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How to get a new landline

Landline TelephoneIf you’ve moved into a new house or you’re switching from Virgin to an ADSL internet service, chances are you’ll need to get an old BT line reactivated.

Activation by BT

The standard charge for a BT line activation is £130, even if you don’t need an engineer to visit, but there are ways to reduce this if you’re returning to BT.

If you’re getting a triple-play package (TV, phone and broadband) or just broadband and calls, there’s no charge for a remote activation.

If you’re only getting a new phone line, you may be able to reduce the cost to £40, but only if you agree to an 18-month contract, and you can’t have Line Rental Saver deal (where you pay in advance). You’ll also have to make at least 10 calls per month, or you will be billed either £5.15/month or £15.45/quarter.

Unfortunately, if there’s no suitable BT line available in your property, or damage to the existing socket/wiring, then an £130 engineer visit may be required. And you have to pay the full charge if you’ve previously been disconnected for non-payment.

Remote activations take about four working days, but if you need an engineer to visit it will take up to 14 working days. Engineer visits are either 8am-1pm or 1pm-6pm.

You can usually keep your phone number, even if you’re coming from Virgin Media.

Other phone and broadband providers

Although it’s always a BT Openreach technician who visits, some phone providers offer a discount on reconnection for new customers.

  • Sky charges £39 for connection if you don’t have an active BT line, but it’s free if you take a triple-play package.
  • Direct Save Telecom charges £49.95 for a visit and reactivates existing lines for free if you take an 18-month contract.
  • TalkTalk charges £50 for new phone lines and reconnections, but nothing if you have an active BT line.
  • Primus Save doesn’t charge for reactivation, but there’s a £59 charge if an engineer needs to visit.
  • The Post Office charges £112.34 if you need a new line or a reactivation, but they will often waive the cost
  • BE charges £85 for new phone lines and reconnections, but nothing if you have an active BT line.
  • O2 don’t charge to connect new customers, but if you need an engineer to visit it costs £86.81, and they charge £30.63 if you take a 30-day contract. plus £25.53 if you’re not an O2 mobile customer.
  • Orange doesn’t charge to reactivate, but charges up £125 for new phone lines if a BT engineer needs to visit or repair your existing line.

Recombu’s tips

  • Get a new master socket

Unless your BT master socket has a BT Openreach logo on it, get them to replace it with a new socket while you’re paying for the line to be reactivated – especially if you’re getting ADSL broadband. It could make a significant different to the speed and quality of your broadband connection.