Press release:

uSwitch comments on Ofcom’s review of landline-only services to protect the elderly and vulnerable

Commenting on Ofcom’s review of the retail market for standalone landline telephone services, Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at uSwitch.com, says: Landlines are a lifeline, but for those who don’t want broadband – often the most vulnerable – the prospect of ever-increasing line rental charges still looms.

“The ASA’s reforms to require all-in costs for landline and broadband services should help matters by putting more competitive pressure on the providers. They now have greater incentive to compete on line rental as well as broadband pricing to make their combined costs appear more attractive.

“Reviewing landline-only pricing with its competition hat on will be seen as a bold move by Ofcom, but it’s a necessary one to ensure the most vulnerable are getting a fair deal.

“In addition to Ofcom’s review of line rental pricing, we would like to see the regulator take a close look at whether BT Basic is fit for purpose for vulnerable, elderly and low-income households.

“Ofcom currently requires BT to provide BT Basic – the telecoms equivalent of the Warm Home Discount for energy – as a condition of its historic monopoly. However, customers would only have to use their landlines for 148 minutes a month for a standard landline tariff to be more affordable than BT Basic.”

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About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.

The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG, which operates some of the UK’s most trusted digital brands that help empower smarter property and household decisions including Zoopla, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.

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