Vodafone has removed separate line rental charges from its broadband packages in a bid to differentiate itself from its more established rivals.
The mobile-phone giant says it is scrapping the £18 monthly charge for new and upgrading broadband customers who sign up to an 18-month contract.
Contracts will start at £22 a month and still include a landline connection and phone number, the company said.
The move was announced at a time when providers are coming under increasing criticism for misleading marketing.
But some experts say the charge is simply being merged into a single monthly charge.
Ewan Taylor-Gibson from uSwitch told the BBC: “To be clear, Vodafone isn’t really abolishing line rental charges, it’s simply combining the charge into its fibre pricing.”
“This is because broadband providers are under pressure from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to change advertised pricing so customers see a cost per month that includes line rental, so Vodafone is stealing a march on its rivals.”
The ASA recently found that 81% of customers were unable to work out the total monthly cost of broadband deals, Thisismoney.co.uk reported.
The watchdog introduced guidelines in May that stop broadband adverts from presenting two separate costs.
Analyst Paolo Pescatore from CCS Insight told the BBC that the provider now needs to consider build its content offering.
“Vodafone’s lack of content still represents a huge headache for the company as all of its rivals are bundling entertainment, movies and sports with their broadband deals,” he said.
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