13 May 2007
Anyone over the age of 40 will remember the days when every household had but one standard GPO-issue phone. It had a rotary dial, it was black and tariffs were regulated.
Back then it was cheaper to call after 6pm and at weekends but otherwise the only way to save on your phone bill was not to use it. In the connected digital age you can pay a lot for your calls or a little: tariffs are expensive for those who dont take the time to shop around and cheap for those who do.
The problem is, there has been such an explosion of choice that the market is utterly bewildering. Dozens of providers and networks are offering complicated deals across mobile, landline and computer services. There are literally tens of thousands of combinations and permutations.