TalkTalk, the telecoms company that was last year the victim of a high profile data leak, has announced it will soon stop separating out line rental from broadband prices.
The move, which will come into force in the Autumn this year, comes ahead of a crack down by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on price transparency this week.
The fiercely competitive broadband market, which has seen TalkTalk, Sky, Vodafone, and BT regularly come to blows over regulatory and infrastructure decisions, has been accused of misleading customers with confusing pricing structures.
TalkTalk claims to be the first internet provider in the UK to make this change to policy. The change won't affect the bottom line prices of TalkTalk's subscriptions but will roll together both the broadband and line rental charges.
Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk’s consumer managing director, admitted the industry was guilty of dishonesty over pricing:
As long as line rental and broadband are priced separately, the temptation to advertise deals in this way will always be there. But it’s time for providers be honest about this – it’s a bad habit we have all been guilty of, it doesn’t serve customers well and it’s time it stopped.
TalkTalk is already pricing its fibre broadband service in York in what it calls "all-in pricing".
The ASA told broadband providers earlier this year that they had to scrap complex pricing methods, recommending bundling all monthly costs into one figure.
Research earlier this year from Ofcom and the ASA found under a quarter of people were unable to identify the correct cost per month after viewing a broadband advert.