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MSE News: Post Office and BT cut landline-only bills

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
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MSE_CallumMSE_Callum Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
The Post Office has agreed to cut landline-only customers' bills by more than £65 a year from May, just days before BT cuts almost a million customers' bills...
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'Post Office and BT cut landline-only bills'
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  • onomatopoeia99onomatopoeia99 Forumite
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    It is interesting that the services one purchases from other providers affect the price that BT charge for a specific service, and that MSE aren't putting pressure on them over this differential pricing.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
  • john539john539 Forumite
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    So people have been ripped-off for years !

    Now Ofcom need to take action on Broadband prices.
  • CaddymanCaddyman Forumite
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    And I still only want a line for broadband only. My entire housing development doesn't have a facility for cable, so that isn't an option. I haven't used a landline telephone at my property for nearly 10 years, yet I'm still in a position whereby I have a line to my property that is capable of something I am just not interested in or have no need for. I've heard all of the ridiculous and outdated arguments that a landline is the 'safe' option for telephone calls if you can't get mobile reception or the mobile mast 'goes down' for maintenance. Hasn't happened the entire time I've lived at my property. Not only that, if someone really wanted to, they could just cut the cable to my phone by the front door anyway.

    I absolutely don't mind paying for my line, but I want to pay an amount that is aligned to what I actually use it for, broadband only. I couldn't give a stuff about making receiving calls, don't use it for that, never will, don't even have a phone plugged into the socket. It's about time the system was overhauled to take into account the vast number of people who ditched the home landline telephone years ago.
  • MiserlyMartinMiserlyMartin Forumite
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    Caddyman is totally right. I was under the impression that the price cut for landlines was for landlines themselves regardless of if you have broadband on it with any other provider or not. Now I see its for landlines with no facility for adding broadband.! Ofcom have stuffed up again.

    At the end of the day landlines are irrelevant and outdated. All you need in 2018 is a data connection and VOIP. If you have no other option to get that (no cable) other to have a phone line put in for that purpose then the charges ought to be realistic. For the majority of landline customers the only reason they now have it is to have broadband. Fibre to the home can't come quick enough.
  • takmantakman
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    john539 wrote: »
    So people have been ripped-off for years !

    Now Ofcom need to take action on Broadband prices.

    I don't see how it's a "rip-off" the price is clearly advertised and when you pay the price you receive the service as advertised. Just because they made a good profit doesn't mean people were being ripped off.
    Caddyman wrote: »
    And I still only want a line for broadband only. My entire housing development doesn't have a facility for cable, so that isn't an option. I haven't used a landline telephone at my property for nearly 10 years, yet I'm still in a position whereby I have a line to my property that is capable of something I am just not interested in or have no need for. I've heard all of the ridiculous and outdated arguments that a landline is the 'safe' option for telephone calls if you can't get mobile reception or the mobile mast 'goes down' for maintenance. Hasn't happened the entire time I've lived at my property. Not only that, if someone really wanted to, they could just cut the cable to my phone by the front door anyway.

    I absolutely don't mind paying for my line, but I want to pay an amount that is aligned to what I actually use it for, broadband only. I couldn't give a stuff about making receiving calls, don't use it for that, never will, don't even have a phone plugged into the socket. It's about time the system was overhauled to take into account the vast number of people who ditched the home landline telephone years ago.

    I never understand this argument, why do you think removing the ability to make calls will make it any cheaper?.

    With broadband your still using the same line but there is also extra equipment in the exchanges and street cabinets and national infrastructure to provide the connection. This equipment is much more expensive than simple telephone equipment and costs more to maintain.
    So I can't see how them turning off the supply of telephone services to your home will save any money at all.
  • edited 31 March 2018 at 12:10PM
    iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    edited 31 March 2018 at 12:10PM
    Caddyman wrote: »
    And I still only want a line for broadband only. My entire housing development doesn't have a facility for cable, so that isn't an option. I haven't used a landline telephone at my property for nearly 10 years, yet I'm still in a position whereby I have a line to my property that is capable of something I am just not interested in or have no need for. I've heard all of the ridiculous and outdated arguments that a landline is the 'safe' option for telephone calls if you can't get mobile reception or the mobile mast 'goes down' for maintenance. Hasn't happened the entire time I've lived at my property. Not only that, if someone really wanted to, they could just cut the cable to my phone by the front door anyway.

    I absolutely don't mind paying for my line, but I want to pay an amount that is aligned to what I actually use it for, broadband only. I couldn't give a stuff about making receiving calls, don't use it for that, never will, don't even have a phone plugged into the socket. It's about time the system was overhauled to take into account the vast number of people who ditched the home landline telephone years ago.

    You bemoan the fact that Virgin Media cable isn't available , and that you have to have a phone service to get broadband over an OR loop, , even though you don't want or need a phone service ,
    If VM was available what's the price differential between VM broadband only and VM phone and broadband ?,
    If you could have broadband only over an Openreach loop , with no phone service , what would you be happy to pay for it ( given that your ISP pays £7 a month to rent it from OR) , you say you you don't mind paying for the line, so how much ?
    Anything over £7 is profit your CP adds as its mark up/margin.

    If your broadband only 'line' went faulty would you expect it to be fixed by Openreach ?, do you think if you own an asset and your business is renting that asset out, do you think you should be allowed to make a ( regulated) profit on it ?

    The thing is, if you don't want to use your line for telephony, it's really simple don't plug a phone in, want to see the 'saving' you get by being a broadband with no phone customer, look at VM pricelist, there is no reason to think that this model wouldn't be followed by CP's that use OR
  • iniltousiniltous Forumite
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    Caddyman is totally right. I was under the impression that the price cut for landlines was for landlines themselves regardless of if you have broadband on it with any other provider or not. Now I see its for landlines with no facility for adding broadband.! Ofcom have stuffed up again.

    At the end of the day landlines are irrelevant and outdated. All you need in 2018 is a data connection and VOIP. If you have no other option to get that (no cable) other to have a phone line put in for that purpose then the charges ought to be realistic. For the majority of landline customers the only reason they now have it is to have broadband. Fibre to the home can't come quick enough.

    Why did you think this reduction for phone only customers of BT Consumer applied to anyone other than those that Ofcom said it would , it wasnt a vague statement open to interpretation, so did you arrive at your conclusion ?
    If at the end of the day landlines are irrelevant, why post about them at all, presumably you don't have an irrelevant landline , if you do have a landline, then how can it be irrelevant ?

    When you do get FTTH , you will still pay 'rental' on it, and guess what it will be around the same price if you have a phone service on it or not
  • edited 31 March 2018 at 5:47PM
    Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    edited 31 March 2018 at 5:47PM
    I was under the impression that the price cut for landlines was for landlines themselves regardless of if you have broadband on it with any other provider or not. Now I see its for landlines with no facility for adding broadband.! Ofcom have stuffed up again.
    Ofcom have got it right. What has been happening for many years is that providers have been advertising their broadband products as, for example, "£5 per month when you sign up to line rental" or "free broadband when you take line rental" and burying the monthly cost of the line rental in the small print. They have then also been inflating the cost of that line rental so that they charge you the total amount for line rental and broadband that they intended to charge you all along. It's much like the old "free car when you buy this car seat (small print: for £8000)" advertising gimmick.

    However, the effect of understating the cost of the broadband element and inflating the cost of the line rental element in this way meant that those who do not have broadband have been paying an inflated cost for their line rental for many years and it is this practice that had to be stopped.

    The issue has been tackled in two stages.
    1. Where line rental and broadband is offered, it is the combined price that must be advertised.
    2. In an agreement between Ofcom and BT, the retail price of the "line-rental only" product has been decreased by £7 per month.

    In fixing this fundamental issue, other providers must also drop their price for "line-rental only" otherwise they will look uncompetitive.

    To find out the real cost of the broadband element, subtract the advertised cost of "line-rental only" from the advertised cost of "line-rental and broadband". The reality is far different to what previously appeared in advertising materials.

    BT has, for many years, offered a "line-rental and calls" deal with the reduced line-rental already factored in. This is known as BT Home Phone Saver and currently costs £21.99 per month for line-rental, unlimited anytime calls and a number of other features. The deal is buried on BT's website and, despite being available for five years or more, has not been actively promoted.

    One issue that Ofcom had with BT is that of the one-million BT landline-only customers that are eligible for HPS, only 200 000 had signed up. This meant that some 800 000 had not, and were overpaying BT by at least £7 per month for their phone service. Ofcom originally wanted BT to properly promote the BT Home Phone Saver deal. When they failed to do so, Ofcom threatened more wide-ranging action and BT co-operated, leading to this current arrangement.

    On top of those issues, there are many people who are still paying a per-minute rate for their calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers. Those who have been spending more than £3 per month in this way should also have been on the BT Home Phone Saver deal with its "line rental and unlimited anytime calls" for £21.99 per month.

    Those who use their landline phone for making calls, even the barest minimum amount, will find that a deal with unlimited anytime calls will work out cheaper than paying a per-minute rate. Those customers now have the choice of HPS (including line rental and unlimited anytime calls) priced at £21.99 per month (and with that price fixed for three years) or the ordinary "Line Rental and Unlimited Anytime" deal for (£11.99 + £9.50 =) £21.49 per month (but which will be subject to the usual annual price rises). HPS also comes with unlimited inclusive calling features in that price.

    Those without inclusive calls will be paying 22p per call plus 13p per mimute for calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers and are likely on the wrong deal.
  • john539john539 Forumite
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    takman wrote: »
    I don't see how it's a "rip-off" the price is clearly advertised and when you pay the price you receive the service as advertised. Just because they made a good profit doesn't mean people were being ripped off.



    I never understand this argument, why do you think removing the ability to make calls will make it any cheaper?.

    With broadband your still using the same line but there is also extra equipment in the exchanges and street cabinets and national infrastructure to provide the connection. This equipment is much more expensive than simple telephone equipment and costs more to maintain.
    So I can't see how them turning off the supply of telephone services to your home will save any money at all.
    Clearly Ofcom disagrees with you.

    BT is the market leader and so has a leading/monopoly position in pricing which other telecom providers follow. That in itself removes choice from consumers as prices sit at a certain level with little real competition and prices hidden in bundle pricing, where it is difficult to work out what is going on and landline only telephone being continually overpriced.

    Just because a price is advertised, doesn't mean it isn't a rip-off, just means BT & ther telecom providers can get away away with it, as they follow each other, like the gas/electric utilities.
  • takmantakman
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    john539 wrote: »
    Clearly Ofcom disagrees with you.

    BT is the market leader and so has a leading/monopoly position in pricing which other telecom providers follow. That in itself removes choice from consumers as prices sit at a certain level with little real competition and prices hidden in bundle pricing, where it is difficult to work out what is going on and landline only telephone being continually overpriced.

    Just because a price is advertised, doesn't mean it isn't a rip-off, just means BT & ther telecom providers can get away away with it, as they follow each other, like the gas/electric utilities.

    Ok then show me a quote from Ofcom where they described it as a "rip-off".
    A rip-off is where you don't get the services you pay for, you get charged more than agreed.

    Ofcom simply decided the price was too much, that's all.

    If someone didn't want to pay for a landline only they could easily find a mobile phone deal much cheaper than even the new lower price, there is very little need at all for someone to have a landline only without broadband.
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