BT set to cut £5 off the monthly bills of landline only customers

Thursday, March 2nd 2017

BT customers paying for only a landline telephone service acan expect a price cut in their montly bills, following Ofcom's Market Review. BT's landline only customers could benefit by a price cut of at least £5, on line rental costs which can add to £60 per year.

BT has between 2.1 to 2.3 million landline only customers, of the 2.9 million of them in the UK. Of these customers about half of them don't take broadband from BT but from others. The majority of landline users take BT's money saving Basic or Home Phone Saver plans, which helps low-income or vulnerable consumers. The Basic plan is at £5.10 per month and includes calls and line rental. The reduction mooted by Ofcom can effectively reverse price-hikes in real terms, nearly back to 2009's prices, for landline only customers.

Chief Executive of Ofcom, Sharon White, pointed out that although providers' costs are coming down, the line rental has been going up. This is unacceptable as it hurts people who rely on their lanline the most, she added. Ofcom observed that offers for these customers are getting more limited and many providers have in the last few years completly stopped offering telephone only products.

Whereas, customers of bundled services benefit by competition, with a range of attractive deals and extras offered, like broadband and pay TV bundled with the landline. However, BT said they will fully respond to Ofcom's consultation, taking the responsibility in this area seriously and already have special tariffs for vulnerable or socially excluded customers, unlike other providers. They said BT Basic is still at £5.10 per month and includes calls, Home Phone Saver and line rental.

BT pointed out that they've frozen line rental cost for all those taking a BT phone line, have taken steps to better customer service, brought back to UK call centre work and invested heavily for faster fault repair service.

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