All about BT phone line
Once upon a time, BT (www.bt.com) was the only way to get a phone line in the UK. These days, you have far more options to choose from - but British Telecom still has some pretty good packages. Not only can you get a home phone with lots of great features, you can get it as part of a bundle with broadband, TV, and mobile to save a bit of dough.
BT is still the standard phone line, so it’s likely that you may already have a BT home phone, or at least a compatible line that can be switched back. Read on and we’ll take a look at what our oldest telecoms company has to offer.
What can I get from a BT phone line?
If you decide to stick with BT, or switch back to it, you have three line rental packages to choose from:
- Unlimited Weekend Calls - The basic line rental package, which includes free calls to UK landlines at weekends.
- Unlimited Evening and Weekend Calls - Upgrade to include free UK landline calls in the evenings as well.
- Unlimited Anytime Calls - Call UK landlines for free at any time, and call mobiles at reduced rates too.
With every plan you’ll get a few features thrown in. Caller display, 1471, and calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers during your plan’s inclusive periods are all included free, and you can also download the SmartTalk app to your smartphone. This’ll let you access your landline minutes from your mobile - and even use them abroad for the same price as calls from your home phone. Up to five smartphones can be connected to your plan so it’s a great idea for families.
Other optional features can be added on at an extra cost each month, including voicemail, call divert, three-way calling, and landline texts.
There are also add-ons for cheaper international calling:
- Friends and Family International - For a small price per month, you’ll have reduced call charges to 236 international destinations
- International Freedom - This one costs a few pounds more, but you’ll get 600 inclusive minutes to the 36 most popular destinations (including France, China, Australia, and the USA), plus discounted calls to another 199
As well as that, BT’s the only provider that offers discounted phones with its line rental. With each plan you can grab up to four phones for far less than you’d get them in shops. There’s also the chance to get a new Android smart home phone, so you can download your favourite apps to use at home.
If basic BT line rental doesn’t quite cover everything for you, there’s the option to upgrade to Line Rental Plus. For an extra cost this’ll get you some premium features, including:
- Priority phone line fault fixes, so problems on your line will be fixed by the end of the next working day
- Calling features, such as call barring and the ability to block incoming calls from certain numbers
- Bill notifications, and more flexible ways to pay - this is your only option if you don’t want to pay by direct debit, in fact
As with normal line rental, it can be included as part of a bundle with broadband, TV, and mobile too.
Just watch out for the connection fees with BT. Connecting a line is free with a BT broadband or TV package, but it’ll cost you if you’re going for a landline-only plan. If you need to install a brand new line in your home, we recommend ordering your package online at BT.com - the fee is twice as high if you order any other way!
What’s good about BT phone line?
- Available pretty much anywhere - but always use our postcode checker to see what your options are for your area
- Can get landline-only package
- …or you can include line rental as part of a bundle with broadband, TV, and mobile
- Option to save money by paying a year’s line rental upfront
- Lots of calling features available
- Can upgrade your plan at any point
- Good international calling plans
- BT phones available with a phone line subscription, including the new Android smart home phone
What’s bad about BT phone line?
- Most expensive line rental in the UK - only by a few pennies per month in some cases, but the most expensive nonetheless
- Comes with fewer features as standard than some providers
- Re-activating an existing line incurs a fee, and installing a brand new line incurs an even bigger one
- Paying by any method other than direct debit requires you to upgrade to Line Rental Plus, which is more expensive