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BT fibre customers 'charged for unwanted landline services'

Customers signing up to BT's fast fibre connections are being forced to pay for landline phone services even if they have no need for them, it has been reported.

The Daily Telegraph says that users on the firm's full fibre service - which use full fibre and so do not require a copper phone line to function, are being told they are required to take a landline phone deal as part of their package, as this is a compulsory part of the deal.

Customers are being charged £54.99 a month for the service, which includes broadband with an average speed of 145Mbps, line rental for phone and broadband, and free weekend calls.  

Broadband expert at uSwitch Dani Warner commented that it is disappointing to see some providers still insist on signing their customers up for services they do not need and will never use.

“While providers may say that the cost of landlines is essentially free, giving consumers a choice about which services they take is important, and we'd expect customers to be able to tailor their subscription as they require," she added.

A spokesman for BT told the Telegraph that the majority of its customers continue to use landlines to make calls alongside their internet usage, and the company makes clear that the cost of its broadband deals include line rental.

He added that currently, the firm is not seeing demand from consumers to take broadband without a home phone service, though the firm will always review its offerings to ensure it provides customers with the options they want.

The option to take broadband without a home phone may be something that more consumers expect in the coming years, with Dani noting: "Alongside the rise of smartphone use, the way we use voice services at home is changing, and ever decreasing numbers of people use or even need a landline."

Indeed, recent figures from Ofcom revealed that the total annual call time spent on landlines has nearly halved between 2012 and 2017, from 103 billion minutes to 54 billion minutes. 

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