Earlier this week Vodafone issued a press release claiming it was “removing line rental charges” from its broadband packages, a move which won the firm acres of positive coverage and favourable comparisons with “rip-off” rivals.
Yet although customers signing up for fibre broadband from Vodafone will no longer see a line rental charge on their account, they will find themselves paying a lot more for broadband than if they’d signed up a few weeks ago.
According to the Internet Archive, in April the firm was charging new customers signing up to its 38Mpbs package £10 per month for the first 12 months and £20 per month for the remainder of the 18 month contract.
That’s £240 for the broadband element of the package yet, since the much trumpeted axing of line rental charges, the same broadband will cost you £25per month – or £450 over the lifetime of the contract.
The new price is certainly cheaper when the old line rental charge is included (£240 for broadband plus £305.82 for line rental) but only by £95.82 over the 18 month term.
For the ‘Up to 76 Mbps’ package the figures work out at £300 for broadband over 18 months – plus the same £305.82 for line rental (£16.99 x 18 months) – versus £504 (£28 x 18 months) under the new pricing.
So despite its claims, Vodafone hasn’t really abolished line rental charges it’s just, at best, shaved a few quid off and stopped listing them as a separate item on the bill, making it harder for customers to see where the money they’re paying is going.
Some of the blame rests with the ASA but ultimately this is the opposite of the “new, transparent and easy to understand home broadband pricing structure” Vodafone claims to be delivering and a retrograde step for customers.