Up to a million people have been paying over the odds for their line rental. Those BT customers whose landline is their only connection to friends and family will see their monthly bill reduced by £7.
In an age when you can change the temperature of your home from your phone and turn on your lights and kettle with a few spoken words as you walk in the front door, it’s easy to forget that some people are quite content not being connected to the world wide web.
I personally don’t know where I’d be without my broadband connection. Waking up to international news on a service of my choosing, figuring out my commute before leaving the house, and the sea of streaming services and my games console on-hand when all I want to do is veg out. What a time to be alive!
But, for many people, having this same connection with the rest of the world is not a necessity like other utilities. Whereas, for those of my generation, going a week without being able to check Instagram can feel as inhibiting as not having hot water.
Only line of communication
This is why I’ve always felt it incredibly unjust that people like my elderly relatives, whose only means of communication with the outside is their landline, should face similar line rental charges as those who enjoy huge amounts of broadband content. My nans don’t know their podcasts from their Amazon Echo, so why should they pay the same as me when I use my landline to download and stream scores of gigabytes every month.
And, conversely, I don’t even have a house phone! We’ll leave whether I should be entitled to a discount on my line rental for a future convo.
So naturally, myself and my-internet-uninitiated family members welcome the news that BT is cutting line rental charges for nearly a million of their landline-only customers. Especially as this reduction may amount to a significant saving of £84 a year, or 37% off their phone bill.
Compared to people who buy bundles that include broadband, pay-TV and landline, customers like my grandparents have been getting poor value for money for a long time. The industry regulator Ofcom has said that nearly seven out of 10 (66%) landline-only customers are over 65 and more than three quarters (77%) of those have never switched to a better deal.
£7 a month saving
Against a backdrop of rising line rental prices and falling wholesale costs Ofcom proposed BT cut the monthly bills its landline-only customers receive by between £5 and £7. BT has now agreed to those proposals in full and will be reducing monthly line rental charges for these people by £7 from April 2018.
What a result for Nanny Samways and all those BT landline-only customers who will now see their phone bills slashed. However, Ofcom should press on and continue to boost industry transparency and fairness. It’s important that everyone has access the right deal for them.
Do you know anyone who has been paying over the odds for their line rental? Do you think Ofcom has done enough to bring value for money to those who only have a home phone with BT? Should I get a discount for not having a home phone at all? 😋