Millions of homes have been forced to pay increased line rental charges, as they have risen by up to 44.1% over the last six years. This is in spite of falling wholesale costs, finds a recent report from telecoms watchdog, Ofcom.
Since December of 2010, Sky has raised its line rental charges more than any other, with a 44.1% rise. Virgin Media ranks second at 33.9%, TalkTalk is at 33.1%, and BT is fourth at 23.3%.
However, during that same period, wholesale costs steadily decreased, by up to 21.3% for a number of providers, reveals the report.
Vulnerable and elderly customers are those who have been affected the most by the higher charges as they rely more on a phone as opposed to a broadband line when contacting friends and family. They are also less prone to shopping around and accessing the web to locate better deals.
A spokesperson from Ofcom said:
“We’re concerned about increasing landline prices and how this particularly affects elderly and vulnerable people who depend on their home phone, but are less likely to switch.
“We’re monitoring prices extremely closely and will step in, as necessary, to ensure vulnerable consumers are protected.”
The line rental increases are not limited to home consumers, but businesses too. However, they are free to go elsewhere and at Ten Ten Systems, we offer integrated telephony services to help businesses save money. Our costs more than challenge those set by Sky, BT and other main providers.