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Line rental bills rising at more than double the rate of inflation

  • One third (33%) of UK consumers don’t know how much line rental they’re paying
  • Over two thirds (67%) of weekly landline users aren’t on a landline saver plan
  • Line rental charges have risen by an average of 35% since 2009
  • Inflation since 2009 equates to around 15.3%

30 January – One third (33%) of UK landline customers admit they don’t know how much their line rental costs, according to a survey by telecoms advice service Cable.co.uk.

Line rental charges from the big 5 providers (BT, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media) have increased by an average of 35% since 2009. Despite this, two thirds (67%) of weekly landline users are not on a line rental saver plan - where customers are offered a discount if they pay 12 months line rental up front. What’s more, 50% of those not on a plan had never heard of such schemes, according to the survey.

The volume of calls from landlines has decreased in recent years with 62% of 16 to 45 year-olds admitting they never use their home phone. However, 91% of over 65s make a landline call at least once a week.

Cable.co.uk editor-in-chief, Dan Howdle said: “If you don’t use your landline for calls, but need it for broadband, line rental can be a costly bugbear. Line rental saver plans can help a great deal, but with more people than ever ditching the landline, providers should be slashing costs rather than increasing them.”

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.

Download Landline survey results and line rental figures

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What is Cable.co.uk?

Cable.co.uk is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades. Having spent 12 years at the coalface of consumer telecoms research, initiating and running projects both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now Director of Communications and in-house consumer telecoms expert for Cable.co.uk.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer who frequently appears on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers and their websites, Dan leads a team of journalists and communications folk who spend their days researching and reporting on problems faced by UK broadband, TV and mobile customers both on an individual and macro level.

Dan campaigns on many issues currently facing consumers of broadband, TV and mobile products in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Rural broadband provision; mobile coverage; broadband, TV and mobile customer contract issues; broadband and mobile broadband speeds; switching and money-saving; infrastructural challenges; pricing, changes and structures; shifts in technology and the marketplace; telecoms regulation, policy and law; fines, adjudications and policy changes; mergers and closures of UK providers; annual financials and more.

Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality. He also administers and adjudicates the yearly Broadband Service Quality Awards and sits on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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