£480 million frittered away on UK landlines every year

4 June 2018

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.”


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The fixation with mobile phones is blinding people to courtesies that we should all expect. If I phone someone on their landline, it's likely that they are not doing anything that would be hazardous if the call was to be answered, nor interrupting an activity away from home, plus it can be reasonably expected that the conversation can be held in some degree of privacy. Those courtesies cannot be guaranteed during a call to a mobile. I have no wish to have a phone conversation other than in the privacy of my home which requires a landline anyway as there is no adequate mobile signal from any provider in this central area of the Midlands, Also if I am out, I wish to do what I went out to do, and not be intruded by unrelated conversation that has to compete with ambient noise.. It beats me why people see a need to do so. Hail to the landline phone.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The problem is your forced to pay for this to get broadband whether you want it or not, even buy the cheapest companies which puts price up artificially high considering wholesale costs have come down

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Can't get Broadband fibre here...speed is 1.8, moved to a mesh system, part fibre and wireless transmission, now get 26...so it's goodbye BT hello Voneus. Joined through a village application with funding from Somerset snd Devon rural broadband.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

£480 million...a drop in the ocean compared with the amount people fritter away using mobile phones making unnecessary calls, sending unnecessary texts and checking the internet every ten seconds due to being addicted to it :-)

Add new comment