to be from Openreach when you have not made an appointment through your service provider is not from Openreach and you should refuse to deal with them. Contact your service provider (the company you pay your bill to).

We can't maintain your system any more

Variations on this theme

  • Your telephone system cannot be maintained any more.
  • We have checked our records and your telephone system cannot be maintained any more (check that the caller is even the company that installed it)
  • We have inspected your system and it cannot be maintained any more

Is this likely to be true?

For systems installed in the past 10 years it is unlikely to be true, we are maintaining systems older than 10 years old and hold spares for many older systems. Even where we don't hold spares they are generally available second hand for telephone systems under 10 years old. In some cases repairs are possible too.

For systems installed before 2000 it might be true, and the older the system the more likely it is to be true. However, even in these cases spares might be available.

For products we can maintain have a look at the various system specific help and support articles on this web site. We give our assessment of whether a particular system can be maintained, and we update those assessments from time to time.

If you do think you need a new system don't be tempted to accept the quote from the person who cold called you, ask us for our opinion and perhaps for a quote first.

If you know of any other telecoms-related scams, or you have received a suspicious call or email, please let us know and ask for our advice.

If you want to know more about your telephone system and whether you need to upgrade it, please call us for advice.

Call us on 0115 938 9685 or use our contact form.