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BT reducing line rental (Read 21,578 times)
allegro
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BT reducing line rental
Oct 26th, 2017 at 1:00pm
 
It's not April 1st!

Quote:
BT will slash costs for customers who only have a landline, after a review by regulator Ofcom.

From April 2018, the telecoms company will reduce the price of its monthly line rental by £7, a 37% decrease from the current cost of £18.99.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41759189

Not sure about the scope. Looks like it doesn't apply if you've got broadband on the line.

Maybe, just maybe, it's the start of line rental charges stabilising or going into reverse after several years of above inflation hikes.

Or pigs might fly. Cynical? Moi?
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CJT-80
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #1 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 1:19pm
 
More about that from Ofcom here

Seems Ofcom feel only those with a "landline" only package should have this change made....  Shocked
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Ian01
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #2 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 1:42pm
 

Do you think landline providers will be able to justify charging a higher line rental if you also take broadband than if you do not?
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #3 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 1:57pm
 
It is important to appreciate that this is for landline-only subscribers – it does not apply to those taking broadband as well.

The cost of line rental is £18.99, and this is with inclusive calls only at weekends. Calls made outside of an inclusive plan are expensive to the degree that one needs only make a few to break even on an inclusive call plan. The rule, therefore, is that one should have an inclusive plan for times calls are made. Where the person is at home at all times then this is likely to be the Anytime option.

The cost at the present time for line rental plus Anytime calls is £27.98 (made up of £18.99 line rental plus £8.99 for Unlimited Anytime Calls).

However, the same service is offered under the Home Phone Saver package. This covers line rental and anytime calls and is £21.99.

Thus, line rental with calls only at weekends is currently £18.99 with line rental plus anytime calls available for an extra £3 (if purchased as the Home Phone Saver package at £21.99).

The questions are:
  • How many people have line rental only service and would be better off with anytime calls?
  • With those who should otherwise have inclusive anytime calls excepted, how many customers will really benefit with this price reduction?
  • Will Home Phone Saver have to come down because, with the price reduction, line rental plus Unlimited Anytime Calls will be £20.98?
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« Last Edit: Oct 26th, 2017 at 2:08pm by Dave »  
 
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allegro
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #4 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 2:47pm
 
It may well see a rebalancing of costs between line rental and broadband. LR down, BB up. Most of us will probably pay more in the end.

However look back a few years to when 512K ADSL was sheer luxury and we willingly coughed up £24 or so per month for it. For me it replaced Home Highway and the overall costs came down as I was paying 2 lots of line rental any more.

Not that I'm defending BT et al.
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Dave
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #5 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 3:20pm
 
As the cost of line rental for broadband lines is now £7 more than without, the extra cost of adding broadband has now gone up by this amount.

It's worth thinking on the fact that the providers split up their charges into constituent parts. They then engaged in moving some up and some down. We saw this with line rental versus anytime calls. Gradually, over time, the differential was reduced while the base line floor that is line rental was increased. The same thing has happened with the cost of voice service versus broadband.

It's cost offsetting meaning that the additional cost to move from a lesser service to a greater one (e.g. to go from having a voice line to voice+broadband) has drifted downwards. QED that's why the providers chose to move to quoting subscription charges in constituent parts (as well as the fact that it helps muddy the water anyway for those seeking to make comparisons when choosing provider).
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« Last Edit: Oct 26th, 2017 at 3:20pm by Dave »  
 
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Dave
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #6 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 3:50pm
 
From The Guardian: BT to slash landline charges for 1 million customers

Quote:
The price cut, which will automatically be appiled to the accounts of 800,000 BT customers, will apply for three years from April. A further 200,000 customers on BT’s “Home Phone Saver” package will also be eligible but will have to apply.

If this number is all who are on Home Phone Saver then isn't this low?

To have four times as many subscribers either on line rental with no inclusive daytime calls or line rental plus Unlimited Anytime Calls (which is more expensive but essentially the same thing as Home Phone Saver) leaves me wondering whether there are lots of people paying through the nose for calls when they should have inclusive calls.

The fact that Home Phone Saver customers (those are already signed up to it) will be eligible implies that the cost of Home Phone Saver will come down as well.
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« Last Edit: Oct 26th, 2017 at 3:59pm by Dave »  
 
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #7 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 4:13pm
 
When might BT start to offer calls to mobiles on the same basis as calls to geographic rate numbers? This could be as an extra add-on or as part of the inclusive calls add-ons for geographic rate numbers.

A large proportion of these 1 million customers will no doubt be elderly. They will not be likely to have a mobile phone which they use to make calls to mobile telephone numbers. They should be able to make calls to loved ones from their telephone line, irrespective of whether they are at home or in the office, or not. They should not be incurring high charges for calling mobile phones, akin to penalty charges for calls to geographic rate numbers made outside of a plan.
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #8 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 4:45pm
 

The figures for the various number of subscribers reveal that hundreds of thousands of BT customers are either paying £27.99 for unlimited anytime calls when they could be paying £21.99 for the same thing on Home Phone Saver or are on a lesser call plan (with line rental at £18.99 per month) that exposes them to call charges of more than £7 per hour for weekday daytime calls. Those who are spending more than £3 per month above the current line rental in such circumstances would save money by being on Home Phone Saver or swapping to the new deal with unlimited anytime calls.

As for those currently on Home Phone Saver, it appears the new deal with unlimited anytime calls will be £1 per month cheaper than Home Phone Saver. Not sure why BT needs those customers to call up to change over. Maybe the change restarts a one-year commitment or maybe some of the things that come included with HPS become chargeable under the new deal?


The termination rate for calls to mobile numbers is now lower than for calls to 03 numbers (0.49p per minute vs. 0.56p per minute). BT is now the only major landline provider to not offer inclusive calls to mobile numbers.

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« Last Edit: Oct 26th, 2017 at 8:48pm by Ian01 »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #9 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 7:31pm
 
Home Phone Saver 2019 remains in place for customers who subscribed before 7 April 2017 and the 2017 version still has months yet to run.

There is however no 2020 version and customers can no longer subscribe.


It may also be worth noting that Home Phone Saver included (includes, for us lucky few) a price cap, effectively protecting consumers from rises in line rental (in addition to the £3 per month add-on charge to the line rental at the time of introduction).

Furthermore, as well as the equivalent of Unlimited Anytime Calls, Home Phone Saver also included: BT Privacy Caller Display, Anonymous Call Reject and Free 1471 Call Return. The former is available free of charge to some (and must be in all cases from October 2018). The second is of questionable benefit, but of value to some, and the latter is much appreciated.

Those considering the option of the switch next March will have to bear these factors in mind, notably the possibility of inflation-linked line rental price increases before 1 Jan 2019.


See also the fair telecoms campaign news release - The BT rip-off Part II – The Penalty Charge.

We were also quoted in the initial Daily Mail coverage (leaked ahead of the Ofcom announcement) - BT is ordered to cut landline bills by £84 a year for one million customers 'trapped in rip-off deals'.

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Dave
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #10 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 7:52pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 26th, 2017 at 7:31pm:
There is however no 2020 version and customers can no longer subscribe.

I posted earlier this year (in April) that Home Phone Saver 2019 had come to an end and that Home Phone Saver 2020 had started, for which there are details on BT's website.

The current BT Consumer Price Guide (Effective from 17th September 2017) includes Home Phone Saver 2020.

Within the BT Price List Section 55:Personal (Residential) Customer Options there are the following:
However, there is indeed no Home Phone Saver 2020. Has it been quietly dropped, perhaps owing to this ruling by Ofcom? Huh
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« Last Edit: Oct 26th, 2017 at 8:00pm by Dave »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #11 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 8:43pm
 
Dave wrote on Oct 26th, 2017 at 7:52pm:
The current BT Consumer Price Guide (Effective from 17th September 2017) includes Home Phone Saver 2020.

Indeed, this is correct. I had been referring to the official BT price list - Section 55:Personal (Residential) Customer Options, which would normally be considered to be the more formal of the two in the case of discrepancy. The issue, however, remains in doubt.

I will get a resolution of this tomorrow.

My energies today have been focussed on trying to get media exposure of the Penalty Charge issue, whilst the matter of BT Rip-Offs is fresh. If members are able to help in any way (e.g. by re-tweeting or passing on our news release - see this tweet) I would be very grateful.


There is a point to add to my previous post. One feature of Unlimited Anytime Calls that is excluded from Home Phone Saver is the 50% discount on the per-minute element of the charge for calls to mobile numbers.

If we consider the population at whom Home Phone Saver is targetted, this may not be seen to be of great significance. Their kids, grandkids and great-grandlkids should be calling them, because they benefit from inclusive calls to ordinary numbers.

It is only BT that does not consider mobiles to be "ordinary" numbers, despite owning the largest mobile provider and now offering a mobile service of its own. All other providers of mobile and landline services make no distinction (apart from some restrictions on what is reasonable) when it comes to inclusivity.

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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #12 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 9:03pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 26th, 2017 at 8:43pm:
It is only BT that does not consider mobiles to be "ordinary" numbers, despite owning the largest mobile provider and now offering a mobile service of its own. […]

BT Mobile Consumer numbers are included for the first 1,000 minutes each month with Unlimited Anytime Calls and with Home Phone Saver 2020, according to the BT Consumer Price Guide.

I'm not sure whether the word 'Consumer', in 'BT Mobile Consumer' (which is as it's written in the Guide) means consumer (personal) mobiles as opposed to ones on business contracts.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #13 - Oct 27th, 2017 at 10:30am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 26th, 2017 at 8:43pm:
I will get a resolution of this tomorrow.

Part 1 of the resolution has been achieved.

Contrary to the information on the formal Price List, Home Phone Saver 2020 exists (as advised elsewhere) and orders are still being taken. We do not know when it will be be withdrawn or replaced by Home Phone Saver 2021. Given that the Ofcom measures have addressed the problem that HPS was introduced to address, more comprehensively, it seems likely that there will be no replacement. It is an open question as to whether it may be withdrawn.

This leaves the question of the omission from the formal BT Price List. I understand that Ofcom will be looking into this.

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Ian01
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Re: BT reducing line rental
Reply #14 - Oct 27th, 2017 at 11:00am
 

In previous years, the "new" Home Phone Saver deal seems to have taken effect in the first week or so of April of each year.

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