Ofcom has pushed BT into lowering its phone line only tariffs after concerns that prices were increasing despite decreases in wholesale costs, however businesses are set to miss out.
The agreement will see one million BT consumer customers receive a 37% reduction in line rental fees, a saving of £84 a year from April 2018.
Despite Ofcom describing business customers as having “broadly comparable line rentals” to consumer customers, a spokesperson from the regulator told Retail Express: “the cut does not apply to dedicated business products."
A consumer landline only deal with unlimited calls from BT currently costs £27.98, after the cut this wall fall to £20.98. The same deal for businesses costs £32.50.
This means businesses will have to pay £11.52 extra per month for the same service as consumers. Retailers are especially affected by the disparity as many chose landline only contracts in order to process card payments.
The telecoms giant accepted Ofcom’s proposal that its fixed line prices represent “poor value for money”, but when asked by Retail Express whether it would be correcting this for businesses, a spokesperson from BT said “there are no current plans to change our business pricing.”
Asked by Retail Express why the regulator did not force BT to change its business deals as well, a spokesperson replied: “There is a lot more competition in this market and therefore customers generally have a wider range of choices.”
BT has a 37% share of the consumer landline market and a 46% share of the business landline market.