This morning, Vodafone announced it is removing phone line rental charges for broadband users, which is also industry first. From now on, all new and upgrading Vodafone Unlimited Fibre Broadband customers won't have to pay for phone line rental charges.
Customers will still get a home phone service – it's just the rental that's being removed here. Vodafone said this was one of the 'major irritants and frustrations' for UK consumers.
According to a press release following the announcement, Vodafone said landline rental was seen as “an unexpected, underused and expensive addition to a broadband package”. Almost two thirds (73 per cent) of UK consumers with a landline said they used it for internet access. Almost half (45 per cent) said internet access was the most important reason for having a landline.
Besides the price change, Vodafone also said it is making its broadband pricing clearer, and simpler to understand. This comes after communications watchdog Ofcom announced, last January, how some broadband providers are likely to confuse and mislead their consumers about the real cost of their services.
“Giving our customers the opportunity to break free from hidden line rental charges is our way of letting our customers know that we are listening and that we are serious about providing them with the Unlimited Home Broadband experience that they deserve,” said Glafkos Persianis, Commercial Director at Vodafone UK.
“We started our journey into fibre optic home broadband just over a year ago and are delighted to show that we are a truly innovative and customer focused provider. We know our customers depend on us to stay connected, and now we can satisfy their needs both at home and on the go whilst also putting an end to line rental charges.”
“Finally, Vodafone are paving the way for more transparent broadband pricing," comments Martin Lane, a representative at Money.co.uk.
This is an important step forward, Lane believes, hoping that these charges won't be 'buried elsewhere'.
"We see lots of providers offering free broadband packages that aren’t really free because they come with hefty line rental packages. It can be so confusing trying to compare like for like with the big players, as consumers aren’t sure what they are paying for. This is a really excellent step to a more transparent broadband pricing and one I hope their competitors will adopt too, as long as they don’t bury charges elsewhere instead.”
Image source: Shutterstock/M DOGAN