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Standard User David_W
(experienced) Sun 23-Dec-12 02:47:22
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Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Saver)


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With the upcoming BT price increases spurring me on, I've been on a drive to cut my BT Retail voice bill. My broadband is through Zen, who I'm happy with - I know there are cheaper providers, but Zen are a good fit to my needs.


I have two lines on one residential account, and need to keep both lines. I'm on the Anytime plan, which I'm happy with, not least as one plan covers both lines.


The first step was to stop making as many chargeable calls as possible on BT. I already used spare mobile minutes to call mobiles, as BT is expensive for these calls. The majority of my call charges were calls to landlines that ran over an hour. I tried my best to use a timer telling me when to redial, but it's easy to forget and the charges for running over the hour soon rack up.

I tend to buy mobile phones outright and use them in connection with a SIM only contract. My Vodafone SIM only was long out of its minimum contract period, so I was able to take the latest 12 month SIM only deal at the same £20.50 monthly charge I was paying previously. My new Vodafone price plan is a 'Red' plan with unlimited calls to 01/02/03 and mobiles, which does not require redialling after an hour - I've made a five hour long call to a landline which was charged at zero. A bonus of taking a new price plan was getting a 10% student discount on this price plan for as long as I keep the plan, because I'm an Open University student. I've finished up paying Vodafone less for a lot more than before. I'm making the majority of my voice calls via Vodafone now - though I know to avoid making 08 calls on Vodafone as they are very expensive.

O2 offer a similar plan at £20 per month, though I wanted to stay with Vodafone and I couldn't get a student discount with O2. I haven't checked whether the O2 plan has any limits on call length.


The next step was to ditch most of the calling features I had. The charges for these have gradually moved from annoying to obscene, considering that most of them cost next to nothing to provide and are provided free of charge on contract mobiles. As BT's revenue for inland calls has dwindled, they've moved to charging as much as they dare for features that you have to take from your landline provider.

I've kept both lines on BT Privacy at Home with Caller Display, as Caller Display is vital for me and I have no problem making the low number of calls needed on each line to keep this free of charge.

The only paid calling feature I have is Call Diversion on my line - I divert on no answer and when busy to the 03 number of my Hullomail box, giving me converged visual voicemail on my mobile. There's no call charges for these diverted calls, as they fall within the Anytime plan.


The final step is switching to Line Rental Saver, which I have yet to do - I needed to let the orders ditching the calling features complete before I could place the order for Line Rental Saver.

I know this involves paying 12 months line rental in advance by credit or debit card. When I spoke to a BT agent on 0800 800 150 last week, she claimed that I could only put one of my two lines onto Line Rental Saver. I can see no such restriction in Section 55 Part 20 Subpart 1 of the BT Price List, the contractual definition of Line Rental Saver.

Does anyone know the true position regarding multiple lines on one account and Line Rental Saver?



Once I've sorted out Line Rental Saver, I don't believe there's anything else I can do to cut my BT Retail bill - unless anyone knows otherwise. I'm not much interested in using indirect operators - I don't make international phone calls and you can't use an indirect operator with Call Diversion. I don't therefore believe that an indirect operator could save me money.


I hope this post acts as a helpful reminder to check your bills and consider your alternatives for making phone calls. So many utility bills are going up, but it is possible for many people to reduce their phone bill.
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sun 23-Dec-12 11:37:28
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
perhaps "Line Rental Saver is not available to customers taking certain special offers or deals." is the get-out clause, but I would try a couple more rolls of the dice at the call centre.

"you can't use an indirect operator with Call Diversion" not for the call diverted calls, true, but for ones you dial.

I got a better deal from IDnet for line rental with a bundled amount of minutes than the equivalent BT offer. In particular BT's connection charge (which didn't exist not that long ago) is quite high and IDnet's landline tariff at the time (like mobiles) has no such thing. I confess I haven't checked recently and it may have changed, but if you don't make that many calls it's worth seeing if "anytime" is worth it.

--

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sun 23-Dec-12 12:15:37
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
With multiple calls exceeding an hour, and some of five hours or more, a straight time tariff doesn't sound like a good idea tongue.

I'm not quite sure what relevance the thread has to broadband ....

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet Extra Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.0/14.9Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.

Edited by RobertoS (Sun 23-Dec-12 12:16:22)


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Standard User TrishaH
(member) Sun 23-Dec-12 12:51:25
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
We've cut our phone bill greatly by getting Zen Hometalk Plus.
5000 minutes per month including 0845 & 0870.
Rental and the Plus package calls included costs £17.35 month inc VAT - suppose it would be per line though.
We pay a little more for the added features such as caller display.
Standard User TLM
(legend) Sun 23-Dec-12 12:56:25
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
I've recently left BT (for Plusnet, who were already my BB provider).

However, when I called BT to discuss it, and mentioned one of the reasons was the forthcoming hike in line rental, they promptly offered me a discount!

Sadly, still not good enough to beat PN, so I migrated anyway. BUT, a simple way to cut bills might be to just ask them! Obviously, it helps to ring equipped with details of rival deals you might be considering, as well as which particular aspect of BT's pricing you feel is uncompetitive.

But I found it very instructive that the advertised price is NOT always the one you will pay. You (well, I) tend to assume big, bureaucratic monoliths like BT won't be open to a bit of horse-trading. But they are!

Do a bit of homework, then try it and see.

T.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 23-Dec-12 13:53:13
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
I too have 2 lines under 1 a/c with Anytime Plan covering both, for convenience smile. I would also like to put 1 of them on LRS, but don't want monthly billing; only quarterly. This condition seems unnecessary but could not persuade BT to drop it frown.
In reply to a post by David_W:
When I spoke to a BT agent on 0800 800 150 last week, she claimed that I could only put one of my two lines onto Line Rental Saver. I can see no such restriction in Section 55 Part 20 Subpart 1 of the BT Price List, the contractual definition of Line Rental Saver.

Does anyone know the true position regarding multiple lines on one account and Line Rental Saver?
The Price List is not the contractual terms; they are to be found in BT Telephony Services Terms as referred, but I can't find it there either.

It can be found in Help, but I don't see that as contractual:

Can I get Line Rental Saver on more than one line?
No, you can only get Line Rental Saver on one of your phone lines.
Someone needs to ask BT where in T&Cs it can be found?

I don't see why you need to keep 2 lines if you are switching most of your calls to mobiles. Are they mainly needed for incoming calls?

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 19 Meg WBC
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sun 23-Dec-12 14:46:50
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
he moved the long calls onto the mobile AIUI so the landline doesn't need such a thing

--

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
Standard User professor973
(committed) Sun 23-Dec-12 17:29:04
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
If like us, you make very few landline calls, you may find Zen Business talk ideal. No tie-in, no connection charge, per second billiong and 1.5p daytime with 1p nights and weekends. At those prices you can make a lot of calls for several pounds others charge for an anytime plan. It is either that or the dreaded connection charge and 7 or 8p per minute.
http://www.zen.co.uk/business/voice/phone-services.aspx

The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.
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Standard User Apprentice
(knowledge is power) Sun 23-Dec-12 22:48:01
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: professor973] [link to this post]
 
I may be wrong but that package seems a bit expensive for a low user at £16.19p a month before even making a call?

Alastair

omadasafisho 20CN
Standard User professor973
(committed) Mon 24-Dec-12 06:36:19
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Re: Cutting BT Retail voice bill (including Line Rental Save


[re: Apprentice] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Apprentice:
I may be wrong but that package seems a bit expensive for a low user at £16.19p a month before even making a call?

As you said, you may be wrong. Check the thread and you will see we were talking about those of us that make very few land-line calls. It is not much more that BT line rental, with no contract tie-in, no rip-off call connection charge, per second billing and top class customer service. To avoid those high call and connection charges with the likes of BT, you have to pay nearly a fiver for the anytime call plan, which then makes our few calls as expensive as the 20p+ per minute of the connection charge and per minute billing. Pay peanuts and you may well get monkeys

The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.
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