Discuss UK landline phone services from providers such as BT, Virgin Media and Sky here.
By SteveAtVoIP2Go
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Be warned: This could get pretty long winded :laughing:

I've been out of the UK for quite some time and recently returned to visit family and friends. I own my own Voice over IP business, so I had an obvious interest in the state of the UK Telephone Service market. I have done a little research and am totally shocked at how things work over here. It certainly makes me understand where the term 'Rip Off Britain' comes from :cry:

My Mum is with Talk Talk and I've been looking at ways to save her money. Being in her seventies and having had the same landline phone number for 5 decades, there is no way she would give that up - even if she could save 10-15 pounds per month. So, I looked into keeping the Talk Talk Internet and TV but porting out the phone number. NO GO! To be continued....
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By WelshPaul
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Was only the other day when talking to a friend on the telephone that I was told about Talk Talk offering a £12pm / 30day / unlimited sim only deal. He called Talk Talk to take up the offer but was refused the deal unless he switched his home phone and broadband package to them. Turns out it would of cost him the best part of £50pm, not to mention a 18 month contract!
By SteveAtVoIP2Go
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....and it's not just Talk Talk that are up to that kind stuff - they're all at it :angry:

Their marketing is very, very slick and to make matters worse, I have detected that almost everyone is apathetic to the situation. People have been ripped off for decades by telephone companies and they seem to have accepted it as a 'normal' part of life in the UK. Aussies and Americans that I am used to working with do not tolerate this kind of stuff.

The biggest joke? OFCOM. Don't even get me started on that useless bunch of bureaucrats.

Browsing through my Mum's old phone bills I saw that someone (probably one the Grandkids) had dialed 123. The cost - 50p! Heaven forbid one of the grandkids accidently dials directory enquiries on 118118 as there's a whopping 5 pounds 68p connection charge and then 3 pounds 28p per minute charge. Can you disable these extortionate numbers? - of course not.

If you have Talk Talk, you should certainly make yourself aware of their call charges....

http://help2.talktalk.co.uk/how-much-do ... ls-cost#dq

If you ever call internationally, then check the call rates here...


At 231.6p per minute - I hope you don't ever have to call Cambodia.
By SteveAtVoIP2Go
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...and then we have Virgin. Oh dear :disappointed:

Want some nifty call features? Here's what it'll cost you with Virgin...

Voicemail Plus £2.25
Ring Back When Free £2.25
Caller Display £2.25
Quick Dial £2.25
Call Divert £2.25
Call Barring £2.25
Call Waiting £2.25
Reminder Call £2.25
3-Way Calling £2.25

What people who have never used VoIP don't know is that most, if not all of the above features are included free of charge as part of every VoIP Service.

The small print is where things get really interesting. For example, the 'gotcha' for 'Ring Back when Free' is: Dependant on area. Customers in some areas may incur a charge of 35.74p per use. :astonished:

...and how about this little gem for the unsuspecting Virgin Customers that don't pay attention: Calling 1471 is free, but if you choose to return the call (that's Option 3) you will be charged 19.2p, in addition to your call charges - just listen to the announcement carefully

How about this for irony: If your friends or family go to the Virgin Isles for their holidays, then think carefully about calling them at a rate of 337p per minute. Even Mr. Branson might have to think twice about making calls at those rates.

Avoid being gouged by Virgin and check out their rate sheet...

http://store.virginmedia.com/content/da ... e%20V1.pdf
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By WelshPaul
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SteveAtVoIP2Go wrote:The biggest joke? OFCOM. Don't even get me started on that useless bunch of bureaucrats.
This is the problem! OFCOM are next to useless. It takes OFCOM years to bring in any changes only to find that within a few weeks companies have found a loop hole that allow them to keep screwing us over. As for Virgin Media, well known for being probably one of the most expensive landline providers out there. Most fanboys use the excuse "they make a loss on their tv platform and thus make it back via their telephone service" but i'm not so sure! Even if it's true, I don't want to subsidise a TV service I don't benefit from.

Like you said Steve all of them are at it. They give in one hand and take from the other. Remember that most people need a phone line to get BB, offer you a cheap deal on the monthly rentals then hike up the prices on things like caller display and per minute billing! :confused:
By SteveAtVoIP2Go
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The Aussies are allowed to have something they call Naked DSL. They don't have to pay a phone line rental and only pay for their Broadband - at very reasonable prices as there is free competition from many, many providers. It's the same in many other countries too. In Thailand, I pay a tenner a month for my Broadband and use VoIP for phone calls. There's no way BT and their golfing mates at OFCOM would ever allow us Brits to get something like that into our hands.
By SteveAtVoIP2Go
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Of course all of this is preventing VoIP from getting out of the starting blocks in the UK. I've been wracking my brain trying to think of ways to help people get around these evil practices, but so far I've drawn a blank.
By pwarbi
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The power certainly seems to lie with the companies rather than with the customers, that's for sure. As for OFCOM, they just seem to be the puppets and will always be afraid to actually challenge any complaint properly, in fear of falling out with one of the companies.

You'd have thought for an unbiased watchdog, so they claim to be, they would at least be able to have some say in what goes on, apparently though they seem to be powerless.
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By CJT-80
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SteveAtVoIP2Go wrote: Thu 18th Jun 2015, 10:39 The biggest joke? OFCOM. Don't even get me started on that useless bunch of bureaucrats.
They are next to useless! It took them years to get the situation with Non Geographic calls sorted (and it's hardly sorted now) and they let operators get away with extortionate access charges for 084/7 numbers! The numbers cost between 7 and 12p per minute then add the access charge on, and it get's VERY expensive.

Then there's the cost of line rental, now nearly £20 per month from the "leading" providers.... £20! that's extortionate!
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By WelshPaul
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@keymaster I'm not familiar with AAISP's current offerings but having looked here, AAISP state:
Broadband needs a copper pair to work. Normally people just use a BT telephone line that is used for something else like normal telephone service or fax or credit card machine. We can provide a copper pair specially for broadband for £12 pcm. Installing a new copper pair is £60†. This is sometimes referred to as "Naked DSL" in that there is no telephone service as such, and no need to separately purchase a phone line to have the broadband service.
At the bottom of the page it also states:
The copper pair itself is installed by Openreach just like a BT phone line, on our behalf. No telephone service is provided on this copper pair, it is purely for broadband use.

Whilst there is no telephone service as such, the pair does have some audio when connected to a telephone - this is purely to stop any engineers thinking the pair is unused and taking it for another installation or fault repair. It also allows a quiet line test so one can hear crackles or interference that may be the cause of a fault. As such we still expect customers to have a telephone handset available for fault repair and diagnostics.

We do not normally allow any calls. However, for customers where we have allowed calls on a line they are charged at whatever Openreach charge us plus 20%
That's £12 pcm for a copper pair that doesn't have any active PSTN service, but does it come with any broadband service active on the pair at that price? It doesn't clarify, I'm going to guess the answer is no. After viewing AAISP's HOME::1, SOHO::1 and OFFICE::1 packages, the cheapest VDSL offering comes in at £45pcm and that comes with a monthly download that's capped at 150GB. So, unless I'm mistaken that's £12 pcm for the copper pair + £45 pcm for VDSL = £57 pcm for naked VDSL and that comes with a monthly download capped at 150GB. :hushed:

That's expensive!
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By keymaster
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Thank you for the response, firstly the other option I discussed was with a very reasonable line rental and excellent value with a TT business (opal) connection and excellent reviews!
Although I am aware AAISP packages are not cheap (they are not aimed at the market) they do offer a voip option on their copper pair (I pay £10 for this) with your geographic number ported over for I think another £1.20 per month, which was the reason for my response to original poster.
AAISP Fibre packages on the other hand are expensive but I will stay with them as long as I can afford it, their offer is totally unlike what other companies offer and I am surprised somebody as knowledgable as yourself has not heard of them.
They rank as number one for servie on review sites such as thinkbroadband and ISPreview and their boss is very active on youtube with videos about his battles for his customers rights to security and privacy etc. with AAISP you have access to your firebrick at their end through your control panel which enables you to do line diagnostics and checks, turn on and off interleaving and look through charts at packet losses or any similar issues and you can always chat to their excellent staff on their mIRC chat if you don't fancy calling. AAISP also guarentee to get dodgy lines fixed where no other company can.
I hope this explains my post and my thinking in making it.
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By WelshPaul
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keymaster wrote: Wed 26th Apr 2017, 10:05 I am surprised somebody as knowledgable as yourself has not heard of them.
Having read back my reply, I should have worded it better. Let me clarify, I have heard of AAISP. They were discussed a little here back in 2014.
keymaster wrote: Wed 26th Apr 2017, 10:05 Although I am aware AAISP packages are not cheap (they are not aimed at the market)
What market are you referring to? Or did you mean to say "they are not aimed at that market" (meaning cheap)? Currently AAISP are targeting the following markets:
  • Domestic market
    Home::1 is our domestic broadband package.
  • SOHO market
    SoHo::1 is our small business broadband package.
  • Business market
    Our Office::1 package is very much office connectivity with all you need to get started with a new or existing business.
Nobody in the Domestic market is going to want to pay more for less. SOHO and Business maybe but they usually require extra features and services such as a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and hence the higher prices. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking AAISP, they provide an excellent service (so I'm told and reviews appear to back this up) but I think most domestic customers who want to drop the landline and go down the broadband only route do so because they either never use the landline and want to save some money or switch to VoIP to err save money. AAISP is a good choice for SOHO and business use (if you can afford their prices) but way too expensive for home users in my opinion.

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