You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Millions waste £200 a year on unused landlines

0
Written by:
16/11/2020
More than eight million households own a landline that they don’t use, paying more than £200 for the service.

Landline use continues to fall but many people need to pay line rental costs to access the internet, paying up to £20 a month for the privilege.

Around a third (30%) of UK households have an unused landline, equating to 8.3 million households, according to research by price comparison site comparethemarket.com.

It found this figure is up from 6.5 million in 2018 and means households are paying up to £240 for a service they don’t use.

For 72%, they said they only have a landline because their broadband package requires it.

Instead, a majority (67%) said they only use their mobile phone. As such, a fifth (5.6 million) of UK households no longer own a home phone, up from 14% in 2018.

A fifth said they were ‘fed-up’ with the number of cold calls and scammers on their home phone.

The site revealed that over a quarter (28%) of households said they had looked into changing to a broadband provider without a landline charge, but just 6% made the switch.

Comparethemarket.com said this is likely because very few providers offer such a service, but the roll out of 5G and mobile broadband is predicted to accelerate this trend.

However, landline use increased in lockdown with 18% reporting they had used the handset more during the restrictions.

They have also proved a lifeline for older people as one in 10 of those aged 55 and above said they’re unable to navigate Zoom and Teams, preferring to use their landline to make contact with others.

‘Twentieth-century hangover in a digital age’

Holly Niblett, head of digital at comparethemarket.com, said:  “Landline usage continues to decline, but many people are still required to pay line rental costs in order to get online – and in recent years these costs have outpaced the rate of inflation. At around £200 a year, line rental charges are a twentieth-century hangover in an increasingly digital age. Whilst the industry recognises the nationwide shift away from landlines, their decreasing level of use is not being reflected by a reduction in line rental costs.

“Ofcom analysis shows that buying broadband and a landline as a package bundle can be cheaper than purchasing these services with different providers. Landlines should remain an option for customers who need one, especially older generations. But for much of the population it appears inevitable that the rise of digital platforms – such as Teams, Snapchat and Zoom – and the ongoing 5G roll out will further reduce the number of people who require and use a landline. As such, it is important to regularly review your current phone and broadband costs to ensure that you are not being charged for something unnecessarily. If in doubt – call your provider to check.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get in the second lockdown?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
FTSE soars with another dose of positive vaccine news

There could be light at the end of the tunnel for investors as a second vaccine is found to be...

Close