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Landline changing to Hub3 - Line Rental Charges

stevedol
On our wavelength

Hi,

I've been contacted via email to say my landline will cease to operate soon and will be transferred over to Internet via the Hub.

It also states that my package charges will not change due to this, yet I currently pay £19 a month for line rental, as stated in the Phone terms and conditions on Virgin Media webpage. Why will I still have to pay for line rental if I no longer have a line and all calls are going through my existing internet connection?

 

Also, I've received a separate email stating that my package charges will go up by £12 soon, so this combined with the line rental charges for a non existent phone line, will effectively increase my service costs by £31 a month, is this a sneaky way to raise prices twice in a very short period of time?

 

11 REPLIES 11

Akua_A
Forum Team
Forum Team

Hi @stevedol 

Welcome back to our community forums and thank you for your queries.

To best explain this, your landline service is changing in the way it is delivered to you. You can find all you need to know here  https://www.virginmedia.com/help/landline/switchover?_gl=1*k7xgg*_ga*MTU4OTY3ODEzNy4xNjczMjc4MzA3*_g...  However, you will still have to pay to be able to use the landline service. This a change made by a majority of internet service providers as seen here https://www.futureofvoice.co.uk/

In regards to the price rise, we always balance our prices with the need to continue investing in our network, products, and services.

Like many businesses, we’re experiencing rising costs due to inflation. We are not immune to rising costs, primarily due to wider economic changes from rising inflation.

We’re seeing growing demand for data – with usage growing by more than 10% each year. Last year, we invested more than £2bn in our networks, which contributed to average broadband speeds increasing more than 40%, while helping to make sure our customers stayed connected and were able to keep using our services more and more.

If you need to discuss this any further, please let us know.

Thanks,

Akua_A
Forum Team

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£19 a month is expensive for a 1 line VOIP service and is the reason we unbundled 2 analogue telephone lines to proper a VOIP provider.

VM Charge more per month than we pay per year for our VOIP lines.

Dear @Akua_A,

That answer sounds disingenuous. I can accept that VM are experiencing costs rising due to inflation but I was informed by VM that my package will rise in price each year by the rate of inflation defining by the Consumer Prices Index with an ADDITIONAL increase of 3.9% on top of that. VM are therefore passing on the cost of inflation to their customers with an extra amount on top. Please do not make it sound like VM are bearing the cost of inflation because they are not - the customer is paying for inflation AND MORE.

In any business, there has to be investment to move forwards so it is also disingenuous to say that VM need to balance prices to continue investing. VM are effectively getting their customers to pay for their investment or, to look at it another way, today's customers are facilitating VM to make money from its future customers. I see minimal business risk and no hardship for VM with this business model of customer-funded investment. Other businesses seek capital investment from other market sources.

If customers were treated fairly, the investments by today's customers to pay for new infrastructure ought to result in a future reduction in charges which, let's face it, isn't going to happen.

On the specifics of the landline rental charge, those customers who transfer to the Hub-based service will continue to pay for the line rental which is a service they will no longer be using. Their fibre-delivered services remain unchanged and the same infrastructure will now carry the landline (VOIP) service. Using the reason that this is what other ISPs do is a weak one; a smokescreen.

VM often use the argument that any one customer's package price is not a total of the individual elements in that package; it's a bundle. The opportunity has been missed to reduce bundle prices for loyal customers.

The bare fact is that my last VM bill included £25 in charges for use of the landline service. I have cancelled that service, so VM will be receiving about £25 less from each one of my bills in future. I make no comment on the business intelligence of not retaining that revenue stream.

I have transferred my voice services to another provider at a considerable saving to me. Anyone reading this can see the customer intelligence of losing the previous charging burden of the VM landline service.

Tudor
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

The line rental change is not for the physical rental of the wires it’s for the telephone number and associated services. VM do not charge either for their broadband coax cables or fibre, the charge for the broadband service.


Tudor
There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't and F people out of 10 who do not understand hexadecimal c1a2a285948293859940d9a49385a2

Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

Landline means that there is physical connection to the telephone network, traditionally through a copper wire, and VM is changing the connection via the hub so that it runs over fibre or a combination of fibre and coaxial cable to an IP voice switch which is connected to other operators' PSTNs. However VM's legacy telephone exchange remains (and thus must be maintained) until 31 December 2025 by which time the cutover from PSTN to VoIP should be completed, and I expect that from 2026 is when there will be competitive pressure to reduce the rental charge.

--
Hub 5, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, 360
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM hub 5 broadband connection

Hi @ColinABristol,

Thank you for coming back to us about your query. Apologies that you're unhappy with the pricing of our landline services and that you've decided to leave us for another service provider.

Please be aware that other service providers ass well as Virgin Media are looking to move to the fibre landline network.

If you're wanting to discuss your package price further, please give our team a call on 150/ 03454541111 or message us on WhatsApp on 07305327112 to discuss your package and find a deal that you're happy with. 

Thank you.

Paulina_Z
Forum Team

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Dear @Paulina_Z

One of the frustrations in dealing with VM is the lack of continuity in dealing with customer issues. I spoke earlier today with two members of VM staff or their agents, having been passed from one to the other. The second one had no knowledge of the conversation I had with the first, so I had to recap. Now I get a response from you, not unhelpful, but yet again you don't appear to have knowledge of the conversations I had previously, nor their outcomes.

I have strayed into a bit of a rant about VM's approach to customer issue resolution but I think it relevant, if for no other reason than a dissatisfied customer is more likely to have a rant (hello!), and is more likely to seek comparable services from other suppliers (hello!), and is more likely to tell friends and family about their experience.

I wasn't made aware in the conversations I had with the first two members of VM staff of the consideration of other service providers looking to move to fibre landline networks. I don't think I needed to be aware of that, it is largely irrelevant to me although is possibly the rationale that VM use in justifying to themselves the continuation of the unfair landline line rental. It wouldn't convince me to retain my landline service.

The focus of my call was to seek to remove the unfair line rental charge for rental of a line that I will no longer be using. I was clear about the outcome I wanted. I was offered "free" inclusion of a Sky Sports addition to my TV service for 18 months. A nice gesture but again an example of VM having no understanding of their customer.

I didn't get the outcome that I sought, so I cancelled the home phone service from my bundle. I haven't actually left VM as you say, I have just cancelled that one element of my bundle.

If VM want to offer me a home phone service without the perceived unfair line rental, then you know where I am to offer it to me. The opportunity to offer me a reduced price on my package was missed by the two VM members of staff in the conversations I had with them earlier, so I am not planning to call again. VM can always contact me - however, for the avoidance of doubt, please don't contact me to offer me other services as a retention sweetener without a permanent reduction in package cost of £19 per quarter.

@Tudor

In previous correspondence VM told me that line rental is charged to cover the cost of maintaining the network of copper and /or fibre cables which provide my home phone service. Any statement that the line rental is now for "the telephone number" or some other itemised element of the service is done to try to justify the application of what is effectively a standing charge when they are now using the same fibre infrastructure that is used to provide their broadband and TV services.

There appear to be 3 reasons why this line rental charge is levied:

  1. OFCOM permit it
  2. Other home phone providers make a similar separate line rental charge so it appears to be the industry norm
  3. Inertia on the part of customers. Until there is a significant number of customers cancelling their VM home phone service, then VM will continue to charge it. I don't blame them.

OFCOM no longer permit the separate charging of a standing charge / line rental for the provision of a broadband service; the cost of providing the service is built in to a single, simple to understand charge.

Justification by VM and the oligarchy of UK telecoms providers for charging a home phone line rental appears to be an obfuscation for a lucrative revenue stream that is permitted by the regulator - for now.

Hi @ColinABristol,

Thank you for expanding on the situation. Hopefully I can help to clarify the situation a little further for you.

Via the community forums we wouldn't have access to account information without taking you into a private message and then clearing security. Without that, we wouldn't be able to check and discuss specific previous conversations and outcomes that you may have had, so we'd be assisting you and responding to you based on the information you choose to share with you in your posts here.

If you have a landline service included in your bundle with us then you would be expected to pay for this just as you would for any other service, regardless of how much or how little you choose to use that service. As has been explained, the landline service across the UK for all providers - us included - is gradually being moved to be provided via the broadband service. Part of that move requires discussing and arranging with us a time to make sure your equipment and home installation is set up to accommodate that, and without doing so the landline service would no longer be able to work following your local switchover date to the new service.

Of course, if you don't intend to use the service at all and wish to cancel/remove that from your bundle to also help reduce costs then you're welcome to do so. I can see from what you mentioned that you've already requested for that to go ahead.

I hope that helps to clear the situation up and why we've mentioned what we have. Let us know if there's anything more that we can help you with.

Thanks,

 


Zach - Forum Team
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