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BT Hikes Annual Price of UK Phone Line Rental Saver Plan to GBP141

Monday, June 3rd, 2013 (7:49 am) - Score 4,171

Customers who take BT’s Line Rental Saver solution alongside their phone or broadband bundles, which allows you to save a fair bit of money by paying for a year’s line rental in advance, will be displeased to learn that the cost has just risen from £129 to £141 (up 9%). ISPs around the UK are likely to follow suit.

The move is not surprising as BT’s last hike in the cost of standard line rental, which saw the monthly price rise from £14.60 to £15.45 per month (the equivalent under Line Rental Saver is now £11.75), took place on 5th January 2013 (here) but it also left the price of their Line Rental Saver option untouched (possibly to make it appear more attractive).

Since its introduction a few years ago the Line Rental Saver approach has been adopted by practically all of the markets largest providers and a few smaller operators. The solution has become a useful way of saving money off the increasingly expensive cost of standard monthly line rental, which often rises while the cost of broadband appears to either fall or remain stagnant.

A Spokeswoman for BT said:

Line Rental Saver continues to offer a generous discount of 23% on the price of our standard line rental, saving customers £44 a year. This increase, which is the first for 14 months, does not affect existing Line Rental Saver customers. Customers who take standard line rental from BT will benefit from our price freeze until 2014.”

The move comes shortly after the launch of BT’s new BTSport TV service (here), which is now being offered for free alongside their broadband, phone and or TV bundles. This has naturally caused some people to speculate about a link between the two, which BT has strongly denied.

In fairness BT would probably have increased the cost anyway and in practice, whether intentional or not, there’s always a natural link if any change affects the total price that you pay for a bundle.

As usual it’s likely that other ISPs will follow suit over the coming months.

Leave a Comment
41 Responses
  1. Avatar sheffieldowl says:

    What a rip off as most people just use their landline as a means to get broadband.

    1. Avatar sheffieldowl says:

      I guess the money to pay all the ‘pundits’ they have signed up for BT Sports has to come from somewhere

    2. Especially so when you take into account that if you forget to make two (free) calls a month they fine you an extra £1.50!!

    3. Avatar Kyle says:

      Couldn’t agree more!

      I find I’m having to plan making the necessary number of calls on the landline as I have no use for it, I’m paying an already large sum and if I don’t make two calls, I’m charged extra!

    4. Avatar keith says:

      “I guess the money to pay all the ‘pundits’ they have signed up for BT Sports has to come from somewhere”

      Nail, hit, head 🙂

  2. Avatar x66yh says:

    Jeez – how many more times does it have to be explained!

    Land line rental charges in the UK subsidise broadband.
    so we all get much cheaper broadband in the UK thanks to this subsidy.
    If it were not so then you (and me) would be paying a LOT more for our broadband.
    Like what they do in the USA.

    Try thinking about it like this – 3 components:
    1. Rent/maintenance of the physical line and equipment to your house
    2. Payment for the voice service
    3. Payment for the broadband service

    In the UK items 1 and 2 are lumped together as one item.
    Now if you prefer we can lump 1 and 3 together then you’d be happy – right?

    1. Avatar Kyle says:

      Actually, I would.

      If I pay the same amount, then so be it. What I’m not happy with is the sneaky ‘robbing Paul to pay Peter’ approach.

      Why is it acceptable to shift the cost around? Surely because deceit is the name of the game in this industry.

    2. Avatar on this planet says:

      x66yh – you are right about your three components but it doesn’t mean voice is subsidising broadband … it is merely a way of BT and other ISPs setting their charges to customers. The big costs are in the physical copper and the broadband service. The voice service component is probably only £2

    3. Avatar keith says:


      If you find that a good way to do business i have numerous pyramid scheme ideas to extract you of your money also.

  3. Avatar DTMark says:

    The last time I spent any time on the Money Saving Expert website there were plenty of threads about “How do I get rid of this cost?” and a surprising number of people used 3G – no phone line at all – either to get rid of the landline costs or to speed up their broadband. The eternally rising line rental costs are what prompt this. Why have a landline when you have a mobile anyway? We did this years back (ADSL 1.5Meg, 3G HSPA 9 to 14Meg, upgrading to DC-HSPA so hoping for maybe 18 to 25Meg) and we’re certainly not alone. And – no more junk calls 🙂

    1. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      BT does so many different things, like sports channels, instead of providing proper telecom services, so the money for supporting sports etc has to come from somewhere, hence increasing costs in the core telecom services such as line rentals.

      What’s needed is a proper telecoms-only company, and naked DSL, or better, proper FTTP everywhere.

    2. Avatar Kyle says:

      It would never happen! 🙁

      Even after reaping the cost of their measly copper thousands of times over, they are still charging the earth for it.

      I wonder how many would ditch the WLR if naked xDSL existed…

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      JNeuhoff/Kyle (+ anyone else that thinks rolling out FTTP is easy and cheap)

      Have a look at the Webcast MikeW posted up (jump to 13mins to get to the meat of it)


      Obviously an expert in his field, it also shows you just how many DSL lines there are (and growing) in the world in comparison to other medium, if you took people’s comments on here as gospel they’d have you believe everyone else in the world is FTTP and its just the UK that aren’t, obviously not.

      Well worth looking at

    4. Avatar Kyle says:

      I fail to see where I said rolling out FTTP would be easy and cheap?

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      My words not yours. I was just generalizing, there seems to be a consensus on here that its no bother to rollout FTTP and the UK is falling behind because of BT

    6. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      @FibreFred: For someone like you, using the ‘FibreFred’ name, I am quite surprised at your pessimism when it comes to fibre services 🙂

    7. Avatar MikeW says:

      I’m sure BT wouldn’t mind being a “proper Telecoms-only” company if that market weren’t being attacked by a jumped-up TV provider (Sky), another jumped-up TV provider (Virgin), a jumped-up car-phone sales group (TalkTalk). But the competition keeps coming in, and trying to sell bundles and triple-plays or quadruple-plays. The only way to attack back is to bundle in the opposite direction.

      I’m sure BT wouldn’t mind installing FTTP if they were able to make a profit from doing so, and if they could be sure that once an investment was committed, the regulator would leave the playing-field level. They certainly have the technical ability to work out the best approach, and they have the engineering skills to do a good deployment.

      What holds them back more than anything is the regulation, and the consequent lack of funds, and lack of investors willing to provide those funds, to do what you ask.

      While you are convinced that BT couldn’t organise a phone call in a baked-bean-tin factory when surrounded by string, the fact is that money and politics are the things holding everything back.

    8. Avatar FibreFred says:

      JNeuhoff, I would love FTTP as much as the next person but I’m also realistic about how much it costs to deploy compared to its returns that’s all.

      If BT didn’t have to wholesale and got 100% of the returns it would still be a long term investment for them

      Did you watch the webcast btw? Honestly its very intersting

    9. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      @FibreFred: “If BT didn’t have to wholesale and got 100% of the returns it would still be a long term investment for them” Isn’t this a contradiction in itself? BT Openreach provides access to its network to any ISP or telecoms provider and gets money for this. There is hardly any infrastructure competition, except maybe Virgin Media in some areas.

    10. Avatar FibreFred says:


      But it has to charge rates decided upon by a regulator. Look at someone like Verizon FiOS in the states for example, they have rolled out FTTH in some areas but there’s no requirement to wholesale, so when they roll it out they get all of the returns, they don’t have to sell the supply at low rates to other ISP’s and get low returns over a long period.

      I very much doubt that even if you could get access to BT ducts/poles at 1/2 or 1/4 of the PIA price you’d find more infrastructure competition because it still costs a lot to bring FTTH

    11. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Or an even more simple example.

      When BT deploy a broadband service to an area they get a small slice of the income (via Openreach) or all of the pie (Openreach + BT Retail) as the customer chose BT for an ISP.

      When Virgin deploy a service to an area they get all of the pie and look how much expansion of the Virgin network has taken place over the last 10yrs, hardly any

    12. Avatar keith says:

      More of you poppycock BT wholesale make money from the ISPs.

    13. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      @FibreFred: Openreach is the real network company, and should have been a completely indendent network infrastructure company.

      It sounds to me what you are saying is this: ‘BT Openreach’ on its own is not as commercially viable than ‘BT Openreach’ plus ‘BT Retail’. If that is the case, wouldn’t it be a (possibly indirect) cross-subsidising, with a poor ‘BT Openreach’ getting money earned from ‘BT Retail’? Is ‘BT Openreach’ getting less money from other service providers?

  4. Avatar Gareth says:

    I think as 4G is introduced (with sensible limits) and prices, a lot of people will ditch the landline. I think once we have £15/£20 4G tariffs with say 10/15GB limits, then most casual users will be able to ditch the £15+ per month landline.

  5. Avatar MikeW says:

    Every service provider (whether they are naturally a telecom SP, internet SP, television SP, wireless SP or mobile SP) really wants to bundle all your business together – and charge you one lump sum for it.

    There are economies of scale to any of them, if they can do this. The more they bundle, the easier it is for them to cross-subsidise any particular aspect.

    BT’s “line rental” is just one way of bundling, while other SP’s have their favourites – Sky with TV being a big one. Other companies are wanting to remove Sky’s dominance in that arena.

    There are costs to the content they deliver to you, costs to the equipment they use to get that content to you, and costs to the process of supporting and billing you. Bundling helps reduce some of these, and if you try to get services from separate companies, you should expect your total charge to rise, not fall.

  6. Avatar Phil says:

    What a bloody rip off! You’re so sad BT!

  7. Avatar four_eyes says:

    Now Thats A CON !!!! i think why should you have to pay bloody line rental even tho you dont use the gawd damn phone and just to get bloody broadband another money making scam BT

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      because its “line” rental? Not “phone” rental?

    2. Avatar rod says:

      i agree with you four eyes !!!! big deal line rental shouldnt have to pay line rental just to get friggin broadband

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      …but its ok to pay a monthly line rental on a mobile phone you use to access the Internet?

    4. Avatar keith says:

      My mobile phone is PAYG, so no idea why you think everyone is paying mobile companies “rental”. Calls on it are also cheaper than BTs to land lines per minute.
      I guess its just more fred “cough” logic.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I would expect even trolls could Google this sort of info up, e.g:- http://www.talktalk.co.uk/money/latest-features/advertorial-general-nav/mobile-bills-slash-the-cost-may-2010.html

      “Pay Monthly: The Pros

      Pay monthly contracts make up the vast majority of mobile deals currently available, with a network charging a monthly fee for line rental.”

      I’ve no interest in what you use Deduction

    6. Avatar keith says:

      Bwahaha a Talk Talk link. Hard to know who to disbelieve more. Talk Talk a company renowned for being one of the worst in the UK or you, renowned for making up poop as you go along and stuck at your computer 24/7. Its a toss up but i think you just about win it in the talk a load of cow waste stakes.

      I pay no line rental for my mobile and its 5p per minute for calls during peak that as you obviously have mental as well as maths issues is cheaper than BT. Many PAYG as well as Contract mobiles deals are in fact cheaper than what BT charge nowadays.

      Good to hear you still think im Deduction though. In fact everyone on this board that aids you in looking more stupid than what you are on a daily basis like in the news item below this is obviously him also.

      Im glad you have no interest in what i use though. Hopefully that means you will for once shut your inept pie hole and not respond. Though obviously that is wishful thinking as you just can not help yourself. It is almost like you have some kind of illness that compels you to be stupid.

      Now run along and be a good puppet and bother Mark with a long winded whinge as like any child with problems you can not take (name calling, rudeness etc) what you dish out.

    7. Avatar rod says:

      well a mobile is if you on contract you pay the line rental if payg you dont you not forced to have a contract mobile but with scammy Bt you have no alternative to pay if you want broadband like having another bill even tho should be only one bill for your friggin broadband .

    8. Avatar FibreFred says:

      You pay to be connected to the mobile service whether you are on contract or PAYG, line rental is just a historic term that doesn’t mean that much on mobiles but they still use it, its just a term to cover connectivity to the service.

      You still pay to be connected either via a monthly contract or via PAYG but with PAYG you are paying for it by way of more expensive calls compared to calls via a contract

    9. Avatar keith says:

      “You still pay to be connected either via a monthly contract or via PAYG but with PAYG you are paying for it by way of more expensive calls compared to calls via a contract.”

      Again more of you delusional diatribe. Call charges per minute can actually be cheaper on a PAYG mobile over a contract. Further more i paid nothing to be “connected” to my mobile service, in fact the sim card was free and came with £5 loaded free also.

      Actually now you mention it that is another rip off by BT “connection charges” both in terms of just making a call and even having a phone line connected.

      Then again you are not interested in what i use, or the truth, so AGAIN please do not respond.

  8. Avatar Naims says:

    What about 15p the set up charge as BT call it ? If you make a call outside your prepaid “free calling time” and your call connects, even for a second you are charge 15p. Our call connect charge is 0.02p and 2 pence a minute anytime via Entanet.

  9. Avatar Hull_lad says:

    @Gareth – the average UK household is using 17GB already, and that figure is only going North. 4G lacks the capacity, stability and competitive price point for it to be anything more than a complement to fixed services whilst on the move. For light users, it’s great, but it will never be the replacement that everyone seems to expect. Just look at places like North America, where 4G has been available for some time.

    1. Avatar MikeW says:

      That’s the 2011 figure. In 2012 it was 23GB.

      4G might cut the mustard for some people, but it is never going to provide the necessary service as a fixed-line replacement for the majority. There just won’t be the capacity.

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