British landline use dying out as young people turn to their mobiles
- 62% of 16-45 year olds admit to never using their home phone
- Over 60% of daily landline users are over 65 years old
- Line rental charges continue to rise despite low usage
23 January, Lichfield, Staffordshire Over half (62%) of UK consumers under 45 years old are not using their home phone, according to a survey of over 4,000 respondents by Ofcom-accredited broadband, TV and phone comparison service, Cable.co.uk.
Brits aged between 16 and 25 use their landline the least with under half (43%) making calls once a week or more and 27% never using their landline. Those aged 65 and over were identified as the most frequent landline users with nearly two-thirds (64%) starting a conversation on their landline daily.
The volume of calls from mobile phones has exceeded the volume of calls from fixed lines each year since 2010, according to Ofcom’s August 2013 Communications Market Report. As usage has declined among the young and middle aged, line rental costs from the top five providers have risen by an average of 35% since 2009. Although most providers offer line rental saver plans (where customers are offered a discount if they pay 12 months line rental up front) over half (53%) of over 65s don’t use them, of which 45% are unaware of such schemes
Cable.co.uk editor-in-chief, Dan Howdle said: “It’s a shame that things appear to be going this way. With the younger generation’s inevitable abandonment of the landline, prices are rising while usage falls away. The majority of over-65s rely on a landline so it hardly seems fair that they should have to pay over the odds to make up for the increasing shortfall.”
Out of the 4,224 consumers surveyed, 29% said they use their landline every day. What’s more, 14% admitted that they never pick up their home phone at all.
Notes to editors
Landline usage survey: Cable.co.uk surveyed 4,224 site visitors from the UK aged 16 and over between 29 November 2013 and 3 January 2014.
UK line rental data: obtained from Cable.co.uk records and Archive.org.
Cable.co.uk’s top tips to save money on your landline
- Compare deals using an online comparison site and check whether your current provider offers a better deal for existing customers
- Bundle your line rental with a TV or internet package
- Pay for your line rental upfront – many providers offer a reduced rate as part of a landline saver plan
- Don’t buy more than you need. If you don’t tend to make a lot of calls then choose a free weekend or evening calls package rather than an ‘unlimited’ plan
- Pay by direct debit and opt for ebilling – it’s usually free whereas most providers charge for alternative payment methods and sending paper bills.
More advice available in our How to save money on your landline guide.