Broadband providers should drop unused line rental, say MPs

Members of the government have said that providers shouldn’t charge for unused home phone lines.

 

Members of the government have said that providers shouldn’t charge for unused home phone lines.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey, along with others, has put pressure on broadband providers to stop charging customers for landline connections when they do not make calls. 

Monthly line rental charges, he said, forced customers of providers such as Sky, BT and Virgin Media to pay for a service that they did not use and made prices misleading. 

"You get these headline prices which are misleading. People should pay for what they use.”

"If the companies come up with a different pricing structure, that is fine, as long as they can see what they are paying for. Some people want to get rid of their landline entirely and pay for their broadband."

The minister went on to claim that providers were using an “analogue billing system in a digital world” and invited providers to discuss the matter. 

Providers have before claimed that doing this would push up prices, but their critics have hit back, saying that consumers would at least know what they’re paying for without being surprised by expensive line rental fees. 

Consumer watchdog Ofcom has backed the government’s claims, saying prices should be more transparent. 

Grant Shapps, head of the British Infrastructure Group is another voice adding to the pressure put on providers.

He claims that the majority of the UK do not need or want landline phone connections, and that providers were burying the cost of the line rental underneath deceptively cheap broadband deals. 

He added that the government was “pushing in the right direction” when it came to clearer pricing, but that there was still some way to go. 

Source: USwitch

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