Look at your recent bills to see what types of calls you make and whether they’re included in your current package. If they're not, talk to your provider about moving to a more cost-effective deal. It’s also worth shopping around to see what other providers offer.
If you discover you’re paying for additional call features or services you aren't using, contact your provider to discuss cancelling them.
Types of deal to consider
Unlimited evening or weekend landline calls
If you only make calls at certain times, choosing one of these deals could save you money. They allow unlimited national or local calls (to numbers beginning 01, 02 or 03) at evenings or weekends. However, check with the provider about the cost of calls to other numbers - such as 0870 or 0845 or to mobiles. Calls are often only free for a certain length of time. To avoid being charged, hang up and redial before you reach the time limit.
Unlimited anytime landline calls
If you frequently make calls in the daytime from Monday to Friday, it may be worth choosing a package which allows unlimited free calls all day, every day. Once again, ask your provider what numbers are included in the package and remember maximum call lengths are likely to apply.
Landline-only customers have been getting poor value for money in recent years. Following an Ofcom review, BT’s landline-only customers saw their monthly bills cut from April 2018. Most BT landline-only customers received this price cut automatically. Other providers may also offer similar discounts.
If you are on BT’s ‘Home Phone Saver’ package, you can choose to stay on your current package, or move to the standard package where you will receive the price cut.
Some providers offer services for people on low incomes.
BT provides its low-cost BT Basic service. It costs £5.10 a month (in March 2018) - including an allowance of £1.50 to spend on calls - and is open to both new and existing BT customers. If you are not with BT, speak to your provider to see if they offer a similar service.
BT Basic is available to people who claim Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Guaranteed Pension Credit, Employment Support Allowance (income related) and Universal Credit (and are on zero earnings).
You can also get BT Basic + Broadband for an additional £4.85 a month, which includes an ‘up to’ 17Mbit/s broadband connection and 12GB of data per month. There are other broadband tariffs and packages from BT and other providers that might be more suitable.
Under similar rules, KC, which operates in the Hull area, also has a Social Access Package available to customers who receive certain benefits. Line rental costs £5.10 per month and includes 20 local geographical calls per month and 60 minutes of calls to numbers beginning 084 or 087.
Phone providers offer products and services that can help protect against nuisance calls. These include Caller Display, Incoming Call Blocking, Anonymous Call Rejection, Last Caller Identification (or 1471) and Voicemail (or 1571).
Whether you're a business setting up for the first time, or an established business shopping around for a better deal, it's important that you make the right choice. This information is designed to help you.