Updated: Friday 27 January, 2012
By Anthony Hill - firstname.lastname@example.org
Many phone providers, including BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, have recently increased their prices. Luckily, we can help you take the strain off your wallet with our easy home phone bill fixes!
Are you feeling the pinch following price hikes by your home phone supplier? BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are among the UK landline providers to have bumped up prices in recent times.
Follow our five quick steps to make sure youíre not hit with hefty bills for the rest of 2012Ö
Line rental is probably the most significant part of your phone bill, and unfortunately itís going up. Cable phone supplier Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) has increased its line rental to £13.90 a month.
BT line rental is now £15.45 a month, but this is only the price if you choose to pay by direct debit - if you donít youíre looking at £15.40 a month.
To avoid price hikes, consider switching to another provider with cheaper line rental (see table below) or switch to the UKís cheapest line rental provider - Primus.
It has just reduced its Home Phone Saver package to 9.49 a month. The call plan includes line rental and free evening and weekend calls, for less than £8 a month.
Available exclusively through Homephonechoices.co.uk, the Primus landline deal requires customers to pay my monthly direct debit and receive online billing.
The table below shows how the line rental charges of various providers compare:
Read our guide to cutting the cost of your line rental for more money-saving tips.
Last year a number of home phone providers, including BT (www.bt.com) and TalkTalk, changed the time their free evening calls start, to 7pm instead of 6pm. This means that BT customers making a daily 10-minute call between 6pm and 7pm will now be charged 81.5p, instead of not being charged for the call at all. Over a month, this will total a whopping £16.30.
You can avoid these kinds of charges though, by making sure youíre on a suitable calling plan. Call plans are divided into three main types:
Consider when you make the majority of your calls and think about switching to a price plan that suits your calling habits.
So, if youíre on an evening and weekend calling plan, but tend to make a lot of calls during the day (or up until 7pm with BT and TalkTalk), it may be worth switching to an anytime package in order to make overall savings. You should compare home phone packages using the Homephonechoices.co.uk comparison calculator, and see if you can save money by switching to a deal that suits you.
Bundling your home phone contract with your broadband and/or digital TV service could save you loads of money on your monthly bills, and even get you a better service.
For example, Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) offers its cheapest triple-play bundle for around £20 a month plus £13.90 line rental. With this youíll get unlimited free weekend calls, fast fibre optic broadband and 60 digital TV channels.
The table below shows some of the cheapest bundles from the UKís biggest providers:
Read our article on bundling your home phone and download our free guide to bundling for more information. Then compare bundled packages using our home phone comparison to find a deal that works for you.
When it comes to paying your home phone bills, direct debit is generally the cheapest way to pay. Some providers will charge extra for paying by any other method that isnít direct debit. For example, Virgin Media charges customers £5 if they donít pay by direct debit, while BT bumps up the cost of its line rental by £1.80 per month if you decide to pay by cheque, debit or credit card, and TalkTalk charges £4.50.
Signing up to receive paperless bills will also cut your costs. TalkTalk (www.talktalk.co.uk) charges £1.48 to receive a paper bill in the post. TalkTalk says customers can register to receive their bills online on for free by logging into their account at www.talktalk.co.uk.
Vonage is a low-cost VoIP (voice over internet protocol) provider that lets users make phone calls using their broadband connection. It offers unlimited free calls to other Vonage users, as well as unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines, and cheap unlimited international calls, depending on the package chosen.
Using VoIP is a great way to save money on your home phone bills, especially if you make a lot of calls to friends and family overseas. Unlike other VoIP services, like Skype, Vonage can be used as a reliable second phone line and its call plans come with 20 inclusive call features - you can even get your voice messages emailed to you.
For more information, read our expert guide to making internet calls using VoIP.