The BBC has reported that customers signing up for broadband packages could be exempted from the rental charge on their landline if they don’t use it, under proposals to be discussed by the culture minister, Ed Vaizey. He wants householders to only pay for the services they use, describing the current system as an “analogue billing system in a digital world”. Apparently one in five home owners do not make fixed-line calls, but pay for landline connections.
Virgin Media’s complex ‘bundles’ (remember when they told us they were simplifying charges?) all include a mandatory landline for £17.99/m in the small print even though many of us don’t actually use it or need it. Which is deceptive advertising at best.
The cheapest VM bundle is The Big Easy which averages out at £13.58/m in the 12 months of the contract, which is actually less than the mandated small print landline cost. VM does offer ‘50mbps broadband only’ and that’s £30.25/m, a nominal saving of £1.32 but that means no TV (or phone).
I wouldn’t expect any serious discounts if Vaizey’s plan comes to anything, but at least things will be more transparent - you need a calculator and understanding of small print to work this out.
The advertising watchdog, ASA, and Ofcom are to introduce new rules about how such packages are marketed from May, following research that found there was widespread confusion about prices.
You don’t say...