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Regulator calls on BT to cut line rental charge


The telecoms regulator says BT will shave 37% off line rental charges for landline-only customers, declaring they have suffered from poor value for money.

Ofcom said it recommended the cut following a review of the company’s charging – adding that pensioners would be most likely to benefit as they represented the biggest group of customers who do not take bundle packages, including broadband.

The watchdog said BT had agreed to its suggestion that almost one million households who buy only a landline telephone service should see their monthly bills slashed by £7 per month, through a line rental cut.
This represents a saving of £84 a year, it added. BT said it would introduce the reduction from April next year.
Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition group director, said: “For many people, their landline is their lifeline.
“But households who only have a landline – and no broadband – have seen their phone bills soar.

“Many are elderly, and have been with BT for decades. We’ve been clear that they must get a better deal. So I’m pleased BT has responded to our plans in full by cutting these customers’ bills.”
The company responded: “We welcome a balanced voluntary agreement with Ofcom which means that up to one million of our customers who don’t have broadband will receive a substantial cut in the price of their line rental from April 2018.
“We have listened to the concerns of our line-only customers and agreed to reduce the price of line rental for them by £7 a month, or £84 a year, which means they will only pay £11.99 a month for standard line rental.
“This will come in to effect from April 2018 for all landline-only customers who just take phone services from us and don’t have broadband (either with BT or someone else).
“We already offer low income customers on certain benefits a special tariff called ‘BT Basic’ and also offer Home Phone Saver that provides a great value bundle for customers who want a traditional phone service, with Anytime calls and other benefits.”

Source: Sky

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