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Broadband for tenants for £11.85 per month including line rental

We (Link Group) have just signed an agreement with Happus to provide broadband to our tenants for £11.85 a month including line rental.  I can post a bit more about this deal if anyone is interested.

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Definitely - it's all in the detail! Please do  share :-)

Hi Craig. Details would be much appreciated.

Here are the details on the deal.  This is for social housing tenants only and there must be an agreement signed between the HA and Happus to show that a relationship can exist between the two organisations.  Once this is in place you can promote to your tenants the following deal;

18 month contract between the tenant and Happus.

£11.85 including line rental for the first 12 months - contract can be cancelled at any time in this period with no penalty.  Line is for data only but a call plan can be added at extra cost.

After 12 months monthly payment rises to £20.20.

Free router is included in the deal, no installation/activation/up-front costs.

The HA does not pay any fees and is not liable for tenant non-payment.  The HA also does not make any revenue from this deal either.

The ISP is TalkTalk but contracts are with Happus.  See Happus website to discuss details of your tenants benefiting from this scheme -

It's a real shame the price rockets after 12mths. One of great difficulties in getting a clear message out tenants about you can get online for as little as £x is exactly this widespread practice. It may make commercial sense, but there still is a real need for the government to facilitate something genuinely and sustainably affordable and universal (or at least universal for lower incomes), unless the sector can do it by themselves.

BT Basic would be a good start, if it wasn't completely crippled by the £130 installation cost.

do let us all know how you get on with it Craig and thanks for sharing!

I agree that it is a shame that the price increases after 12 months, however, this is clearly being used as a loss leader by TalkTalk.  With £17 being the normal line rental charge, the so-called deals that companies have - 'free' broadband for 12 months, but in actual fact you have to add £17 line rental and sign up for a call package for a further £10 and before you know it the 'free' broadband is £27 a month rising to whatever they can get away with after 12 months - could be classed as criminal deception.

What I am hoping for is that this introductory deal will be low enough to tempt people to sign up and once they see the benefits of being online, the rise to just over £20 will be considered worth the money.

Obviously this is not for everyone, but it is another tool in the chest that can be used.

There is not a £130 charge for BT basic - at least not when I have discussed with their sales people on the phone (as a secret shopper).

The T&Cs mention potential installation fee because they need the ability to charge if the install would cost thousands of pounds normally. The standard £130 fee is waved - so unless the property is completely in the middle of nowhere with no previous phoneline it will be fine.

That's interesting. The BT Basic details are very clear there is a £130 charge, although they do allow BT Basic customers to spread payments, unlike other customers.

I wonder if they are more likely to waive it when there is a dormant line, or alternatively (more likely?), the BT advisors are not very clued up?

Taken from their guide at:

"What if I don’t have a BT phone line?
If you don’t have a BT line, you’ll need to change to BT before you can get BT Basic. You won’t normally need to pay a connection charge to do this unless there are exceptional circumstances that involve special equipment or work. We’ll tell you about any charges before we agree any work"

I'm not used to being quite so pro-BT but if someone fits into the tight criteria to qualify for it then they should go for it (as long as the 10GB a month limit wasn't a put-off).

Excellent Finn, it looks like they may have changed - couldn't be more happy to be wrong! The only slight concern I have that the wording you quote quite correctly still seems to me to suggest they may be talking about people have a line with someone else other than BT rather than no line at all. I wonder when they changed this, as they were still quoting a £130 charge (with exclusive until very recently - now I can't find any mention at all.

It would be nice to have a clear cut statement on it exactly what people can expect- I know other people have been stung by suggesting BT Basic to someone and having angry customers come back - I think Matt Nelson, if I remember correctly, on here did...

Anyway here's hoping :-)

UPDATE: with a bit of trawling, it does seem the wording has changed since previous iteration - the current one you quoted appears to be date Oct 2014 (although I think it's only gone online much more recently) but this one from a year before says you may have to pay a connection fee. And then there's this official 2014 price list which quotes £130 still.

So either their line has softened or they are bringing their materials in line with actual practice, or they don't want to highlight the installation cost which still does sometimes apply. Whatever the case, it makes it hard to know exactly what you can safely say to customers that they can expect...

So I decided to bottom this out, especially before the event on April 14th! Here's an excerpt of my chat with BT for info straight from the horse's mouth...and it's good news!

Paula: Sorry it took so long James
James Lewis: don't mind I've had to wait as long as it produces some clearer information
Paula: OK the connection charge is free to all eligible BT Basic customers, however if it is a new build with no line plant, there may be extra charges, the charges would be determined based on the engineers survey carried out.
James Lewis: OK, so people would need at least the socket already then (assuming the socket indicates a line was laid if not actually activated)
James Lewis: (I mean people can use the presence of a socket as a rule-of-thumb indicator they probably won't need to pay an extra fee)
Paula: No not necessarily James,  Openreach will cover up to £2,800 plus VAT for a connection, if the connection costs more than this we would pass the charge onto the customer. Additional charges are quite rare.
Paula: The additional charges would usually be for external work, no line plant, ducting etc
James Lewis: Great so people would probably have to not have a line and require a fairly lengthy line to their property from existing infrastructure to have charges over the £2.8k if I understand you correctly? Essentially 98% or so of people could probably get BT Basic without installation charges?
Paula: Yes James that's correct, when an order is placed, the engineers would carry out a survey if required, customers will be informed of any extra charges and would have the option to cancel the order.
James Lewis: That's really helpful Paula - thank you so much!
Paula: The charges are quite rare, no problem, sorry it took so long.
James Lewis: It was well worth the wait!
Paula: Glad to have got that cleared up for you James, other than any possible Excess Construction Charges, connection for eligible BT Basic customers is free.

Thanks James - that is good to know.  That is an interesting stat though - £2800 before charges are levied!


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