Vodafone scraps monthly line rental charges

In an industry first, Vodafone has taken the bold move to abolish separate line rental charges. It comes as a result of pressure from the government, regulators and industry watchdogs to clarify what customers are actually paying for when it comes to their broadband packages.

In the announcement, Vodafone promised new and existing customers “the lowest price for unlimited broadband in the UK.” They claim that households would still receive a landline service but “won’t have to pay a penny for it”.

Comparing like for like services, Vodafone pointed out that customers who opted for their Unlimited Fibre Broadband 76 package would save up to £349 in the contracted 18 months versus Sky’s Fibre Unlimited Pro package and £332 compared to BT Unlimited Infinity 2 dea l – which is quite a saving!


broadband box

Why is it such a breakthrough?

It’s a great win for consumers, who for years have been bamboozled with ‘free’ broadband deals only to get stung by the monthly line rental charges (not to mention initial set up and installation costs) – information about which are usually nestled deep within the small print.

Although Vodafone is leading the way, all broadband providers will need to follow suit by the end of October 2016. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have implemented new rules which means that providers will need to clearly show the total monthly cost (including any line rental fees) of any packages marketed .


Why was a line rental charged in the first place?

Many of us now only have a landline so that we can get broadband in our homes. Being charged an additional ‘landline rental’ for a landline we don’t use for voice calls was hard to swallow but it seems having it ‘absorbed’ into an overall broadband package makes it more palatable. In reality it simply comes down to transparency and that customers should be clear about what they’re paying for.

At comparethemarket.com, we’ve always been keen to make clear what total broadband package prices are. Which is why we show an all in one 12-month cost so that there are no unpleasant surprises when you receive your first bill.

What’s next?

Once providers have met the ASA’s guidelines for compliance on clarity by the end of October, the next call for transparency is likely to be about broadband speeds. It seems that speeds advertised as ‘up to’ are confusing and frustrating particularly for those in rural areas where marketed speeds can rarely be achieved in reality (and only 10% of all customers need to get it for it to be advertised as such).

Mother and daughter on laptop

Choosing a broadband package

We like to keep things straightforward so you can find out more about line rental in our simples guide to line rental costs, we can also bring you a choice of broadband packages as well as digital TV, home phone and landline deals so that you can always stay connected.

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