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BT has announced that it will stop charging broadband and telephone subscribers when they call its customer support service.

The supplier has ceased using all 0845 and 0870 in its inbound call centres, with 14 million customers now being able to access telephone support using free 0800 numbers.

Gavin Patterson, consumer managing director at the firm, said: "BT has been setting the pace with its pricing and today we've decided to go a step further. We've always had some of the lowest prices for such calls and now we've decided to make them free."

He added that the company estimates that rival suppliers' call charges are costing British consumers around £70 million a year.

Around 92 per cent of BT's call services are already free to use and the company pledged to increase this figure to 99 per cent by April 1st.

Steve Weller, communications expert at uSwitch, said the move would be welcomed by broadband customers, who had been particularly hard hit by call charges. The firm estimates that Britons wasted £31 a million a year trying to contact their internet service providers.

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