Have you ever been confused by the pricing in broadband ads? TalkTalk’s managing director, Tristia Harrison, writes on why they’re scrapping separate line rental charges.
If you’ve ever tried to buy a broadband package, you’ll know that calculating the monthly cost can sometimes be reminiscent of maths lessons at school. You have to do long-winded sums taking into account the headline price, set up fees and line rental. Soon enough, an attractive deal can become much more expensive than you initially thought.
This happens across the country, on a daily basis, because broadband providers are falling short in making pricing simple and transparent. Increasingly, the industry is characterised by attention-grabbing broadband prices, underpinned by less prominent – and more costly – landline charges.
It’s a bad habit that all providers, including TalkTalk, have been guilty of. It doesn’t serve customers well and it’s time it stopped.
Bringing in ‘all-in pricing’
That’s why we’ve made the decision to do the right thing and will be scrapping separate line rental charges for TalkTalk homes. We’ll be moving toward a single monthly cost including line rental, known as ‘all-in pricing’.
We’re doing this because we firmly believe every home that’s online deserves transparency and to know they’re getting value for money.
It’s a view that’s shared by the government, consumer groups like Which? and the Advertising Standards Authourity. All agree that presenting landline and broadband costs separately adds unnecessary complexity and risks broadband deals appearing misleadingly cheap. Yet we’re the only major broadband provider to commit to all-in pricing so far.
Tougher advertising rules
The need for change is exemplified by the ASA’s tougher rules to make pricing on broadband advertising clearer so people have enough details to make an informed choice. But more needs to be done.
As long as line rental and broadband are priced separately, the temptation to advertise deals in this way will always be there. Other providers must follow our lead, to prevent households across the UK from being misled by seemingly good deals that all too often mask extra charges.
It’s time to put an end to out-dated bad practices and make things simpler and fairer for customers, once and for all.
This is a guest contribution by Tristia Harrison, Managing Director of TalkTalk. All opinions are her own, not necessarily those of Which?