Reducing your phone bill can be quick and easy when you know how! There are some great bargains to be had if you're prepared to switch your telephone provider. But, all is not lost if you're still tied to your existing contract - here are some quick tips that could save you money!
Direct Debit payment
1 Choosing to pay by Direct Debit is an easy way to begin saving money on your phone bill. Annually BT customers will currently save £72 per year, Plusnet customers will save £18 and Talk Talk customers will have an extra £6 in their pocket. The Post Office is the only broadband provider that offers no discounts for switching to Direct Debit.
Know your off peak times
2 Get to know your off peak call times. Almost all telephone providers offer free evening and/or weekend calls. But do you know what time your free calls start? Not all providers are the same. In 2010 BT changed their off peak start time from 6pm to 7pm and several others followed. Check your provider's off peak call times in the chart below.
Check your off peak call times
Make sure you redial
3 Make sure you redial - If you're paying for inclusive Anytime calls don't be surprised to find that your telephone provider has charged you for calls that are longer than an hour. It's a sneaky way of pushing up the cost. If your call is going to last for more than one hour, make sure you hang up and redial to avoid charges. www.vonage.co.uk are the exception to this rule. Inclusive calls made via Vonage Voip have no call duration restriction.
4 BT Basic is a service offered by BT for customers that are in receipt of income replacement benefits i.e. Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Pensions Credit etc. If you are entitled to claim this discount, you could save over £166 per year on line rental and receive a £4.50 call allowance per quarter. At the time of writing (1st May 2017) BT Basic line rental costs £5.10 per month and BT's standard phone line rental is £18.99 per month.
5 VoiP is a service that uses the internet to make cheap calls. It's surprisingly easy to set up and with the help of smartphones you can make a cheaper and even free call from any WiFi connection. VoiP is particularly handy for saving money on international calls. If you're a BT customer, why not try downloading the BT Smart Talk app? You can find the link in our BT Smart Talk article. This is a free app that lets you use your home phone inclusive minutes to make calls from a WiFi connection anywhere in the world. So, phoning friends and family needn't be expensive when you're on holiday! Virgin Media also provide a similar App called 'Virgin Media SmartCall' which is free for any Virgin Media customers. There are other great Voip services available, including Skype and Vonage, which allow you to make free calls (internet connection required) to and from smartphones and computers. You can make calls to any standard landline but you need to buy call credits first. Call credits are a fraction of the cost of standard landline prices. Looking for a Voip telephone provider? Read our review about Orbtalk
Landline to mobile calls
6 Most mobile phone tariffs are pre-loaded with hundreds of free UK landline calls each month, but calling a mobile from a UK landline can be a little expensive. Why not ask friends and family to call you back when you are on a landline.
7 'Caller ID' - It can be a useful feature and comes free as standard with TalkTalk and Sky. However, some suppliers charge extra for this service, so it's worth considering how much you really need it. Plusnet charge £11.88 per year and BT £21. BT customers who have signed up to BT privacy can get BT Caller ID free for a year, subject to a new 12 month line rental contract.
8 0870 Numbers - Be aware what numbers are included in your call plan. Customers that are with BT, John Lewis, Plusnet, Virgin Media, Sky or the Post Office can use their inclusive minutes to call 0845 and 0870 numbers.
Line Rental Saver
9 Line rental Saver - Most of the leading providers now offer this service and it can reduce your line rental by a substantial amount. Line Rental Saver is a generic term for paying for your phone line rental in advance. Rather than paying monthly or quarterly, you opt to make an annual payment. If you're a BT customer this would save you £22.80 a year. Post Office home phone customers could save £24 per year. TalkTalk offer a great discount of up to 15% on an 18 month contract. Virgin Media customers would save £32 per year. You don't have to switch suppliers to take advantage of Line Rental Saver discounts, but you could potentially save more money by simply switching providers.
Off peak calling times
Telephone providers don't often change their off peak calling times but it's worth checking. The information below was last updated 1st May 2017.
|Off Peak | Mon-Fri||Off Peak | Mon-Fri||Off Peak | Weekends|
|BT||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|
|EE Home Phone||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|
|John Lewis||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|
|Now TV||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|
|Plusnet||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|
|Post Office||Start 6pm||Ends 6am||All day|
|Sky||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|
|Talk Talk||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|
|Tentel||Anytime minutes||Anytime minutes||Anytime minutes|
|Virgin Media||Start 7pm||Ends 7am||All day|