It’s good to talk – if you can still afford it
Remember, in the days before mobile phones, when it cost just 5p to make a phone call from a red phone box?
It may have been years since you’ve used one but I’m pretty sure you’ll be shocked to learn that the minimum price for making a call from a phone is now 60p – an increase of more than ten times the rate of inflation in the last month alone.
Last month, BT has increased the minimum call charge from 40p to 60p, raising fears that some vulnerable consumers and communities could be hit hard.
The cost of making a call from phone boxes has risen dramatically over the last decade. As little as 10 years ago, in 2000, the cost was still only 10p, a sum which should have risen to just 13p if it had increased in line with inflation.
In reality it now costs six times as much, or 500% more to make a basic phone call from a phone box than it did ten years ago.
Has the world gone mad? How can this be allowed?
Let’s have a look at that reality shall we?
Who uses phone boxes these days?
Well, apart from people who’ve lost their mobile phone and cash while on a drunken night out, it would be a safe bet to assume phone boxes are used mostly by those on the lowest incomes and people living in rural communities where mobile coverage is non-existent. A phone box is a lifeline for many of these people.
So, who is this unfathomable price hike likely to effect?
Exactly the same people who can’t afford to own a mobile phone or who rely on it as a lifeline.
The fact BT is allowed to get away with such unholy inflation-busting cost-increases might suggest to the more suspicious observer that a quick check to see how many MPs own telecommunications shares maybe in order.
Shocked. Appalled. There just aren’t the words.
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