The Strangford MLA said: “It is strange that a company can dictate to its customers the way it wishes them to pay their bills or else they will be charged more.
“This is causing a lot of annoyance amongst many people and especially the elderly who might not have the means to pay their phone bill by direct debit out of a bank account. Many elderly people would prefer to pay in cash or by cheque, yet they are being made to pay this extra charge simply because it is not the preferred way BT wishes them to pay.
“I would urge trading standards to look into this matter to see whether or not this charge is legal. I also call on BT to re-evaluate the way they treat customers depending on which way they pay their bill.
“This charge must be stopped especially as it seems to be hitting the pockets of elderly people the hardest.”