British providers have introduced above average price hikes for landline rental
Since the mobile phone become affordable and economic, landlines have seen a gradual decrease in popularity. People tend to move from fixed lines to using either postpaid or PAYG SIM cards. However, there are still a substantial number of landlines operating on the market and this amount is not decreasing rapidly.
BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have all been regularly increasing the cost of line rental. Since 2008, this price has changed by around 45% up to 64%. If we consider that the standard inflation-based increase would change the fixed line cost by only 20.5%, we see that operators have been introducing above-inflation rises quite often. From December this year, most major landline providers introduced a price hike of between 75p to 1 quid a month, which equals to roughly 5-6% increase, while others announce similar changes in early 2015.
One may ask why people with landlines haven’t chosen to move to PAYG SIM cards or any other mobile telecommunications in order to avoid such increases. The answer is that for some landline is still indispensable, but for the majority it is a requirement for their broadband. This way operators leave consumer little choice and people have to agree to landline rental fees.
Consumers who are not happy with recent price hikes at BT, Sky, TalkTalk or Virgin Media can switch their operator penalty-free. This is possible thanks to a new rule introduced by Ofcom which says that customers facing mid-contract price hikes are allowed to switch their operator within 30 days of being notified. If none of the available offers look attractive, you can try to save money by taking extreme steps and using PAYG SIM cards to connect to the Internet. This makes sense only when your data usage is not high and you live within 4G mobile coverage, otherwise your Internet speed may leave much to be desired.