back to article Brit ISP TalkTalk scraps line rental charges

UK ISP TalkTalk is scrapping line rental charges and freezing price increases for 18 months – in a bid to comply with forthcoming regulatory changes and retain its declining customer base. The move comes exactly one year after the disastrous hack at TalkTalk, which resulted in 150,000 of its customers' details being stolen. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Bullshitting "customer" manager

    Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk’s consumer manager said: “TalkTalk is changing....doing right by them is the right thing for our business."

    Harrison added: "...frustrated with deals which shoot up mid contract"...

    So how does that tie up with...

    TalkTalk ....... "However, subscribers who refuse to sign up to the new deal will be subject to price increases."

    Fucking marketing liars.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Bullshitting "customer" manager

      Don't debase Fucking marketing Liars by comparing them to TalkTalk

    2. DJV Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Bullshitting "customer" manager

      "Nothing matters more to us than our customers and doing right by them"

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      Best joke I've heard in a long while!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bullshitting "customer" manager

      +1

      Yeah right and I've a load of Deutsche Bank derivatives that are going to make you rich.

      Welcome to "The Big Short"

  2. AMBxx Silver badge
    Holmes

    Free line rental from TalkTalk

    Worth every penny.

    1. teebie

      Re: Free line rental from TalkTalk

      No, it's too expensive.

  3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Translation

    Nothing matters more to us than our c̶u̶s̶t̶o̶m̶e̶r̶s̶ cash cows

  4. Olivier2553 Silver badge

    In Thailand

    Line rental has been waived for a couple of years now, provided you only needed broadband.

    But now I have fiber to both my houses, so this line rental does not even make sense anymore.

  5. Novex

    Line rental of £16.99 disappears, but lo and behold, the cost of the broadband goes up £16.99 (or more)...

    1. Chronos

      Ex-bleedin'-actly. A turd by any other name still stinks...

      I wouldn't mind so much if Openretch didn't keep stuffing several lines up every time they open a conduit, which then leads to a month of the modern version of the Adastral Park runaround trying to get your provider to even acknowledge there's a fault, much less run the gamut of OR's fault ticketing system.

  6. JimmyPage
    Thumb Up

    Interesting timing ...

    Page Junior has just moved into a flat, and is in the market for broadband (or, as he calls it "WiFi" - in a hint as to how the younger generations will lose semantic - and technical - discrimination).

    Absolutely no need for a landline whatsoever, so a TT no-line package sounds just the ticket.

    Off to do some comparisons ...

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Interesting timing ...

      Don't do it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting timing ...

      @Jimmy page

      Where the hell is the joke icon?

    3. VinceH

      Re: Interesting timing ...

      "so a TT no-line package sounds just the ticket."

      Where have you been for the last couple of years? I didn't think any of the trips to Mars had happened yet!

    4. Bloakey1

      Re: Interesting timing ...

      "Page Junior has just moved into a flat, and is in the market for broadband (or, as he calls it "WiFi" - in a hint as to how the younger generations will lose semantic - and technical - discrimination)."

      <snip>

      Make sure that Page junior does not take a page out of the talk talk user book, make him turn over a new leaf and show some spine. Hopefully he will not be foxed by this as you can never judge a book by its cover.

      <sfx: thwack>

      The misses says it is time for Leroy Merlin and an end to inane ramblings, I might be gone some time.

    5. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Interesting timing ...

      " or, as he calls it "WiFi" "

      LOLZ!! classic

      I dont think however that many ISPS will be letting you off to the tune of 15 to 20 quid a month just because you dont want a handset plugged in. (like the thai guy seems to have acheived)

      They are just being told to stop the bullshit eg :

      "HEY 1 POUND BROADBAND , ......(but £20pm line rental)

      "HEY FREE LINE RENTAL, ...........(but £20pm broadband)

    6. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Interesting timing ...

      Re: Page Junior has just moved into a flat, ..

      Absolutely no need for a landline whatsoever, so a TT no-line package sounds just the ticket.

      If there is absolutely no need for a landline why are you even considering TalkTalk, the best deal for no landline is from Three, but don't expect fibre speeds...

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting timing ...

      Jimmy, ignore the "broadband snobs" in this forum.

      No doubt you'll do proper research, and will decide what works for your sons situation, whether that is talk-talk or someone else.

      Even these broadband snobs realise this, so they aren't intending on giving you advice, they just want an opportunity to shout [company X] SUX, like the insolent kids they are.

  7. fLaMePrOoF

    They are charging a £25 'setup fee' even to existing customers, so you have to pay £25 to receive exactly the same product and service - I feel a complaint to Ofcom comming on...

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Ah right, so if you don't agree you will be charged exact £25 more over the coming year.

      I wonder if they will crowbar that in as an "admin" fee

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    You must change to one of our new packages

    They will cost the same or more.

    If you don't, we will keep you on the same package and charge you more.

    This is what our customers are asking for, nay, demanding.

    1. davidp231

      Re: You must change to one of our new packages

      That's how Skodafone did it anyways... removed line rental, bumped up the other prices.

      1. Novex
        Joke

        Re: You must change to one of our new packages

        That's how Skodafone did it anyways... removed line rental, bumped up the other prices.

        I'm not sure if that's giving Skoda a bad name by comparing them to Vodafone, or giving Vodafone a bad name comparing them to a VW company...

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: You must change to one of our new packages

          Hey, fair play please. My Skoda Fabia is a fine little car, apart from emitting slightly too much in the way of emissions when not being tested. Now if you were talking about Trabants...

  9. adam payne Silver badge

    "TalkTalk is contacting existing customers from today to offer them the package. However, subscribers who refuse to sign up to the new deal will be subject to price increases."

    Do these new packages come with a new contract for existing customers?

    "Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk’s consumer manager said: “TalkTalk is changing. Nothing matters more to us than our customers and doing right by them is the right thing for our business."

    Nothing matters more than stopping our customers from leaving.

    1. VinceH

      "Do these new packages come with a new contract for existing customers?"

      Almost certainly - hence the strong arm tactic of threatening increased prices for those who 'refuse to sign up to the new deal'.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        > hence the strong arm tactic of threatening increased prices for those who 'refuse to sign up to the new deal'.

        This is a good thing. It will encourage TT customers to jump ship.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Do these new packages come with a new contract for existing customers?"

      Let me guess.

      1. Any new contract will attempt to tie you in for longer than you wish to be.

      2a. "New contract" gives them the ability to rifle through your credit records.

      2b. Their buddies in the credit rating and debt collection industries will pay handsomely for a legitimate excuse to perform 2a.

      2c. Their debt collection buddies are the ones who will try to scare you to carry on paying for those contracts when TalkTalk fails to uphold their side of the deal.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >However, subscribers who refuse to sign up to the new deal will be subject to price increases.

    Translation, they'll pretend they tried to call them, then put the prices up regardless. When taken to court of whatever, they'll spout some crap like "They werent home at the time."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TalkTalk is changing. Nothing matters more to us than our customers

    TalkTalk is changing. Nothing matters more to us than our customers' money

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "scraps line rental charges"

    Shouldn't that be "rolls in line rental charges"?

    I would expect my bill to go down if they were scrapped!

  13. inmypjs Silver badge

    FFS not scrapped

    No one is scrapping line rental. It is being included.

    A good idea for morons who can't add two numbers.

    A good idea for everyone because it will get rid of the practice of offering 18 month phone/BB contracts and pay in advance 12 month line rental discount deals. The out of sync contract periods making supplier switching more difficult.

    1. gryphon

      Re: FFS not scrapped

      That's always been my main complaint.

      It's obviously perfectly possible for them to offer 12 month fibre contracts since BT and I think John Lewis? for instance do so. They all use OpenReach anyway.

      They just want to lock you in for as long as possible but won't let you do the same with the pre-paid line rental.

      I'd rather not have an 18 month contract but if I could do both BB and line with no price increase, or no more than inflation, then I might take the plunge.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: FFS not scrapped

        > It's obviously perfectly possible for them to offer 12 month fibre contracts since BT and I think John Lewis? for instance do so. They all use OpenReach anyway.

        It's also perfectly possible to get 1 month contracts. They do have a higher setup fee though.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: FFS not scrapped

      No one is scrapping line rental. It is being included.

      I don't have a problem with that if it brings the total package cost down.

      My Virgin package is £24.49 plus £17.99 line rental, £42.48. If that dropped by any amount I would be happy. I wouldn't really care what BS they came up with to justify that decrease.

      1. VinceH

        Re: FFS not scrapped

        "My Virgin package is £24.49 plus £17.99 line rental, £42.48. If that dropped by any amount I would be happy. I wouldn't really care what BS they came up with to justify that decrease."

        I'm a Virgin cable customer, so the telephone line rental is irrelevant to the broadband - I don't need a telephone line for that. (Therefore, for Virgin cable customers, I imagine this new ruling doesn't actually apply, but having not read much about it, only heard about in passing, I don't know the full details).

        I do, however, have a telephone line because while I don't need the phone, someone else in my household does - and they therefore reimburse me for the line rental and any calls they make.

        If Virgin follows the flock to sound competitive, and craftily rolls that line rental into the broadband price, the other person will gain £17.99/month, and I'll lose £17.99/month. The only price drop that won't result in me being out of pocket will be £17.99/month.

        I could argue the toss, but the counter argument will be "there's no line rental charge" - and strictly speaking, they'll be correct.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: FFS not scrapped

          I walked past a VM shop earlier today and they were advertising a deal that was for BB only. No phone line.

          In my mind, No phone line means no line rental.

          I didn't go in and ask as I was pushing a wheelchair at the time.

          It might be worth someone finding out if this is the case.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: FFS not scrapped

            "In my mind, No phone line means no line rental."

            That's correct. It's been possible for a long time, but required that you repeatedly ask for it and based on package price "discounts" could, in some circumstances, cost more for BB alone than BB with phone + "free" basic TV package. It does appear that they are now unbundling BB properly but no doubt anyone taking the package will be spammed to hell and back to take at least TV if not landline as well. And probably mobile.

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: FFS not scrapped

          "I don't need the phone, someone else in my household does"

          Not having phone from Virgin will likely only save you £8 so if you have been charging whoever £18 you have been ripping them off. Virgin can charge what they like for packages with phone and packages without.

          Your 'someone else' should be using VOIP and just paying call charges likely less than Virgin.

          1. VinceH

            Re: FFS not scrapped

            "Not having phone from Virgin will likely only save you £8 so if you have been charging whoever £18 you have been ripping them off. Virgin can charge what they like for packages with phone and packages without."

            You can argue that having the phone line means I'm getting a package discount - that's fair enough.

            However, the phone line rental is separately itemised on the bill, making it easily quantifiable - and even if the bill did show the discount, how much should they get and how much should I get? It wouldn't be fair on me if they had the whole discount against their £18 while I get squat against the rest - the lion's share of the overall bill amount.

            An amount, I might add, that includes Virgin Media's top tier broadband, which the other party also uses*.

            So IMO to say I'm "ripping them off" is more than a little unreasonable.

            "Your 'someone else' should be using VOIP and just paying call charges likely less than Virgin."

            I agree, and it has been suggested - but it is what it is.

            * Along with various other (non VM) online things I pay for as well.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge

        Re: FFS not scrapped

        I don't have a problem with that if it brings the total package cost down.

        If only it were that simple.

        At one time line rental covered two things: Most of it covered the cost of the fleet of vans, engineers and all the spare parts and equipment needed to keep the local loop working. A much smaller part covered the voice service provision. Now if all that was to it then dropping the voice part ought to allow for a small reduction (I'd guess at £1 or £2 a month).

        But it's not that simple. The amount openreach charges has been in decline. Unfortunately the CPs (the people we take the service from) have been adding their own charges to it, probably to cross subsidise other areas of their business. So consequently the line rental we pay now has an unquantifiable component. It is increasingly divorced from the simple reality of 'making sure your phone line is electrically sound'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FFS not scrapped unquantifiable component.

          But it IS quantifiable, BT Wholesale charge bulk line rental at a bit under £9 per line, per month, and that amount as been dropping for several years; yet BT Retail, et al all charge between £17.99 and £19.99 for line rental, so a handy little 100%+ profit for no actual added service.

          In contrast, smaller ISPs often charge much less, my line rental has been £13 per month for the last 4 years.

          The change is to stop all the misleading adverts ....

          FREE BROADBAND FOR A YEAR!!

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .Please imagine lots of flashy pictures here

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          . and right at the end, in tiny print for ~ 2 seconds, and right under a REALLY flashy picture, it says

          .

          Line rental £25 per month, minimum contract 24 months, after 12 months the Broadband price returns to our standard £100 per month, if you cancel at any time and for any reason you have to pay the full balance remaining on your contract.

        2. hellsatan

          Re: FFS not scrapped

          wholesale line rental is only about a tenner methinks..

          1. AndrueC Silver badge

            Re: FFS not scrapped

            Well what I meant about 'not quantifiable' is that it's harder for anyone to say what that difference is actually paying for. The CPs sure don't want to give anyone a breakdown. 100% profit from companies that aren't actually doing or providing anything that line rental is supposed to cover.

            Amazing how they can get away with it really :-/

    3. joshimitsu

      Re: FFS not scrapped

      The discount from paying in advance is much less these days, so it's not too bad to just pay full price until you can switch

  14. s. pam
    Thumb Down

    And Virgin iignores...

    The regulator, raises prices for no reason and does S.F.A. for a useless line I don't even have a phone attached to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And Virgin iignores...

      Yes but you did get that "free" speed upgrade 3 months ago...just like you did for the last half dozen times it happened.

  15. Triggerd

    The only reason I stayed with talk talk was because I hate contacts

    I didn't move elsewhere because I didn't want to be tie-in to another contract .. Now I'm effectively being forced into an 18 month contract, I might as well jump ship... Good riddens talk talk! Oh and theyre going to contact me? I get 2 calls a day from some offshore call centre professing to be from talk talk, saying my router is playing up (yea right) , how will I know it's actually them! I suppose their incompetent boss thinks this will help retain customers... Ha

  16. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Statistics

    [TalkTalk is] haemorrhaging customers

    Let's see: Assuming the 150,000 customers details leaked were all current customers, the 9,000 lost customers is around 6% of that figure.

    6% customer churn in a quarter doesn't really sound that big to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Statistics

      The 9,000 is the lowest they've had for sometime.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Statistics

      6% customer churn in a quarter doesn't really sound that big to me.

      Yeah, that's only 22% of your customer base leaving in a year. That's not a concern at all.

      No, wait...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Statistics

        Just to add, I think from what I have read elsewhere, that this is overall number of lost customers, not just the total number who have left; so for example

        10 thousand join (are there that many idiots left??) and 19 thousand leave = a loss of 9 thousand.

        Forcing charlatans like there into giving out the TRUE cost of a package, may make a few people think a little longer before signing with them, as the over priced line rental (and the over priced call charges) means that they are ANYTHING but cheap.

        A friend has a "cheap" 38Mb BT fibre package that costs him on average £55 per month for internet, line rental and a very few calls (and a TV service he neither wants, nor uses).

        I have an "expensive" 80Mb Aquiss fibre connection that costs me on average £54.50 per month for internet, line rental and a very few calls.

        We both use an IP video chat for 90% of our calls, his land line call charges are in reality, far less than the cost of his "Free calls" package from BT; and my call charges - with costs on calls from 0.5 to 5ppm, even on international calls, - rarely break the £1 barrier.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Statistics

          Your broadband cost is almost double mine from talk talk which has offered the full 80Mbs without issue for about a year.

          It's just a pipe to me. It's fast, and reliable, so why pay more?

          I cringe at the number of "broadband-snobs" posting in this forum.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Statistics - ISP Snob

            Not a snob, not even currently employed, I pay for a proper service because of my experiences of what happens when something goes wrong and you try to get the big boys to fix it.

            6 weeks with no working internet last time, yet they had the gall to not only charge me, but then demand a leaving fee and an "in lieu of notice" fee!!

            FYI

            I have never been a TT customer, but the 6 week outage was because SOMEHOW TT had taken over my line; BECAUSE I wasnt a customer, they wouldnt talk to me about what had happened, and my ISP refused to admit there was an issue.

            I went with the ISP that

            A/ Could get me a new physical phone line installed within 7 days, yet charge me 30% of what BT were asking for a "line sometime next month"

            B/ Could give me 80Mb fibre at a time when BT, TT, PN et al, were only offering 40Mb.

            C/ Dont censor the internet, traffic manage, or cap my usage.

            D/ Answer tech support calls within a few seconds, and emails within 20 minutes (usually).

            Compare D/ with the 97 minutes I spent in a "Dedicated new customer helpline" queue, trying to sort out someones new PN account (pre-configured router was helpfully supplied with another customers details programmed into it).

            Nope, didnt get through, in the end the call was cut off without it being answered.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Statistics

      The 9,000 loss is the net figure, on top of churn.

      To be honest I'm surprised it's so low but inertia is a big factor and there's generally a feeling that once a company's been hacked they'll work hard to cleanup so it's better to stay with them - except that TT proved they couldn't find their arse from their elbow by being hacked 3 times in less than a year.

      Whilst changing the rules so that companies can't put lots of charges in the fine print is nice, I'd like to see Ofcom put a deadline on IPv6 availability - as in "If you don't offer it, then you can't call what you offer 'Internet' ".

      I raised this with them a couple of years ago and they claim to be watching IPv6 deployment. The factor that there are more IPv6 connected hosts _now_ than there were IPv4 in 2001 seems to have whizzed over their heads.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Statistics

        > The factor that there are more IPv6 connected hosts _now_ than there were IPv4 in 2001 seems to have whizzed over their heads.

        Or maybe the fact that the number of ip6 ONLY hosts now is only a miniscule percentage of that has whizzed over yours?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Harrison added in the styling of a used car salesperson who wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal : "We’ve listened hard to what they’ve told us and we’re acting on it. People are fed up of confusing packages and loud advertising, they’re frustrated with deals which shoot up mid contract, and they hate seeing the best deals saved for new customers."

    FTFY

    The trust is just missing from this company.

  18. talk_is_cheap

    The real kick in the teeth is the contract term.

    They seem to think that they can get current long term customers to tie themselves into an 18 month contract. Before we could get a discount on the line rental for a 12 month contract and often if you talked about leaving a discount on the broadband service as well.

  19. peter 45

    Non story

    "However, the Advertising Standards Authority is requiring all ISPs to offer line rental and broadband as one single price by the end of this month"

    So they are not scrapping line charges, just incorporating them into the total...which they will be required to do anyway by the end of the month.

    How is this a story?

  20. Bloakey1

    Is it Just me?

    "Tristia Harrison"

    What a sad little girl, one even might say she is a bit triste!

    She is no doubt triste because they are going to shaft those who refuse to sign on and thereby extend their contact length. What a fscking shower. dressing an enevitable forced move up as a philanthropic gesture to their customers.

    They might talk the talk, but they cretainly do not walk the walk.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Is it Just me?

      "They might talk the talk, but they certainly do not walk the walk."

      bravo sir

  21. Allonymous Coward
    Flame

    TalkTalk are unethical slimeballs

    As this snippet of jQuery in their account login page demonstrates:

    $(document).ready(function(){

    var timer = 5000;

    if (isiframe == false) {

    $('#outer-box').html('Checking your details...');

    $('#inner').animate({width: '100'}, (timer/3), function() {

    setTimeout(function() {

    $('#outer-box').html('Loading your account settings...');

    window.setInterval(function(){

    $('#outer-box').html('Fetching your bills and usage details...');

    window.setInterval(function(){

    $('#outer-box').html('Loading your special offers...');

    window.setInterval(function(){

    $('#outer-box').html('Preparing your dashboard...');

    <snipped for brevity>

    While all this "retrieving your information" is going on, they show you ads for their latest whatever-it-is-they're-pushing.

  22. Mark 78

    Virgin Media

    Virgin Media have offered broadband without a line rental for ages now. But the problem is that it costs so much more than buying it all as part of a package. It's almost as if they just incorporate the line rental into the cost of the broadband, but I couldn't believe they would do that :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Virgin Media

      A phone service isn't the same as line rental. They're different things.

      A phone service costs your telco about 75p a month, plus usage charges.

      Line rental covers the cost of the physical plant in the ground and costs your telco about £10 a month.

      Your broadband will not work without the physical plant in the ground.

      In places around the world where I buy DSL without a phone service it often costs slightly more than the one with - that's because the telco knows they won't make any call revenue from you and so are offsetting that loss with a higher rental charge.

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: Virgin Media

        @AC, VM use their cable infrastructure to provide broadband, they don't need to rent copper from OpenReach, so they have no reason to force you to take a phone service, other than to offset their costs by making a good profit on the line rental.

        Mark 78 is right, last time I was with VM it was cheaper to take a phone line and not use it than to ask for a bb-only package. Hopefully the new regulation will at least put an end to this nonsense.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Virgin Media

          "@AC, VM use their cable infrastructure to provide broadband, they don't need to rent copper from OpenReach, so they have no reason to force you to take a phone service, other than to offset their costs by making a good profit on the line rental."

          Your line rental is paying for the maintenance of Virgin's infrastructure. It's not the same thing as phone service. Your connection to Virgin's network costs about £10 a month (averaged, obviously), and then you pay extra for the services you buy which run over it.

          Different topology to BT but same commercial principal. See also standing charges for gas, water and electricity which similarly pay for your share of the maintenance of the distribution network.

          1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

            Re: Virgin Media

            "It's not the same thing as phone service."

            Except this is exactly what they are pretending: they sell you a phone line, with a phone number and even some free weekend comms, at a price that is similar to the BT line rental. So far all you know it is a phone service and that's how it is itemised on your bill, when in reality, it's just a way to charge you for their infrastructure maintenance.

  23. Andy Non Silver badge
    Coat

    They are hanging around street corners now

    Shady looking women in tight skirts are hanging around street corners now too. "Pssst! Excuse me sir, would you like some action broadband?" Its about time the police made TalkTalk hawkers illegal and moved them on, or arrested members of the public who kerb crawl stop and talk to them. There is no telling what diseases contracts you might pick up from such people and end up with a dodgy internet connection or your wallet robbed overnight.

  24. Jules 1

    Never just buy the deal offered on the website. I always check moneysavingexpert.com for the best current fibre deal and the cashback sites such as quidco and topcashback.

    Via a combination of the two I pay about £15/month net (including line rental) on a 12 month contract for unlimited Infinity 1 from BT. After a year I'll haggle and switch if they won't match the best avalable deal.

    The phone comapnies will always try to exploit apathy and bung up prices agter a year or 18 months. Unless the government acts to stop them doing it your best defence is to be organised and switch deals evry 12 months.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Never just buy the deal offered on the website. I always check moneysavingexpert.com for the best current fibre deal and the cashback sites such as quidco and topcashback.

      You mean they didn't phone you?

      I found that having gone through the website a day or so later I would get a call asking if I had got the information I wanted and whether I had gone to another ISP, I've found if you keep your wits about you (and have a good Internet connection so can run websites at the same time) you can often improve on the Topcashback deal...

      1. Jules 1

        I've had mobile operators call me with offers around renewal time but never a broadband ISP. I think their preferred tactic is to keep quiet and hope we forget about the end of the contract/introductory deal and subsequent price hike.

        I tried to haggle with my last ISP, whom I was paying about £9 / month for standard adsl2+ broadband (including line rental) but they could not match the BT incentives of a £125 prepaid card, plus another £120 from topcashback which brought the VDSL price down to around £15 / month net.

        Are you instead suggesting you get calls from other ISPs after just visiting their site whilst researching a new deal? That's never happened to me - I don't register my contact details with an ISP until I'm ready to sign up. I'd find it worrying if their traffic analysis managed to link my reseach browsing to my personal details via some third party so as to trigger a sales call.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Are you instead suggesting you get calls from other ISPs after just visiting their site whilst researching a new deal?

          Yes, but only from those that I've used their service availability checker, hence I've effectively given them a phone number...

          I can't remember ever hearing from any of my existing comm's providers around the time of contract expiry. However, I did get lots of calls from resellers in the months just prior to the expiry of my mobile contract, but then they had a renewal commission incentive...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Independents such as Entanet aren't much good either anymore, bottlenecks everywhere.

    I'd stick with Entanet but the service has been shite of late, can't work out if its BTWholesale fcuking with my line or Entanet curtailing Microsoft and Apple to nothing, during working hours (to get you to sign up to a business package/Unlimited Fibre). I only need it certain a few days a month at home.

    It's one of them.

    Congestion/Traffic shaping is rampant, 40Kbps downloading from Apple, yet switch network connection to tethering via an iPad Cellular to Three mobile, it gives me 25Mbps from Apple (and the mast is just visible on the 2mile+ distant hill)

    Everything 'jumps' back to normal come 1800 hours. Time to leave, but where? Everything is 12/18 month contracts, Entanet is monthly.

    1. Paul

      Re: Independents such as Entanet aren't much good either anymore, bottlenecks everywhere.

      I'm with Zen. That doesn't happen to me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Independents such as Entanet aren't much good either anymore, bottlenecks everywhere.

      MY ISP uses Entanet, talking with the owner, he says the problems - which for me started a few weeks ago, are being caused by something UPSTREAM from Entanet; so whoever supplies the backbone.

      TBH it has only really affected me twice, but the last occasion saw me only being able to download at 19KBps for several hours, even though Speedtests showed the full 80Mb as available, and I still had the full 20Mb upstream.

      New equipment is being installed at various portal sites and will hopefully fix whatever the issue, Wolverhampton is first, which is apparently the portal my account uses - although Speedtest.net thinks I am in London.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Independents such as Entanet aren't much good either anymore, bottlenecks everywhere.

        Wouldn't too bad if it was a one off, but it isn't. It's consistently everyday during working hours 40kbps downloads (when we need might need it from home during the day). Entanet is basically unuseable 9-5pm on a consumer contract, fine after 6pm though.

        BTWholesale Speedtest gives high latency results, one occasion gave a result which seemed to have been purposely capped to 4.08Mbps, 4Mbps been the minimal acceptable for the line. Line is capable of 22.5Kbps ADSL / 80Mbps Fibre speeds.

        Other occasions BTWholesale speedtest reports nothing, but downloads are 40Kbps from likes of Apple/Microsoft. As said, difficult to know if its Entanet or the BTWholesale final leg from the internode.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why even lock-in contracts at all?

    Why can I change my gas or electricity supplier at will, but there is a 1-2 year lock-in period on broadband? Internet access isn't just a utility, it's a human right these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why even lock-in contracts at all?

      Don't get too complacent - Queen Theresa will shortly be abolishing human rights...

  27. cooldude50

    Price Rise At Start Of 18 Month Contract .........

    Prior to this weekend Talk Talk were offering new customers varying deals e.g

    Free Internet for 18 Months when taken with line rental @ 17.99 a month

    Half Price Internet - 3.75 per month for 18 months when taken with line rental @ 17.99 per month

    Today it is Internet and Line rental for 22.95 per month for 18 Months.

    No price rise for 18 Months because price has been increased at start of 18 Month period

  28. Tridac

    The guys that started Pipex must be ashamed to have ever been asociated with them. I wouldn't touch them with yours and that's being mild about it...

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