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Main Forum >> Call Providers >> BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
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Message started by bigjohn on Aug 24th, 2014 at 3:15am

Title: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by bigjohn on Aug 24th, 2014 at 3:15am
"With our Home Phone Saver deal you can benefit from a price promise where the price is set at £19.99 a month.

The price of your Home Phone Saver package is guaranteed to stay the same until 2017 – giving you peace of mind.

What you get with Home Phone Saver:
Your monthly line rental
Unlimited calls to UK landlines at any time, for up to an hour
Unlimited calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers at any time, for up to an hour
Discounted calls to UK mobiles
BT Privacy with Caller Display, Choose to Refuse and Anonymous Call Reject for free when you opt-in

You can pay for Home Phone Saver by any means of payment.

Home Phone Saver is a telephone only deal, so can't be taken out as part of our BT Broadband or Infinity packages."

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/49402/~/home-phone-saver

Note you cant have line rental saver with it.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by allegro on Aug 24th, 2014 at 8:03am
Nice little trick. Offer a reasonably fair price immediately after announcing price rise, lock people in for 3 years and then in the FAQ: "No, our broadband bundles are not compatible with Home Phone Saver. "

Without doing the sums I think Plusnet are still cheaper for a phone/BB package, no lengthy contract. (Line saver rental, anytime calls, caller display) And they are part of BT!

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by bigjohn on Aug 24th, 2014 at 10:24am

allegro wrote on Aug 24th, 2014 at 8:03am:
Nice little trick. Offer a reasonably fair price immediately after announcing price rise, lock people in for 3 years


You cant lock people in for 3 years. The minimum term is 12 months and bear in mind it does include for no extra charge anonymous call reject which is normally £4.75 a month,Choose to refuse which is £3.90 a month and caller display which is £1.75 a month.

If you currently pay monthly for your line rental  £15.95 a month. For an extra £4.04 a month you get anytime calls  and the extra call features, where as normally  just  anytime calls would cost you £7.50 a month.

As you point out Plusnet are a better bet if you want broadband.

Currently take line rental saver and line rental works out at 12.99 a month, add caller display 99p a month, and unlimited broadband £2.50 a month,and anytime calls £5 a month = £21.48. So for another 1.49 a month you get broadband. :)





Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by allegro on Aug 25th, 2014 at 8:17am
Thanks for doing the sums. It makes me wonder if BT are trying to a "good cop, bad cop" trick using their BT and Plusnet brands.

I should add that I've been a customer of Plusnet since well before the BT takeover. There have been some bad patches when I've thought about leaving but inertia has kept me there and things have always got better. At present Plusnet support is creaking badly under the weight of all the new customers they are getting.

I'm hesitant to say this in open forum but when your 12 month discount broadband deal with Plusnet is coming to an end phone them to get a MAC. You will usually get a decent result without changing ISP ;) This may not work for fibre where the hit they take from the discount is rather bigger.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Heinz on Aug 26th, 2014 at 9:47am

Quote:
Home Phone Saver is a telephone only deal, so can't be taken out as part of our BT Broadband or Infinity packages.

Am I reading that right and does it mean you cannot have BT broadband AT ALL if you go for this package? 

If so, GREAT, that means I could go for that and then get a cheap broadband deal from PlusNet (or whoever).

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by allegro on Aug 27th, 2014 at 7:59am
Except that Plusnet only discount broadband if you take their phone service as well. That's perfectly normal marketing

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Feb 1st, 2017 at 12:51pm
Looking at the BT Price List, the latest incarnation of Home Phone Saver would appear to be Home Phone Saver 2019, Home Phone Saver 2018 being marked as 'not available for new supply from 3rd April 2016'.

It is the case that you cannot have BT Broadband in order to have Home Phone Saver. Is there any requirement by BT Retail that lines with HPS cannot have broadband supplied by another provider, and is this likely to be legally binding?

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Marry_Reynolds on Feb 1st, 2017 at 2:24pm
Worst rpovider ever. They charged me 2 pounds for not  using landline phone. They charge me every month. I know its only 2 pounds,but I have phone, telly and internet for 60 pounds per month ( old contract) that's why I think it's silly to do this. Do not ever sign with then.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Feb 1st, 2017 at 4:43pm

wrote on Feb 1st, 2017 at 2:24pm:
Worst rpovider ever. They charged me 2 pounds for not  using landline phone. They charge me every month. I know its only 2 pounds,but I have phone, telly and internet for 60 pounds per month ( old contract) that's why I think it's silly to do this. Do not ever sign with then.

Welcome to SayNoTo0870 and thanks for posting about this.

Can someone direct us to where this charge for no calls being made is stated? I cannot see it on the BT Price List page. What I believe to be the official information page on BT's website on this 'product' is here. Nowhere does it convey such information.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by bigjohn on Feb 1st, 2017 at 7:44pm

Dave wrote on Feb 1st, 2017 at 12:51pm:
Looking at the BT Price List, the latest incarnation of Home Phone Saver would appear to be Home Phone Saver 2019, Home Phone Saver 2018 being marked as 'not available for new supply from 3rd April 2016'.

Hi Dave.

It is the case that you cannot have BT Broadband in order to have Home Phone Saver. Is there any requirement by BT Retail that lines with HPS cannot have broadband supplied by another provider, and is this likely to be legally binding?


Normal  BT line rental is available if you really wanted it, i cant see any benefits though. But i guess they would probaly be within their rights not to offer you the extra benefits of the Home Phone Saver a product specifically introduced for phone users

Plusnet are one of the very few that offer broadband you can place on other providers lines. See: https://www.plus.net/home-broadband/broadband-only/

If you click on Line rental needed with another provider

They put people off of the product.By saying.

"You'll need to pay line rental to Plusnet or another BT based landline provider to get our broadband.

If you opt to switch your phone service to Plusnet, we'll reduce your monthly broadband price by £3.50 for as long as you keep your phone line with us."



Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by bigjohn on Feb 1st, 2017 at 7:54pm

Dave wrote on Feb 1st, 2017 at 4:43pm:

wrote on Feb 1st, 2017 at 2:24pm:
Worst rpovider ever. They charged me 2 pounds for not  using landline phone. They charge me every month. I know its only 2 pounds,but I have phone, telly and internet for 60 pounds per month ( old contract) that's why I think it's silly to do this. Do not ever sign with then.

Welcome to SayNoTo0870 and thanks for posting about this.

Can someone direct us to where this charge for no calls being made is stated? I cannot see it on the BT Price List page. What I believe to be the official information page on BT's website on this 'product' is here. Nowhere does it convey such information.


Hi Dave .

Marry cant be on Home Phone Saver as they have  Broadband and TV which you cant have with it.

Perhaps they  still have calls with another supplier, where BT charge extra if you dont place some calls via them.

Suggest they call BT Customer Options 0800 800 150 and sort it out,and get a better deal, or move on.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Feb 1st, 2017 at 8:16pm

bigjohn wrote on Feb 1st, 2017 at 7:44pm:
Normal  BT line rental is available if you really wanted it, i cant see any benefits though. But i guess they would probaly be within their rights not to offer you the extra benefits of the Home Phone Saver a product specifically introduced for phone users

But if Home Phone Saver has already been signed up to, can broadband then be added to that line? Or will it be blocked? Or would it otherwise mean the customer would have to change package so as not to be in breach of terms?



bigjohn wrote on Feb 1st, 2017 at 7:44pm:
Plusnet are one of the very few that offer broadband you can place on other providers lines. See: https://www.plus.net/home-broadband/broadband-only/

If you click on Line rental needed with another provider

They put people off of the product.By saying.

"You'll need to pay line rental to Plusnet or another BT based landline provider to get our broadband.

If you opt to switch your phone service to Plusnet, we'll reduce your monthly broadband price by £3.50 for as long as you keep your phone line with us."

Zen offer broadband only. The difference between broadband with line rental and without is £11.59. Line rental on its own (with non-inclusive calls) is £16.99. They impose a surcharge of £5.40 on the broadband if you don't take line rental from them. This is the equivalent of Plusnet's £3.50 difference in broadband with and without taking its line rental.

Fast.co.uk also offer broadband only.

However, I'm specifically looking at Andrews & Arnold ADSL. It can be used in conjunction with another provider's line rental. I am wondering whether this might work on a line that has BT Home Phone Saver on it.

Additionally, while A&A can offer voice service, they do naked ADSL whereby you pay £10 for the copper pair, if you do not pay line rental to another provider.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by bigjohn on Feb 1st, 2017 at 8:28pm
I guess a change of package would be needed in those circumstances.

Andrews and Arnold might be worth asking if they have any feedback from customers who have attempted it.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Feb 1st, 2017 at 8:43pm

bigjohn wrote on Feb 1st, 2017 at 8:28pm:
I guess a change of package would be needed in those circumstances.

Andrews and Arnold might be worth asking if they have any feedback from customers who have attempted it.

Thanks. I will ask A&A if I decide I'd like to move to it.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by CJT-80 on Feb 4th, 2017 at 1:29pm
Hi Dave,

I have recently been looking at my parents Broadband and Telephone service, as it's now out of contract.  I found that PlusNet (part of the BT Group) offered a better deal than BT plus they offered inclusive Mobile calls on their calling plans (which BT do not)

You can also get BT Sport via PlusNet (at £9.99 or £12.49 Standard vs HD).  As BT Sport for my parents is only a temp thing it still represents better value to move.

So it's off to find out what deals I can get.

:)

Title: BT Home Phone Saver
Post by Dave on Apr 8th, 2017 at 12:29am
The latest BT Consumer Price Guide states that those who signed up to the first Home Phone Saver plan (2017), are still paying £19.99 per month. I can attest this to be correct as my dad is paying this, is not under contract and is paying nothing extra for Caller Display (which is usually £1.75 when out-of-contract). This package has not been available for new supply since 6 June 2015 (with prices guaranteed until January 2017).

Since then, there has been Home Phone Saver 2018 at £20.99 per month, the price for which is guaranteed until January 2018. It has not been available for new supply from 3rd April 2016, and was available on an 18 month contract. Home Phone Saver (2017) was a 12 month contract.

New subscriptions to Home Phone Saver 2019 have just ended, on 6 April. This was an 18 month contract costing £21.99 per month, the price of which is guaranteed until 2019.

Home Phone Saver 2020 has just been launched, and is also £21.99 per month, with prices guaranteed until 2020.

The cost of standard monthly line rental and Unlimited Anytime Calls is £27.98, or taken in conjunction with Line Rental Saver it equates to £26.08 per month.

Title: BT Home Phone Saver 2020
Post by Dave on Mar 20th, 2018 at 3:46pm
BT Home Phone Saver usually renews early in April. As line rental for voice-only customers (without broadband) is to come down to £11.99, with Anytime inclusive calls at £9.50 having gone up in January, it would seem unlikely that BT will offer a new Home Phone Saver. This will mean that line rental plus anytime calls with no broadband will be £21.49, which is 50p short of the current Home Phone Saver 2020.

However, Home Phone Saver 2020 offers some other features that may make the extra 50p worthwhile, these including the full version of Call Minder (not just the cut-down BT1571) and Call Diversion.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Mar 20th, 2018 at 11:07pm

The original BT Home Phone Saver deal had half price calls to UK mobile numbers, a feature that was withdrawn in later versions of Home Phone Saver.

The feature list of the new Home Phone Saver deal has changed each year. The current version of Home Phone Saver has lots of features included that would cost extra with the alternative Line Rental and Unlimited Anytime calls deal. What is clear, is that anyone who is on a Weekend calls or an Evening and Weekend calls deal and uses their phone, even minimally, on weekdays is on the wrong call plan.

Whether they change to BT Line Rental and Unlimited Anytime calls, or to BT Home Phone Saver (including line rental and Unlimited Anytime calls) may not be immediately obvious. However, the latter is not available to customers who have their broadband with BT.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Mar 20th, 2018 at 11:12pm

Ian01 wrote on Mar 20th, 2018 at 11:07pm:
The original BT Home Phone Saver deal had half price calls to UK mobile numbers…

Gotcha!

Half price ‘per minute’ rates to mobiles – not half price call charges because of the Call Set-up fee.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Mar 20th, 2018 at 11:22pm
Those who have broadband (as well as those who don’t) can have Line Rental Plus, which costs an extra £2 per month on top of standard line rental. It includes a raft of features, although not Call Minder.

With one Calling Feature costing £5.00, two to four costing £9.25, and five or more costing £12.25, it would seem pointless not going for Line Rental Plus (unless the one Feature that is required is Call Minder). For the next week or two Home Phone Saver 2020 is also available for non-broadband customers.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Aug 20th, 2018 at 10:20pm

Dave wrote on Mar 20th, 2018 at 11:22pm:
[…] For the next week or two Home Phone Saver 2020 is also available for non-broadband customers.

I must eat these words as BT Home Phone Saver 2020 remains available for new subscription, the cost of which is now guaranteed until 2021, previously until 2020. It was not withdrawn with no Home Phone Saver 2021 when the cost of line rental was reduced for voice-only customers.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by sergeant121 on Aug 21st, 2018 at 10:36am
The price has crept up (now £21.99/month) though.

See here.

Users need to beware the fact that the 1000 minutes of inclusive calls to mobiles are to BT mobiles only - and who knows what network you're dialling these days?

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Aug 21st, 2018 at 11:49am

sergeant121 wrote on Aug 21st, 2018 at 10:36am:
The price has crept up (now £21.99/month) though.

The price is as it was on 20 March 2018 when I made post #16:


Dave wrote on Mar 20th, 2018 at 3:46pm:
[…] This will mean that line rental plus anytime calls with no broadband will be £21.49, which is 50p short of the current Home Phone Saver 2020.


Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Aug 21st, 2018 at 12:00pm

BT has recently (just a few weeks ago) added HPS 2020 to their price list website, it having been absent for the previous 18 months or more.

https://www.bt.com/pricing/current/Cust_Opts_Res_boo/sectoc.htm#3185-d0e1-section

They have, however, placed it at the bottom of the list, after all the obsolete tariffs. The usual arrangement is for current tariffs to be listed first. The current HPS deal should be item 4 in the list, not item 22 (of 22).

Additionally, there are no tables of data for call charge information on that page and the individual links have been removed. There is, however, one link to a massive tariff guide in a PDF document. Wading through that will finally reveal the charges.

BT seems to be determined to make it as difficult as possible for people to find out about this deal.


The original BT Home Phone Saver (2017) deal (originally available from early/mid 2014 until 6 June 2015, and no longer available to new signups) with prices guaranteed until 2017 had half price calls to all UK mobile numbers, and still does, all for £19.99 per month.

Later iterations of Home Phone Saver had, and still have, inclusive calls to BT Mobile mobile numbers.


Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Jun 24th, 2019 at 9:46am
I get 'International and Premium Rate Call Barring' included free with my BT Home Phone Saver 2020 package. Unlike the 'Call Barring' calling feature, this is permanently activated at the exchange as it requires no input from me.

What BT don't say on their website is exactly which numbers are barred under the 'Premium Rate' part.

Is it just 09 numbers, or are calls to the 'non-inclusive' 08s (0842, 0843, 0844, 0871, 0872, 0873) also barred? And what about calls to Directory Enquiry numbers (118 500, 118 118, etc.) and the Speaking Clock (123), which are incredibly expensive and I would certainly class as premium-rate.

Phoning BT to ask doesn't get me anywhere. They just don't seem to know and become rather rattled. Their call centre staff are little more than sales people who probably work from the website in any case. I don't fancy making any potentially chargeable test calls to find out, though (given BT staff's ignorance on this matter) I'm sure I'd have grounds to request a refund should a charge occur.

I suppose I could ask the Operator, who should have more detailed technical information at their fingertips than the regular BT sales/customer service staff, but thought I'd try the knowledgeable people on this forum first.

Also, if I opt-in to the 'Call Barring' feature, I'll additionally be able to bar "Operator calls" by using option 4. Would this bar: A) *all* calls to 100, B) just the option to *speak* to (i.e. 'hold for') the Operator, or C) just the ability to have a call connected by the Operator, or indeed to book an alarm call costing over twelve pounds? Again, no one at BT can tell me.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by SilentCallsVictim on Jun 24th, 2019 at 8:41pm

Trenod wrote on Jun 24th, 2019 at 9:46am:
'International and Premium Rate Call Barring' …

What BT don't say on their website is exactly which numbers are barred under the 'Premium Rate' part.

There is indeed no clear general definition of the term "Premium Rate numbers", although one could offer many different interpretations.
BT therefore needs to state exactly what it means in this particular context.
This information is neither published nor provided to front-line customer contact staff.

The fair telecoms campaign is in touch with BT and awaiting an authoritative response.
When we receive it, hopefully within a day or two, we will publish the information here.
We will also urge BT to make it available at appropriate places on its website and to its front-line staff.

Thanks for raising a very valid question.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Jun 27th, 2019 at 12:15pm

There seems to be a widespread perception that "Premium Rate Numbers" means "anything regulated by PSA", including 09, 118 and certain voice or text mobile shortcodes. Many people remain unaware that 087 is covered, albeit only above a certain call charge or rate. Likewise, that for certain types of service the prefix or price is irrelevant and that, for example, where those services operate on 084 numbers they are also covered by PSA regulation.

Sky has a premium rate call bar. It covers only 09 numbers:
https://www.sky.com/shop/terms-conditions/talk/code-of-practice/premium-numbers/


In recent years, Ofcom has improved the language surrounding these services. A number of telecoms providers and service providers have some catching up to do.

Premium Rate Services are those where the charge is more than it would be to call or text an ordinary number and the called party derives some benefit, financial or otherwise, from that higher charge. This broad definition therefore potentially covers numbers starting 055, 056, 070 (for the moment), 076, 084, 087, 090, 091, 098, 118 and various mobile shortcodes.

PSA regulates only a subset of these, and they are known as Controlled Premium Rate Services (CPRS).

CPRS covers services operating on ...
- numbers starting 087 with a Service Charge of more than 7p per call or per minute,
- numbers starting 090 or 091 with a Service Charge of more than 7p per call or per minute,
- numbers starting 118 with a Service Charge of more than 7p per call or per minute,
- any other numbers where the charge for the service is more than 10p per call or per minute - thereby covering various voice shortcodes, but also potentially covering numbers starting 055, 056, 070 (for the moment) and 076,
- numbers where the charge is more than 20p per message (covering various text mobile shortcodes).

CPRS also covers some services irrespective of their price or the prefix they operate on. These include ...
- all chatlines,
- all "adult" entertainment services - thereby covering services on 098 numbers and elsewhere,
- all ICSS providers,
- all internet dialler operated services.
These services, even where operating on 084 numbers, must comply with the PSA general Code of Practice, and, in some cases, with the additional Special Conditions that apply to that particular type of service.

A comprehensive premium rate blocker would cover far more than "calls to 09 numbers", but could soon become complex. Further work from Ofcom to rationalise the National Numbering Plan would help here.


On another note, given that calls to 101 are currently 15p per call, some operators class these as premium rate and their premium rate call bar therefore blocks calls to 101. This will be solved when calls to 101 become free-to-caller in April 2020.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by SilentCallsVictim on Jun 27th, 2019 at 1:26pm

Ian01 wrote on Jun 27th, 2019 at 12:15pm:

We must hope that work in hand will lead to a clearer and commonly understood meaning for phrases such as "premium rate".

Readers may be interested to read the fair telecoms campaign response to the Ofcom consultation -
http://www.fairtelecoms.org.uk/docs.html?ftncr.

In the meantime we are still awaiting a definitive response from BT regarding what is achieved by use of the calling feature.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Jun 28th, 2019 at 9:18pm

SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 24th, 2019 at 8:41pm:
Thanks for raising a very valid question.


And thank you for your tenacity in trying to get an answer to the question.

Unless you have Home Phone Saver 2020, 'International and Premium Rate Call Barring" normally costs £1.85 a month with BT, while 'Call Barring' costs a minimum of £5.75 a month under their 'Calling Features Pack'. Given that these are chargeable features, I feel that BT owe it to their customers to be completely honest about precisely what they 'do'.

I would imagine that whatever definition of Premium Rate they apply to 'International and Premium Rate Call Barring' would also apply to Option 7 of 'Call Barring'; though again, official confirmation of this would be most welcome, as well as exactly what Option 4 (Operator calls) does.

(Rant coming up...feel free to ignore!)

Of course, both these features were launched in the nineties, when mobile phone usage was very low; hence there is no 'bar calls to mobile numbers' option. I guess there is little will on BT's part to extend the services to include this; connecting calls to mobiles is a vital source of revenue for them. For the same reason, they launched 'Call Protect' to look as though they're doing something good for the customer to help them block junk calls, but it doesn't actually block anything; it merely diverts such calls to an 'answerphone' service. In that sense, it's little different than 1571. Hey presto! BT still gets revenue for connecting the calls, but the customer's phone doesn't ring. Win-win for BT. Not so great for the customer, who must periodically go to the trouble of checking the junk voicemail (which can't be switched off) to make sure there's nothing important there... BT actually refer to 'Call Protect' internally as 'Choose to Divert'. The clue is in the latter name!

If BT were serious about preventing junk calls, they'd make 'Choose to Refuse' (which *does* actually block calls at the exchange, before they can be connected) free-of-charge and extend that service to block 100 numbers instead of a woefully inadequate 10, as well as 'block by category'. 10 numbers was fine in the nineties when nuisance calls were made from payphones, rather than easy-to-obtain mobile phone SIM cards and VOIP applications (both largely untraceable). It's no longer fit for purpose. How BT have the nerve to continue charging £6.50 a month for such outdated tech is utterly incomprehensible. I believe they're phasing it out anyway, as it's no longer advertised and has to be added manually by back-office staff (i.e. customers can't add it themselves online at bt.com/callingfeatures or on the phone via a front-line agent), though it's still available for free as an opt-in for 'Line Rental Plus' customers. My parents still get it free with the original (2017) edition of Home Phone Saver, but it stopped showing on their bills ages ago - no doubt because it's been deleted from BT's online self-service options as mentioned, so the billing system is no longer set up to show it. 'Anonymous Call Reject' will probably also go once all exchanges get 'Call Protect' (i.e. 'Choose to Divert').

Incidentally, I note that TalkTalk's '14258' call-blocking service does indeed block (not divert) 100 numbers rather than 10. If they can do it, BT certainly could if they wanted to. Also, Plusnet's version of 'Call Protect' allows you to access all the options by dialling 1572 (far better for the elderly and non-broadband customers), while BT demands that you go online to review your diverted list and to manually add/delete individual numbers to/from it. Another reason why I prefer 'Choose to Refuse' over 'BT Call Protect'.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Jun 29th, 2019 at 10:27pm

BT is now the ONLY major landline provider to NOT include calls to UK mobile numbers starting 071 to 075 and 077 to 079 within their inclusive call plans.

At the same time, they are one of the very last providers to still be including calls to premium rate 0845 and 0870 numbers. Many other providers stopped including them in, or soon after, July 2015.

These distortions in the market create confusion and are quite likely to be causing BT's monthly charge for inclusive calls to be unduly inflated.



Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Jun 29th, 2019 at 10:52pm
Very true. The Post Office, for example, has a couple of 'bolt-ons' giving anytime calls to UK mobiles: 100 minutes for an extra £3 a month and 500 minutes for £8. Until very recently, they even gave inclusive calls to UK mobiles and international numbers at the weekend (6pm Friday to 6am Monday, a very long weekend), as well as inclusive 0845/0870 in all plans. The latter is now only available on their Anytime and Anytime Plus plans.

Ironically, if BT's call barring features do indeed block calls to all 08 numbers other than Freephone, the inclusive 0845/0870 calls might no longer be connected!

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by SilentCallsVictim on Jul 1st, 2019 at 1:09am
I note interesting discussion and comments, whilst still awaiting an answer from BT - with due patience.


There is one question, on which I would appreciate some reassurance.

I assume that there is an issue with a family member or another user of a BT line who is unable to show due discretion when deciding which numbers to call. It is a reasonable request to seek an understanding about what improper (or undesired) behaviour will be prevented by use of the "premium rate" call barring feature.

Can I be reassured that there is such a genuine situation behind this, or is this just a matter of general interest?

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Jul 16th, 2019 at 11:17pm
There are two reasons I asked. Firstly, I have a relative, who lives with me sometimes, who cannot be trusted to use the phone responsibly or to seek permission before dialling. Secondly, I often receive junk calls that caller display identifies as 'international' or beginning with '09' (possibly spoofed IDs) and would not want to dial such numbers accidentally when navigating through the list using the small buttons on my slimline phone, as no doubt a charge would be generated (whether the numbers were 'real' or not).

Incidentally, I note that I stated incorrectly in my post of 28th June that BT's minimum monthly charge for one calling feature is £5.75. It's actually £5.50. I can no longer edit the post.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Aug 26th, 2019 at 11:52pm
The latest BT agent I spoke to about this was, typically, unable to clarify exactly which numbers are covered by the bar, but encouraged me to make some test calls and inform them of any unwanted charges. So, I cautiously began dialling an 0901 number. To my surprise, the call disconnected when I dialled the fourth digit after the 0901 prefix (the 'call disconnected' tone sounding for exactly one minute). I then dialled an 0902 number and the same happened. I worked my way through 0844, 0845, 0870, 0871, 0872 and 118. Of all the examples I tried, only 0871 numbers similarly disconnected (following the third digit after the 0871 code - not the fourth as with 09 numbers, for some reason). All the other calling codes I tried allowed me to dial to the penultimate digit of the number. I then, obviously, hung up before risking a charge (though 0845 and 0870 are, of course, inclusive with BT and I didn't really expect them to be barred).

I can't find any 0842, 0843 or 0873 numbers to try (do they even exist?), but I'll be willing to bet they're not covered by the bar either.

To summarise: BT's 'International and Premium Rate Call Barring' feature only appears to bar calls to 0871 and 09 numbers. Plus international numbers, of course (calls to the latter disconnecting after one has dialled the country code or a few digits thereafter). That's pretty poor for a feature normally charged at £1.85 a month. I suppose it's possible that the exact numbers covered vary by exchange and perhaps that's why BT keep quiet about it. Another theory is that 0871 and 09 are long-established codes (dating from the late 90s/early 00s) and BT simply haven't got round to updating the call barring technology at their exchanges to cover the newer 0872, 0873 and 118 numbers - all of which are defined as 'premium rate services' by Ofcom, presumably because they are all regulated by the Phone Standards Authority (along with those strange 070 numbers). 084 numbers are outside the PSA's remit and it's therefore, I suppose, a bit of a 'stretch' to expect them to be covered by such call barring features.

It's frustrating that so much confusion continues to abound over the term 'premium rate'. Even Ofcom are vague on the matter, saying that such services "usually operate on numbers beginning 09, 118, 087 or five or six digit mobile voice and text shortcodes". "Usually" isn't good enough. The Government website has a useful table of UK telephone numbers, clearly showing those which are PSA-regulated, but even that only uses the term 'premium rate' to define 09 numbers specifically. My wish is for all four PSA categories to be officially classified as 'premium rate', according to different charge bands: the lowest (i.e. cheapest) being 0871 numbers (PR1), with 118 numbers the highest (PR4). That would be too simple, right?

Links:
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/information-for-industry/policy/premium-rate-services
https://www.gov.uk/call-charges

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Aug 27th, 2019 at 2:16am

There are plenty of 0843 numbers out there, along with many 0844 and 0845. These numbers do fall under PSA regulation but only when used for chatlines, call connection services, or internet diallers.

0870 numbers also come under PSA Regulation, this since 1 July 2015. This was when the call charges were changed to match those on the 0871 and 0872 ranges. As before, chatlines, call connection services and internet diallers are covered irrespective of cost, but the main focus of regulation is all 087 numbers with a Service Charge of more than 7p per call or per minute.

The 09 ranges are the traditional premium rate numbers. These now cover 090, 091 and 098. PSA regulation is as before, the named specific types of service at any cost and then all other numbers with a Service Charge of more than 7p per call or per minute.

All numbers starting 084, 087, 09 or 118 are premium rate. The premium is the additional Service Charge paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. Services covered by PSA regulation are known as Controlled Premium Rate Services, thus CPRS is a subset of PRS.

The worst case scenario is the call bar covers only 0871 and 090. Did you try any 091 or 098 prefixes? In all cases, you need to try a number that is known to be allocated and working.

Be aware the GOV.UK call charges page is riddled with errors and the call charges are incomplete and out of date. It has been incorrect for more than five years. Ofcom's call charge page has been updated in the last week or so. This one is much better but still has a few issues, not least failing to make crystal clear which calls are normally inclusive in allowances.

The 070 range will cease to be premium rate on 1 October 2019. Changes by Ofcom will cut the wholesale cost from 40p (£0.40) per minute to less than 0.48p (£0.0048) per minute. This will allow landline and mobile providers to include calls to 070 numbers in allowances on the same basis as calls to UK mobile numbers or otherwise charge calls to 070 numbers at the same rate as calls to UK mobile numbers.


Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Aug 27th, 2019 at 2:32pm
Ian01: Thanks for the information. I feel both enlightened and ever more confused!

I didn't try 091 or 098, as I couldn't find any examples via Google or indeed searching this forum. Same with 0842, 0843 and 0873. If you can supply an example of each, I'll gladly attempt to dial them and see what happens.

Having said that, 084 and 087 numbers in general seem to have become much rarer since the introduction of 03 as an inclusive non-geo alternative.

I take it this is the Ofcom page you reference?
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/how-much-does-a-phone-call-really-cost

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Aug 27th, 2019 at 5:37pm

Yes. That is the Ofcom page.

There are no 0842 or 0873 numbers in use yet. Those are the next prefixes reserved for when (and if) 0843 and 0872 run out - but that may well never happen.

Usage of premium rate 084 and 087 numbers is in rapid decline. Their use is now banned for most purposes with most former users swapping to the exactly matching 034 or 037 number. Others moved to free 080 numbers or to other 03 numbers.

You won't find any 09 numbers on this website. SayNOto0870 is all about finding replacement numbers for inappropriate usage of 084 or 087 numbers.


Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Aug 28th, 2019 at 10:59pm

This Wikipedia Template page lists all the prefixes in use in the UK (ignore 0342/0842 and 0373/0873 as previously discussed).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Telephone_numbers_in_the_United_Kingdom

You'll need the various 08xx and 09xx entries near the end of the page.


Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by kasg on Aug 30th, 2019 at 1:55pm

Ian01 wrote on Aug 28th, 2019 at 10:59pm:
This Wikipedia Template page lists all the prefixes in use in the UK (ignore 0342/0842 and 0373/0873 as previously discussed).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Telephone_numbers_in_the_United_Kingdom

I just deleted 0500 from this page. I'll probably get told off and the edit reverted knowing my luck  :)

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Aug 30th, 2019 at 2:52pm

Difficult call as the 0500 entry linked to a page that explained the details of the change.

However, as it has been gone more than two years now, it was probably the right thing to do.



Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Sep 1st, 2019 at 6:37pm
Ian01: Thanks for the information and for the useful Wikipedia link.

Interesting to learn that 0842 and 0873 are not yet in use; also that there are as many as seventeen 09xx prefixes. Do you happen to know if they are all currently in use?

I finally found an 'official' (i.e. not junk or spoofed) 0843 number to call on De'Longhi's website: 0843 362 2013, which I dialled to the penultimate digit without being disconnected. Therefore, I think we can safely say that the only premium rate numbers barred by BT's 'International and Premium Rate Call Barring' (network controlled) feature are those beginning with 0871 and 09. I assume that 'Call Barring' (customer controlled) option 7 does exactly the same thing, but who knows? BT's calling features user guide (last updated in 2017) suggests that option 4 (operator calls) will also bar 118 500, but I can't find any user evidence to support this.

It's worth noting that BT will bar calls to 09xx numbers free of charge, though it's very well concealed on their website (and erroneously states that "Premium rate numbers begin with’09’."). Even BT can't get this right!

If I were paying £1.85 a month for 'International and Premium Rate Call Barring', I'd be pretty annoyed that it only bars 0871 numbers in addition to 09. As with 'Choose to Refuse', BT should not be charging a penny for a feature which has quite simply not kept up with the times. They should be called to account for this.

Incidentally, I believe De'Longhi are being a bit naughty in using (or at least advertising) 0843 and 0844 numbers for aftersales purposes?

Links:
https://www.delonghi.com/en-gb/customer-experience/contact-us-

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/63523/~/premium-rate-service-call-barring

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9061/~/user-guides-for-phones-and-calling-features

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Sep 1st, 2019 at 8:47pm

To be clear, when you mention "09" in connection with BT's Premium Rate Call Barring Service, are you referring to "090, 091 and 098" or to just "090"?


All of the prefixes (except 0342/0842 and 0373/0873) mentioned on the Wikipedia list are in use.

BT gives a much more detailed list of 08 and 09 number ranges that are in use:
https://www.bt.com/pricing/current/Call_Charges_boo/1632_d0e1.htm#1632-d0e1
https://www.bt.com/pricing/current/Call_Charges_boo/1633_d0e1.htm#1633-d0e1


Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Sep 2nd, 2019 at 12:46pm
I have no idea. I just posted a link to BT's "Premium rate service call barring" page, which says: "To avoid racking up big charges for these services, you can arrange to bar premium rate calls to 09 numbers free of charge by calling 0800 800 150."

I would assume that means all numbers beginning with '09', regardless of the rest of the prefix?

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Oct 20th, 2019 at 7:13pm

Ian01 wrote on Jun 29th, 2019 at 10:27pm:
BT is now the ONLY major landline provider to NOT include calls to UK mobile numbers starting 071 to 075 and 077 to 079 within their inclusive call plans.


They do now! But not if you're on Home Phone Saver.

www.bt.com/landline/deals

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Ian01 on Oct 20th, 2019 at 8:08pm

That is a major change to all of the BT tariffs. There are a huge number of discrepancies between the Price List and the Tariff Guide and a lot of unclear wording in the Tariff Guide.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Oct 20th, 2019 at 9:53pm
Standard line rental has been an unreasonably high £19.99 for a while now. Landline-only customers can either opt-into discounted line rental (£11.99) and add a call package, or go onto Home Phone Saver.

Yes, these new calling plans give with one hand and take with the other. Doing away with time-of-day and length-of-call restrictions is progress in a way, but the plans are far too expensive. The 500 Minutes Plan gives about 8 hours of calls, but you could easily go over that if you live by BT's old slogan, "It's good to talk." And it's a lot harder to keep track of cumulative minutes per month than per call. How would you know if you're about to go over the 500-minute monthly allowance? It would have been better to keep the old plans and allow customers to customise them by adding either an "X" Mobile Minutes or an Unlimited Mobile bolt-on (similar idea to the 'Friends and Family International' and 'International Freedom' bolt-ons). Perhaps a further bolt-on for those wanting more than 60 minutes per call. Not everybody wants or needs calls to mobiles, or not as much as 500 minutes' worth. There should be cheaper options between £19.99 and £24.99, and £24.99-£31.99.

"Rates for calls to Personalised Numbering Services charged by timed duration: Calls to PN99 (numbers starting 070) are charged in the same way as calls to mobiles from your landline ... Where your calling plan includes free calls to mobiles, PN99 is charged at 5 pence per minute. Personalised Numbers have a 20 pence per minute rate for our Pay As You Go, 500 Minutes Anytime and Unlimited Minutes call plans".

https://www.bt.com/assets/pdf/BT_PhoneTariff_Residential.pdf

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Trenod on Oct 21st, 2019 at 12:12am
Yes, this certainly complicates things.

BT Basic customers can now benefit from free calls to UK mobiles within their £10/month unlimited allowance. But it's not clear whether "Line Only Discount" customers can add the 500 Minutes or Unlimited plans to their £11.99 a month. If they can, they'd be getting a great deal (either £16.99 or £26.99 a month), and presumably could add Line Rental Plus for an extra £2 to get the Calling Features Pack as well as exchange-controlled "International and Premium Rate Call Barring" that are included within Home Phone Saver for £21.99 a month. In which case, Home Phone Saver's days might be numbered. (Annoyingly, however, HPS gives Anonymous Call Reject while LRP gives Choose to Refuse. Would be better if LRP offered both.)

No longer including weekend calls to landlines in the cheapest (£19.99 a month) 'plan' is a disgrace. It's also irritating that calls to the Channel Islands are still treated as international calls, especially as the dialling codes resemble those of the UK. I don't believe outgoing calls to the Channel Islands can be blocked, for that reason.

One discrepancy I noticed between the tariff guide and the website is that the 'Unlimited Minutes' plan is listed as £15 a month in the former, but on the latter is quoted as being £12 more than standard line rental.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Oct 25th, 2019 at 11:24pm
According to the Tariff Guide the £8 discount for 'Line Only' 'may be removed for BT residential households with a fixed line broadband service from any provider.' I don't know whether this is policed and how heavily it is policed (as in, how likely one may be pulled up on it and discount removed).

Of course the new calling plans give with one hand and take with the other because that is what it's all about! I remember the days of 'standard' and BT Together call charges with a 5p minimum charge (both charged pence per minute). BT Together then changed to become 5.5p for up to an hour in the evening and weekends. That extra 0.5p wasn't worthwhile for me so I moved back on to the Standard plan. The marketing, however, made absolute zero noise about that negative.

I don't think that the BT shareholders will think £19.99 to be a 'disgrace'. On the contrary.

BT knows what it is doing, although it doesn't. The very latter a reference to the inability to quote the same price for the 'unlimited' bundle plan.

It is getting on for 20 years since it did the aforementioned switch with BT Together evening rates from 1ppm to 5.5p for up to an hour. It is well versed!

Mark my words, the 500 minutes for £5 and 'unlimited' minutes for £12/£15 will be joined by others for which there will be fanfair – there always is. Once the other sheep start to follow BT will need to respond and it has left itself plenty of room to do so.

Title: Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Post by Dave on Oct 26th, 2019 at 12:16am
It may be worth considering providers that charge all calls on a pence per minute basis:

                                 
   Line rental
   Geo/03 day
   Geo/03 E&W
        Mobile
   Calling features
CIX
£13.00
1.20ppm
1.20ppm
6.00ppm
£1.32
Uno Communications
£14.39
1.76ppm
0.98ppm
3.97ppm
£0.72

Both these services offer Openreach Wholesale Line Rental (WLR3), the exact same service that the retail part of BT offers, with their own first-line support. They can do this and turn a profit, which is why the figures are worth looking at, being as we don't know what the wholesale call charges are for WLR3.

These services are on rolling monthly contracts, with no minimum term. The 'rolling monthly contract' basically means you pay on a monthly basis and if you cancel or migrate away part way through the month you don't get any refund.

If anyone knows of other providers that charge like this then please let me know.

With respect to calling features, most are the price quoted. There might be exceptions, but this is useful as a guide. When Openreach allowed access to its price list (without having to have an account to sign in on the site) the cost of calling features was an astounding 36p (ex. VAT). This was a year or two ago, and the price had gone up from 24p. Now we see how BT can do Line Rental Plus, which includes a load of features, for 'only' £2 per month. To be fair to BT, I think this is a reasonable charge. To pay £12.75 for 5+ calling features is extortion.

Neither of these two providers gives pricing for calls to the Channel Islands, so we don't know whether such calls are treated as UK geographic ones or not. The Channel Islands also don't appear on the list of international destinations (for both providers).


When you look at the charges here, you really see how eye-watering BT's are. Inclusive plans, certainly with BT's charges, haven't really been giving anything, generally.

The principal exception is for people who make many minutes of calls (high users). But people are tending away from using the phone, especially landlines, are they not. This means we are tending away from getting value out of such packages.

If we wish to argue that inclusive plans are good because it means people know how much they will pay, then this is true, to a point. It is (was) true providing they don't go over the hour, and it is true but at what true cost?!

Clearly, the main thing is that the mainstream providers, along with what I shall term mainstream outliers (e.g. The Phone Co-op, Utility Warehouse and Post Office Home Phone), all use the inclusive call plan model, and this is the reason it is so common.

If BT avails punters of 20 pence per minute – billed in whole-minute increments – then how come these can do it for a tiny fraction with per second billing?

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