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BT agrees to cream off less profit from landline-only customers

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Meh

About bloody time but don't forget that Ofcom wants all the major providers to stop listing line rental separately for those of us that do take a data service. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not..

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Some elderly have home monitoring or fall alarms and that requires a landline.

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FAIL

Avoid Freeola - they don't even support 1471.

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Why would they? The service is marketed to support a broadband service, not calls. Can't see any problem with that. I can see anywhere on their site which makes me think they would allow 1471. They do allow caller ID though, so you could still see who called, including the last call, just like 1471.

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Im sure that this will be helpful for the few people who have Phone only land lines... However what I want ofcom to turn their attention to is compulsory bundled services...

I need broadband (£26 p/m) so we have to have a BT phone line.

The BT Phone line has rental (£18 p/m)

If it stopped there then I'd be happy, BUT..

BT insist that if we have a phone line we also have to have a call package at £14 p/m.. We dont even have a phone connected to the line.

So every year I go through the motions of phoning BT, threatening to leave and they eventually apply a discount equal to the price of the call package to my bill for 12 months as long as I sign up for another 12 month contract.

I have to wonder how many others are just paying it and not realising?

Also while I'm at it... BT seriously £14 a month for evening and weekend calls? My O2 sim costs me £13 a month and has unlimited any time any network minutes... so your call package is not offering anything close to value for money.

I only started looking at the costs when I realised that we were only using one service (Broadband) and were paying close to £60 a month because of the bundled services. We are unfortunately stuck with BT though.

Another thing that I started to notice on the bill was an additional charge of £1 per month FOR NOT USING THE PHONE. When I asked they advised me to just make one call a month! What a ridiculous system!

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Anonymous Coward

"what I want ofcom to turn their attention to is compulsory bundled services..."

Which in a more honest world would be described as abuse of BT's significant market power.

"[BT's] call package is not offering anything close to value for money."

It's value for money for BT though, because (a) it's basically money for nothing for BT (b) it makes a fortune for BT on out-of-bundle calls (c) it makes it less and less feasible for an alternate calls provider to survive ie to make money. All of which suits BT fine.

"We are unfortunately stuck with BT though."

You may be stuck with BT Openreach or even BTwholesale, but in the absence of diktats from employers etc paying your phone and/or broadband bills, even in an Openreach-only area, you should be able to choose retailers other than BT - not just Sky or TalkTalk using their own kit, but also less well-known "boutique" voice and broadband providers from AAISP to Zen (and others in between) who operate over wires from BT and others, and provide services different from what BT offer. Which is of course irritating to BT. See "abuse of significant market power" above, and repeat until competitors are non-existent.

"What a ridiculous system!"

Can't argue with that. I believe in the bigger picture it's called "regulatory capture":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture.

Rather surprisingly the Wikipedia article mentions none of Oftel, Ofcon, or BT, so here's something with a UK focus albeit not specifically telecoms, from Professor Ross Anderson of Cambridge University Computing Dept

https://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2017/06/16/regulatory-capture/

"Strategically, why is British regulators so cosy with the industries they regulate, and what can be done about that? My starting point is that the appointment of regulators should no longer be in the gift of ministers. I propose that regulatory appointments be moved from the Cabinet Office to an independent commission, like the Judicial Appointments Commission, but with a statutory duty to hire the people most likely to challenge groupthink and keep the regulator effective. That is a political matter – a matter for all of us."

Enjoy.

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