A ban on charging homes for landlines they don't use?

22 March 2016

house broadband A lot of people are rightly annoyed that they have to pay for a landline just to get their broadband. If you're not using your landline phone to make calls on, it sticks in the craw to have to cough-up for it every time your bill comes.

Well, companies like BT (and the rest) could be stopped from charging people for landlines that they feel like they aren't using, when they've signed up for broadband packages. Reports say that one in five homeowners don't make any calls ever, from a fixed line.

With a ban, you can imagine that the telecommunications companies will just rename the landline fee and keep charging customers. Of course, you're still using the line, but culture minister Ed Vaizey has got in touch with BT, Virgin, Sky, and TalkTalk, as he wants to have a meeting with them all, before Parliament goes on its summer holidays.

Vaizey thinks these charges are "outdated", and that people should only pay for the key services they use. Vaizey said: "You get these headline prices which are misleading. People should pay for what they use. If the companies come up with a different pricing structure, that is fine, as long as they can see what they are paying for. Some people want to get rid of their landline entirely and pay for their broadband."

The MP said he suspects that this could see prices going up for other products, but he added: "At least people know what they are buying and they can make a proper comparison between different providers."

A spokesperson from Ofcom said: "Ofcom shares the Government’s concern in this area. We believe prices need to be clearer."

"Broadband advertising should show the full cost up front, including any set-up fees. So we are working closely with our sister regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority, which expects to make changes in the summer."

TOPICS:   Technology   Broadband

14 comments

  • Russ B.
    But they shouldn't be allowed to inflate prices of other services. Reason being, if they are charging for a service that is not used, why should the customer be charged for it?
  • whisky
    So current bill breakdown £17 line rental £25 fibre New bill will look like this £42 fibre Unless I actually want the land line and then it will look like this £17 Line rental £42 Fibre. Yeah.
  • edward o.
    I have been with bt for 3yrs and never used my landline as i dont have a phone,this is so unfair as i only want broadband,hope it will be stopped soon.
  • pete
    I'm not 'rightly annoyed' that I have to pay for a landline just to get my broadband. My broadband comes down my landline so why shouldn't I pay for it? 'Free' broadband deals are easy to get, and I'm on one now. Should I pay my provider nothing at all just because I don't make landline calls? I expect that if charging for landlines where no phone calls are made is outlawed then I'll pay exactly the same for my broadband, but my current payment will be reclassified as payment for broadband rather than for the landline plus 'free' broadband.
  • Dixie N.
    About bleedin time. One of the great british rip-offs, line rental costs. £17 my 4rse
  • Fat H.
    There are some thick cunts in this world. If you're using any part of the providers copper for your broadband then shut the fuck up and pay the line rental cost you thick twat!
  • Fatty 2.
    Line rental = the physical cable between you and the world. Broadband = the magical porn delivery service that is sent over your land line. Call plan = the thing you pay for so you can call your local kebab house for free any time of the day that uses your land line. If you remove the land line how will you get porn or kebabs? Magical flying bearded dwarfs?
  • Marvin
    I can't believe someone hasn't started charging us line and pipe rental for electricity and water.
  • Paul H.
    Totally agree image a landlines ONLY to get Broadband. The landlines phone doesn't even exist. Due to harassment calls from companies that seem to be able to get my number despite being unlisted private and we never give it out. We have mobiles!! So who hands out my Details!!! Sick of this corrupted fekkin world. The cheek that if u do do something wrong we are then asked to swear on some Bullshit story book, to tell the TRUTH. So I leave you all this: Remember having been told to remember to turn your standby light off instructions, well that was when the LCD screens came out, now to turn on or power up an LCD screen takes an immense amount of power to start. (so turning on off on off uses alot more power that leaving it on). Giving you a high bill, think back do you remember? Still think your being told what you should know? How about xbox they've built something that renames the broadband floating around your house that you already own xbox live. So u pay for the same product twice. Now tell me where the customer care is? Your tvs bad picture= bad assembly of equipment. Your phones bad line= bad care and laziness of assembled equipment. Broadband slow keep crashing= bad management knowledge of equipment capabilities. keep getting harassing calls emails = bad customer care and data protection. Off just your email alone your identity can be stolen. The big crash is coming.
  • Ian
    The charge for 'line rental' covers the provision of a line that runs all the way to the exchange and active dial-tone on it. It usually also includes an allowance of weekend calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers - and in some cases to other numbers too. The inclusive calls obviously have some monetary value but at present this is not transparent. What needs to happen is for the charge to be split so that the line rental is purely the charge for the line and any and all charges for call packages or for individual calls are completely separate. Whether there should be a small charge for 'provision of dial tone' is another factor. This would give the possibility of having a line without any calls, even without any dial-tone, to which a broadband package could be added. Quite how this would work when currently everything identifying the line is keyed off the phone number (and there wouldn't be one here) is anyone's guess.
  • Russ B.
    Fat Harry / Fatty - You'd buy a wifi dongle or tether from your mobile. Harry maybe try and be a bit more courteous in future, by all means have a debate but why do you feel the need to insult people like that? There's a name for people like you.
  • Father J.
    "...why do you feel the need to insult people like that? " I imagine because he's as exasperated as I am by splendiferously retarded comments such as this one: "I have been with bt for 3yrs and never used my landline as i dont have a phone,this is so unfair as i only want broadband,hope it will be stopped soon." WANT BROADBAND DONT WANT2 PAY 4 THE FING WOT BRINGS IT ERE YO.
  • Ossian
    FYI, They have naked ADSL in Australia (and I think NZ too) and it is generally cheaper. You use a VoIP phone with it and don't pay line rental. I don't think it uses the bandwidth freed up by not using the voiceline to improve your broadband speed which is a shame.
  • maddogb
    you don't have to pay for line rental to get broadband... go get a cellular/sat/wifi service instead Quite like Ed Vaizey and he is on the right track but he needs to get some tech knowledge on his team as this topic makes him look a bit silly. Paying for line rental "should" only cost about £5 PPM in this day and age, plenty of scope for profit in that, that is the real issue here

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