Households are wasting large amounts of money every year on landline phones that go unused.
According to research from Comparethemarket.com, one in four (24%) UK households – more than 6.5 million – has a landline that goes unused. The study found that just 14% of households have no landline, although this rises to 30% among 18- to 30-year-olds.
Figures from Ofcom suggest that landlines cost around £23.50 a month on average, of which three-quarters (74%) of the cost comes down to line rental. This means that households spend, on average, £73 a year. This equates to £478 million spent annually by householders who don’t use their landline.
Peter Earl, head of utilities at Comparethemarket.com, comments: “The market is to blame partly for this, as a package that includes phone can be cheaper than buying broadband on its own. However, it seems that a huge number of people are currently wasting money with landlines that they never use or have connected in their home.
“The biggest cost of a having a landline is the line rental charges – which are often required to have broadband – but the costs of operating that landline are sometimes charged on top. This means that there is a significant amount being thrown away on monthly charges for a service that is never used.”
When looking at why people ditch their landlines, the comparison service found that 60% said they only needed a mobile phone. A quarter (26%), however, said the reason they had abandoned landlines was due to excessive numbers of cold-callers and scammers.
Mr Earl adds: “The death of the landline is ‘hopefully’ upon us. Smartphones are slowly but surely making landlines obsolete, and generations Y and Z will likely ensure its final demise. As mobile coverage improves across the country, the number of people who will use a fixed line will inevitably decrease.”