Carphone Warehouse promises 30% savings with new fixed-line service

Carphone Warehouse, Britain's biggest mobile phone retailer, will launch its fixed-line telecoms service on Monday pledging to save customers up to 30 per cent on the cost of their standard BT calls.

The service will be called talktalk and sold through Carphone's chain of 470 UK stores. Charles Dunstone, the group's chief executive, said he dreamt up the name himself with customer research preferring his choice to the name put forward by the company's advertising agency. "The other name was Good Call but we put them both to customer research panels and, much to my embarrassment, talktalk came out on top."

Mr Dunstone said he was not a particular fan of the 1980s pop group of the same name which had hits with "Talk Talk", "It's My Life" and "Life's What You Make it". But Carphone Warehouse has sought the rights to use some of the songs in its advertising.

Carphone Warehouse claims talktalk will save 30 per cent on BT's standard rates, which average about £79 a quarter. It says customers will save up to 25 per cent on calls to three chosen mobile numbers and up to 50 per cent on local and national calls.

The basic tariff offers 240 minutes of free weekend and evening local calls for no monthly charge. Talk Local costs £3 a month and includes free local and weekend calls. The top service costs £7 a month and offers free national calls at evenings and weekends. Customers will receive a separate BT bill for their line rental. Carphone aims to sign up at least 250,000 of its annual customer base of 2.2 million.

The changes are possible after Oftel made switching telecoms carriers easier last August. Tesco plans to launch a fixed-line telecoms service in the spring.

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