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Top (Telecoms) Tips for Irish Consumers from BT Ireland

With many thanks, and courtesy of a recent BT Ireland Press Release, here is the fourth in our series of Top Tips for Irish Consumers:

  • Cancel your handset rental – If you have a charge on your phone bill called “handset rental”, cancel it with your service provider and buy your own cordless phone. Hundreds of thousands of home phone users in Ireland are paying a charge of €2.67 per month which means that your cost of buying a cordless phone will be paid back in less than a year.
  • Control Calls to Mobiles – Due to high mobile termination rates, calls from your fixed line to mobiles are up to 10 times more expensive than calls to fixed lines and representing more than 50% of an average phone bill. Many providers offer special packages for calling mobile phones, such as BT’s Call Mobile which gives you a third off calls to all mobile networks for a fixed fee of €1.95 per month. Avoid packages that offer bundles of minutes as you will end up paying more unless you happen to use up the exact amount of minutes offered in the package.
  • Bundle Up and Save – If you have Broadband, then make sure you are bundling this with your telephone line rental from the same provider. This can provide substantial savings. Standalone Line Rental costs over €25 per month and entry level standalone broadband services cost around the same, whereas combined Broadband and Line Rental bundles are available from some providers for less than €40 per month, saving you more than €100 per year.
  • Get an inclusive-calls package – If you make lots of off-peak calls to fixed numbers, purchase an inclusive off-peak calls package. These are generally available for less than €5 per month. An all-inclusive peak and off peak package will cost approx €10 per month. These packages can also deliver huge savings.
  • Cancel your Voicemail service – If you have a mailbox service which you don’t use, cancel it. Unless it is included in your package, it’s costing you €1.39 per month. If you have reason to use a voicemail facility, then replace it with an answer phone (ideally an integrated cordless/answer phone). Alternatively, you can simply use Caller ID to find out who called and when.
  • Use Call Barring – If you want to control call costs, such as those incurred to expensive premium rate numbers, use the Call Barring facilities (charges may apply) provided by your phone provider.  Furthermore, if you have teenagers in the house and you wish to restrict access to certain numbers in an effort to reduce your phone bills, this can be done through the Call Barring facility. Some phone handsets also provide a PIN number facility where you can set up your own call barring as necessary.
  • Avoid Non-Geographic numbers – Most inclusive calls packages (such as BT Talk Plus) include all calls made to fixed (geographic) numbers, and exclude calls made to Non-Geographic numbers (i.e. 1890). If you need to call a non-geographic number, try to find out the geographic number for the business you are calling and dial that number instead. This can be obtained directly from the company themselves or by visiting websites such as http://www.saynoto1890.com/ (Republic of Ireland) or www.saynoto0870.com  (UK).
  • Buy a Cordless DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) Phone – While relaxing in front of the TV in the evening, it is the easiest thing to reach for the mobile when you want to make a phone call.  However, making calls from a cordless phone instead of a mobile will allow you make savings, particularly when calling fixed numbers or international destinations. Cordless phones are now much more advanced and, just like mobile phones, can also be used to store your directory of numbers. So, you can easily input your directory of contacts into your home phone, particularly fixed numbers and when someone calls you at home, simply add in the new number.
  • Avail of the DSFA allowance (if eligible) – Customers eligible for the Department of Social and Family Affairs (DSFA) scheme (which effectively provides free line rental and is provided by all operators) can get additional deals from some operators.  For example, in the case of BT, in addition to free line rental for DSFA recipients, the company also provides a call credit of €10 per bill which can be used against call charges.
  • Shop around – There are deals to be had and savings to be made on many household bills, so it really does pay to shop around to get the best value. It is worth taking the time to get two – three quotes from reputable service providers before making a final decision, rather than just going with the first quote received.
  • Prices correct as of 30/11/08 incl. of VAT at 21%.

 

Click here for the SayNoTo1890.com Website.
Click here for the SayNoTo1890.com Website.

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