How to cut your home phone bill
Broadband has never been more affordable, with deals from just £1.20 per month, yet landline bills are rising by more than double the rate of inflation, according to a survey by telecoms advice group Cable.co.uk.
The survey found that one third of us don’t know much line rental we’re paying, despite the fact that it can add £15.50 to the average monthly broadband bill. So if you don’t use your landline or just want to cut the cost, follow our tips on how to save money on your home phone bill.
Use a line rental saver plan
Did you know that you could save as much as £60 per year by paying your line rental in a one-off lump sum? If not, you’re by no means alone, as two thirds (67%) of weekly landline users in the Cable.co.uk survey aren’t on a line rental saver plan and half of those have never heard of such schemes. Most providers offer this generous discount to both new and existing customers, and it makes sense to take advantage if you can afford the upfront payment.
Shop around to compare prices
Most broadband plans require you to take a phone package too, but it’s easy to overlook this cost when comparing deals and focus only on broadband. But if you use your landline regularly, it’s important to pick a deal that suits your usage pattern to avoid paying extra for calls that you could get for free. Consider when you use your phone the most – evenings, weekends or all the time – and choose a plan with inclusive minutes during this time. If you call abroad often, compare international rates and monthly bolt-on options as well. How you pay can also affect the cost: opting for e-billing and Direct Debit can shave up to £5 per month off the average bill.
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Avoid premium rate numbers
Even if you pick a calling plan and stick to it, you could still get stung with hefty charges when calling premium rate numbers like 0870, 0845 and 0871 for helplines, customer services and government organisations. Thankfully there’s a website that allows you to avoid these pricey numbers called Saynoto0870.com, which provides geographical alternatives to the premium rate numbers used by many UK firms.
Make calls online
If you have broadband and a computer with a webcam and microphone, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a useful way to make free or cheap national and international calls. It can be used alongside your home phone to save on international call costs, or even instead of a landline to avoid the cost completely. Providers such as Skype and Vonage allow you to call other people for free providing they are online and have the same software installed, or you can buy a bundle of minutes to call landlines and mobiles.
Ditch your landline
If you rarely use your home phone and but still want access to the internet, it is possible to get home broadband without a landline to avoid this redundant cost. Virgin Media is currently the only fixed line provider to offer this service so you’ll need to check if its fibre optic network is available in your area. An alternative option if you can’t get Virgin Media is to opt for 3G or 4G mobile broadband instead from one of the many mobile phone providers. You can choose from SIM cards for tablets, dongles for laptops and desktop computers, or a Mi-Fi unit to connect multiple devices wirelessly at once.
This article was written by Hannah Ricci of Cable.co.uk, the Ofcom accredited broadband, TV and phone comparison site.
Visit www.cable.co.uk to find the right broadband for your new home.