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TalkTalk hypocrisy as it raises line rental by 50p


By Barry Collins

Posted on 10 Aug 2010 at 12:00

TalkTalk has raised its line rental charges by more than 50p a month - just months after warning that a similarly priced landline tax would force 100,000 low-income homes to give up their broadband.

The company's line rental charges will increase from £11.49 to £12.04 per month, as part of a series of price rises on call charges and other TalkTalk services that will come into effect from 1 October.

We estimate that the (50p) increase in price will mean that over 100,000 mostly low-income homes will be forced to give up their broadband lines - TalkTalk CEO Charles Dunstone, November 2009

That's the exact same month the Government's landline levy was due to be introduced, which would have seen 50p added to monthly telephone bills to help pay for next-generation broadband. A move that was vociferously opposed by TalkTalk.

"As well as being unfair we estimate that the increase in price will mean that over 100,000 mostly low-income homes will be forced to give up their broadband lines," said TalkTalk CEO Charles Dunstone in the press release issued last November. The estimate was based on TalkTalk's own pricing models.

The new Government decided to scrap the broadband tax, with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt citing TalkTalk's research into the impact on low-income families as one of the reasons why the levy was cancelled.

"Price rise, not a tax"

TalkTalk denies it's being hypocritical. "The difference is the Government wasn't implementing a price rise, it was implementing a tax," a company spokesman told PC Pro. "It wouldn't have stopped providers increasing prices to maintain their business."

The spokesman accepted that it was "entirely possible" that the price rise would force some low-income families to cancel their broadband connection, but claimed that the 100,000 "was an industry-wide figure" and that TalkTalk "was very much at the value end of the market".

TalkTalk is following in the wake of BT, which announced it was putting up line rental prices from October earlier this summer.

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User comments


The suggestion that 100,000 families are teetering so close to the edge that 50p a month on line rental is enough to tip the balance is plainly absurd. They're suggesting that there isn't £6 a year of slack in these families' budgets? How many of these 100,000 families are happily forking over £30+ a month for Sky? How many have several mobile phone contracts running at £25+ a month?

So Talk Talk were blowing hot air back in November, and now they got what they wanted (no broadband tax) they're merrily lining their pockets with a price increase equal to what would have been required to meet the broadband tax. That's pretty cynical.

By flyingbadger on 10 Aug 2010

Inflation is becoming a fact of life in this country. It will start feeding thorugh to wage demands if the Bank is not careful and then they'll have lost any inflation fighting credibility they have.

By c6ten on 10 Aug 2010

Not The Only One!

And they are not the only one at this lark either, Kingston Communications have done this too, the problem with that is that that anyone who uses KC HAS to, its a local exchange and the populus around it have no choice, whereas Talk Talk-ers can just switch suppliers we, in Hull, are stuck... :-(

By phils1969 on 10 Aug 2010

Is this not because of Openreach?

BT are increasing the wholesale line rental charges by 50p. So is this not just TalkTalk passing the cost on? I can't really see what else they can do.

I dare say all other operators will increase the cost by about the same.

By JStairmand on 10 Aug 2010

Blatant attempt at ripping off customers

Looks like once they saw BT raising their price by 50p, they quickly rushed to follow suit.

Or maybe they're colluding to raise prices at the same time.

Whatever it is, the timing of TalkTalk's price hike seems rather convenient.

By jsty3105 on 10 Aug 2010


"How many of these 100,000 families are happily forking over £30+ a month for Sky? How many have several mobile phone contracts running at £25+ a month?"

I don't know, please tell me?
references other than the Daily Mail or Peter Mandelson please.

By chapelgarth on 10 Aug 2010

Flying badger open your eyes wider

My neighbour is on income support, she can not afford a phone line, she doesn't even have a TV license, so no £30 a month sky, she has a pay as you go mobile, that she puts £10 a quarter on.

I guess as she can not afford a phone line in the first place, then 50p a month isn't that much eh.

I spend more on the weekly shopping bill, than she gets to pay all her bills.

By Danielle on 12 Aug 2010

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