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BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service. (Read 28,219 times)
Trenod
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Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Reply #45 - 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
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« Last Edit: Oct 20th, 2019 at 10:18pm by Trenod »  
 
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Trenod
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Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Reply #46 - 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.
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Dave
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Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Reply #47 - 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.
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Dave
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Re: BT Launch New Home Phone Saver Service.
Reply #48 - 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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« Last Edit: Oct 26th, 2019 at 12:34am by Dave »  
 
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